Exeter Chiefs assistant head coach Ali Hepher believes his side are back to their best after they scored eight tries in an impressive 57-22 Aviva Premiership Rugby victory against Worcester Warriors.
The home side broke the deadlock early as skipper Jack Yeandle and scrum-half Will Chudley scored, before debut referee Matthew O’Grady awarded a penalty try shortly before half time.
And the Chiefs treated their home fans to a try-fest after the break as Olly Woodburn, Jack Rimmer, Thomas Waldrom, James Short and Ian Whitten all crossed.
The Chiefs have struggled this season in comparison to a year ago, where they reached the Aviva Premiership Rugby final.
AND @ExeterChiefs got the bonus point home win today. Amazing performance guys, onwards and upwards!
— Flossie McGhee (@flossiebella) November 26, 2016
But their third win in a row was achieved in style and Hepher puts their run down to a 35-8 home defeat to Clermont Auvergne in the European Champions Cup.
“It was a tough pre-season but the defeat against Clermont (last month) was the turning point. Since then, the guys have improved and they are now mentally in a great place,” he said.
“We are pleased with the performances in the last two or weeks, but we are disappointed to have conceded three tries as it doesn’t improve our stats.
“It was great to introduce some of our youngsters but we did lose a little bit of direction, which they will learn from.”
Worcester almost salvaged a bonus point from the match as Josh Adams, Wynard Olivier and Dewald Potgieter crossed in the second half.
— Tom Johnson (@tomaj82) November 26, 2016
But director of rugby Carl Hogg was not impressed, saying his side’s slow start cost them dearly.
“We struggled to defend against their power and pace as we couldn’t make tackles behind their gain line so they had plenty of quick ball,” he said.
“This put their big ball carriers on the front foot and they caused us a lot of damage.
“Exeter made a slow start to the season but they are now very much in form and we gave them an easy and an early opportunity for them to gain momentum.”
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman, Woodburn, Devoto, Whitten, Short, Steenson (Simmonds 57), Chudley (Maunder 50), Moon (Rimmer 49), Yeandle (Malton 50), Williams (Holmes 50), Lees (Parling 59), Hill, Dennis, Horstmann (Ewers 57), Waldrom.
Worcester Warriors: Pennell(Biggs 64), Heem (Wilison 51), Hammond, Olivier, Adams, Shillcock, Arr (Dowsett 47), Rapava Ruskin (Leleimalefaga 51), Singleton (Williams 72), Schonert (Daniels 59), Kitchener, Barry (O’Callaghan 62), Potgieter (Lewis 46), Kirwan, Dowson (capt).
Tries: Yeandle, Chudley, Penalty Try, Woodburn, Rimmer, Waldrom, Short, Whitten
Conversions: Steeson 6
Tries: Adams, Olivier, Potgieter
Conversions: Shillcock 2
Referee: Matthew O’Grady