Prop Moray Low believes Exeter Chiefs’ recent cup exploits have given the club the perfect lift as they prepare to head back into Aviva Premiership action this Friday.
Three victories in four games have helped to put Rob Baxter’s side not only top of their European Challenge Cup pool, but also at the summit of their LV= Cup group as well following back-to-back successes against rivals Gloucester and Bath.
It has – according to Scottish international Low – been a profitable four weeks for the Chiefs, who know they will face an acid test next up against defending league champions Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
“The Cup block has been good for us,” said Low, who joined the Devon club last summer from Glasgow Warriors. “We’ve won some games; we’ve got game time into a lot of the boys and we’ve been able to get refreshed and ready for this next block of games.
“This Premiership block, though, is key for us and now we’ve got to look to push on and go forward again. Saturday’s game [against Bath] certainly felt like a Premiership game because it was tough and they really tested us at times. However, it was a good chance for us to test a few things out and in the end we were able to come away with the result.”
With little to choose between either side at half-time last weekend, it was the Chiefs who kicked on in the second period as tries from Carl Rimmer and Low himself helped put the finishing touches on an 18-6 success for the home side.
Low’s late try was his first in Exeter colours and the 29-year-old admitted he was delighted to help put the finishing touches on a powerful display from the Chiefs.
“It’s my first try in a long time,” he joked post-match. “Rims has also been on good form, I think that’s his third try this season, so it’s always good for us prop to finish off the hard work like that. As a team we’ve worked a lot on things in training, but I was just the lucky one to flop over in the end.
“Any time it’s great to score a try, but it’s always more important to get a win, especially in a tough game like that.”
Now several months into life at Sandy Park, Low – who has shared the tight-head duties this term with fellow newcomer Tomas Francis – admits he is enjoying life in the Westcountry and believes there is yet more to come from him this season.
“Moving to a new club is always a challenge and it can be hard, especially settling into new systems,” he added. “But the boys and the coaches here have been great. It’s a great group to work in because we’re all honest when it comes to working on the negatives, but at the same time we’re all about highlighting the positives as well.
“The atmosphere within the group is great and we carry that through into our performances on the pitch. You can see the team spirit that exists and that in itself helps to get us results.”
Another positive for Low has been the support he and his team-mates have received from the Exeter supporters, both home and away.
Saturday’s home win over Bath was not only Exeter’s first against their near neighbours in the professional era on home soil, but it was watched by a record Sandy Park crowd of 11,785 people.
And Low says it’s the backing on the terraces that he finds a significant factor in his new role with the Chiefs.
He continued: “The crowd here are very noisy and that they kind of remind me of back home with the football at Celtic Park. They are very vocal and it makes a real difference to the team. The stadium is getting bigger, the crowds are getting bigger and it’s great for the future.
“I know all the boys appreciate the support we get, so it’s fantastic that we can reward them with the win like we did at the weekend.”