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Exeter Chiefs must build on Exiles win - Steenson

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

Steenson

Exeter Chiefs must build on Exiles win – Gareth Steenson

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Fly-half Gareth Steenson wants Exeter Chiefs to prove that their recent progress has been more substantial than recent results suggest when they take on Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins this weekend.

Chiefs brought a five-game run without a league win to an end by beating London Welsh at Sandy Park last weekend.

Steenson feels that the 47-16 success was perhaps one of the few to offer a tangible reward for their hard work in developing their game this season.

The Devon side are now looking forward to seeing how their form compares with the league's best at The Stoop, as they seek to climb back up the table towards potential Heineken Cup qualification and a place in the play-offs.

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"We are not far off where we were this time last year," said Steenson. "We were about three points better off at this point, so we just take a look at everything as each week comes along.

"We've got six games left and a huge game at Harlequins. That is a great opportunity for us. They are playing really well and are obviously one of the top teams, so it will be a good benchmark for us and what we've been doing over the past few weeks.

"We feel our game has been quite good, we just haven't taken all our opportunities. "We want to play an exciting brand of rugby, something that people want to come and watch. Obviously, it is about scoring tries and scoring as many points as you possibly can.

"We enjoy the way we play and feel as though our game is in good shape. We came through the winter months quite well but now the pitches are getting firmed up, we want to play a bit of rugby and feel we can score tries.

"We just have to take our opportunities."

They certainly did that against the Exiles last weekend with five tries and a flawless kicking display from Steenson, who added 22 points to his side's tally.

"We're obviously delighted with the win," he said. "To come away with five points is fantastic whenever you play at home and get that sort of result.

"I think guys were a little bit nervous going into the game, which is good and the way it should be.

"Maybe the past couple of weeks, we have not been making it about us – at Sale it was more about their survival bid and last week was all about Saracens playing on their new pitch for the first time.

"Against London Welsh we made it about ourselves and that was good. We created opportunities in the first half and Jack Yeandle getting that first try was crucial and we started the second half where we left off.

"It just flowed from there and we were delighted to get away with five tries in the end."

Steenson's achievement in playing 100 games for the Chiefs was commemorated on the pitch after the game on Saturday. His century came the week before during a 31-11 defeat at Saracens in a game where the Irishman struggled for accuracy with his boot.

Thankfully, his 101st appearance was one to remember and he hopes to have many more memorable days ahead with the Devon club. He said: "I am very pleased personally after last week, which was a little bit disappointing for me after missing a few kicks. I've given those boots away and gone back to the black ones!

"It is always nice to see the ball go over the bar and there wasn't too much wind out there. You have to keep the scoreboard ticking, the guys were working hard to get the penalties and it is my job to keep the scores coming.

"It was disappointing to get the result we did up at Sale on my 100th appearance but to get that performance against Welsh in front of the home crowd and the acknowledgement from them was really nice.

"There is a lot more work to be done and I'm here for another couple of seasons and hopefully I can rack up more good games for the club."

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