Fixtures - Top Bar

Derby Day defeat hurts Exeter Chiefs’ Gareth Steenson

Gareth Steenson insists he and his Exeter Chiefs team-mates will pick themselves up despite suffering yet more late heartache during Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash with rivals Bath.

Semesa Rokoduguni’s converted try – seven minutes into added on time – saw the Chiefs undone right at the death, eventually going down 13-10 in front of a capacity crowd at Sandy Park.

Not for the first time this season, Rob Baxter’s side were again left to wallow in yet another narrow reverse that has left them seventh in the current Premiership standings.

However, skipper Steenson says it’s imperative the Chiefs regroup quickly and get themselves back firing on all cylinders as they prepare to kick-off their Anglo-Welsh Cup exploits this weekend away to Harlequins.

Gareth Steenson Player Profile

“We have to pick ourselves up,” said the Irishman post-match. “We’re only talking minutes after the game, so right now it’s a big disappointment. That said, the euphoria we would have felt had we held them out at the end would have been so different.

“Right now we have to take the lessons and the learns of today which, if we do, I know we will be in a better state moving forward.”

In what was a bruising encounter between the two Westcountry rivals, the Chiefs could not have done much more in their quest for the four vital league points – and Steenson said the loss was even harder to take than that of the previous week, where his Ulster homecoming was again undone in th dying embers of the match.

“If I’m being honest, today is far worse,” said the 32-year-old playmaker. “We worked incredibly hard to get ourselves in that good position at the end. We continually knocked them back, but then we got a bit comfortable and went off the boil a bit and that’s when they hit us.

“For long spells there we felt we were knocking them back, but that’s when you have to increase your intensity even more, so it’s very disappointing to come out on the wrong side like we did.

“Games between ourselves and Bath are always tight, but I think when we look back at things next week we’ll see we gave away a couple of crucial penalties in key areas that allowed them to get good field position, good possession and just gave momentum back to them.

“As I said, I thought we were going well and we were defending well, but then one slip at the end and they get the all-important score.”

With the Premiership now taking an enforced two-week break for the opening block of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Steenson acknowledges the Chiefs must use the time between now and their next fixture at Newcastle Falcons on November 18 as the perfect opportunity to get their league campaign back on track.

Aviva Premiership Rugby Fixtures

“It is going to be a test of character, it always is in the Premiership,” he continued. “The last few weeks have been tough for all of us, but if it’s taught us anything it’s that the intensity levels have to be up there.

“Today it was there and defensively we were very good for long periods of that game. Certainly there are positives to take from it all – one of which it was a much improved performance than last time we played here against Clermont.

“If you look at the two performances, we are a better side two weeks down the line than we were that day – and if we hold them out at the end, we all would have been singing the praises of what would have been a very good performance. Either way there is not too much difference because we still would have done a lot of the same things. It’s just a couple of things at the end and they score in the corner.”

Latest News

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…


Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins