Aviva Premiership
Chiefs hail dead-eye Steenson
ESPN Staff
November 30, 2014
Exeter's Gareth Steenson kicked nine penalties from nine attempts against Saracens © Getty Images

Exeter assistant coach Gareth Steenson paid tribute to fly-half Gareth Steenson after he kicked nine penalties from nine attempts to guide Chiefs to a 27-19 win over Saracens at Sandy Park.

Exeter came out deserved winners against an out-of-sorts Saracens, with Steenson booting all of the home side's points. Saracens' Maro Itoje crossed for the game's only try in the last minute. Exeter remain in second place thanks to the win, while Saracens are seven points below in fourth.

"Saracens are very strong defensively and they have a strong kicking game. We decided to play them at their own game," Hepher said. "It was a fantastic performance from our pack as we were able to squeeze them. Conditions dictated the game and we were very smart and disciplined."

"To beat Northampton (last weekend) was very important for us," Hepher continued. "We were worried that we would sit back on that win but today's effort shows we are in good shape as we continue to put in some quality performances against some quality sides."

Saracens' Director of Rugby Mark McCall was unimpressed with his side's performance, especially in the scrum, where prop James Johnston was sin-binned in the first half.

"We are hugely disappointed with our performance overall. We were second best and at this level of rugby, you need solid foundations and Exeter's foundations were better than us today," McCall said. "Exeter got the upper hand, particularly at the scrum which is an area for us to acknowledge. They took advantage of that superiority and it got them a lot of field position during the game.

"We were on the back foot for most of the game. There were so many kicks in the game that there were hardly any line-outs so the scrum was a big factor. Exeter don't just have Gareth but (Henry) Slade there as well. They kicked the ball very well today. We made some individual errors in the back field that we would not normally do. They got some penalties which, coupled with their scrum superiority and field position, was the game."

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