Opposition view: Future is bright for Exeter after success at Saints

Ali Hepher felt Exeter’s win at Saints on Sunday signposted an exciting future for the Sandy Park club.

By Tom Vickers
Monday, 28th February 2022, 2:16 pm
Ali Hepher
Ali Hepher

The Chiefs, like Saints, were without several key men as injuries and international absences took their toll on team selection.

But Exeter were able to overcome those issues as they eventually secured a crucial 34-31 win at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

A Joe Simmonds penalty a minute from time ultimately got the job done for Rob Baxter’s side.

And while Saints left were left to reflect on another game that got away, Exeter were able to celebrate a success that lifted them to fourth in the Gallagher Premiership standings.

With key men to come back in the not too distant future, Exeter are well placed for another title bid.

And head coach Hepher feels the way his side’s young players have stepped up shows just how bright the future will be for his club.

“Throughout the game it was a day for the attacks with a lot of breaks going on out there and it was one we will look back at and see there are a number of things we could have done better,” Hepher said.

“But ultimately the spirit came through and we fought hard.

“We could have kept the ball a little more in that first half, if we hadn’t thrown the ball away a couple of times I think we would have built some momentum and scored some more tries.

“But to come through, away from home, at this time of year, with a young team and youngsters coming through and learning their trade is hugely exciting and promising for the future.

“There are a lot of guys really laying down a marker with their performances and putting their hands up for a place in the first team."