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Steenson confident of Exeter Chiefs' Cup chances

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

Exeter Chiefs

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After five wins on the bounce Exeter Chiefs fly-half Gareth Steenson is looking forward to their Heineken Cup challenge against the Llanelli Scarlets today.

After securing their first away win in the Aviva Premiership at London Irish last month Exeter travel to Wales in high spirits.

"It's fantastic," said Steenson. "To get the win in the Premiership before the LV= Cup games was great for the boys. The guys that came in and put in great performances, both home and away, and that led beautifully into us going to get that first away win against London Irish.

"Then to beat Wasps and to back it up with two wins in the Premiership was great and it is the first time we've done that this year. We're really pleased with the way things have been going."

For the Chiefs to progress in this year's tournament they need to come back from Parc y Scarlets with points. Steenson believes that it is a must-win game and he thinks they can come away with something.

He said: "It is a game we have got to win, especially after the first two games that we had. For us, it is just a matter of going out and hopefully continuing the momentum that we've built over the past few weeks.

"It is a different competition and we do have to go to Scarlets and get a result. We want to keep the momentum that we've got going and build on what we've achieved so far this season.

"We can win at Scarlets, the buzz has been good, and we've got momentum. We're chasing hard to get our first win in the Heineken Cup – that's what we want to achieve."

The Chiefs started their first-ever Heineken Cup campaign with a losing bonus point in Dublin against Leinster before getting turned over by Clermont Auvergne at Sandy Park. Steenson reflected on the opening two performances and felt they were unlucky to not have a few more points.

"The trip over to Dublin was fantastic," he said. "It was our first game in the competition against the champions and to come away with such a close result was a little disappointing. If that wasn't our first game and we had played in the Heineken Cup before, the outcome might have been different.

"The points that Clermont put on us here came when we had a centre playing at scrumhalf and a prop playing at six. They are going to make that mismatch count with their quality.

"The score did not reflect how we performed that evening and we took a lot of positives out of it."

Steenson has been a more regular fixture in the Chiefs' starting line-up this season, making five Premiership starts. He has also started the Devon club's first two Heineken Cup games.

However, the Irish ten realises returning Argentina international Ignacio Mieres will quickly take his place should standards slip.

"It has been a good competition but it is on a weekly basis," said Steenson. "The team has been going quite well recently and results have been good, thankfully.

"From a personal point of view, it has been good because I have been the one fortunate enough to be the one in the jersey."

Steenson enjoys of responsibility of playing in a pivotal position for Chiefs – one that could be all-important as they chase their first Heineken Cup win.

He said: "It's why we like to play in that position. Both myself and Ignacio thrive on that and it what we are here to do."

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