In attack Exeter Chiefs looked sharp enough, but Aussie scrum-half Nic White felt in defence the reigning champions were equally as good as they notched their first Aviva Premiership win of the season with success over visiting London Irish.
Rob Baxter’s side triumphed 37-7 at Sandy Park, claiming all five points courtesy of a penalty try and further touchdowns from Henry Slade, Olly Woodburn and Don Armand (2).
It was the ideal response from the Devonians, who the previous week had lost their seasonal opener in the dying seconds away to Gloucester.
For White, however, it was a perfect home debut and now the Wallabies international is hoping he and his team-mates can kick on further in their title defence, starting this Friday with a trip to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors (7:45pm).
“We had concentrated a lot this week on defence and I thought our defence won us the game today,” said the 27-year-old, who swapped life in France with Montpellier this summer for a new start with the Chiefs.
“For me, it was my first league game here at Sandy Park and the atmosphere was unreal. It was great to hear the Tomahawk Chop and to have that kind of support behind you really helps.”
Having stormed into a 20-0 lead at the break, the Chiefs failed to hit the same heights in the second period and it took two late tries to ensure them of the all-important try bonus point.
White acknowledged post-match the importance of the additional point, saying: “In this competition everyone is contenders, so come the end of the season a point like that is going to be very important. If you have the chance to get them, like we did today, you have to take them.
“What was encouraging was that the team finished hard. The guys coming off the bench made a real impact and added some great energy to things. That’s what you need and hopefully we can carry that into next week’s game and go again.”