TOP BAR - Fixtures

Waldrom says it’s ‘full steam ahead’ at the Chiefs

Thomas ‘The Tank’ Waldrom insists it’s ‘full steam ahead’ for everyone at Exeter Chiefs as they target a strong finish to the 20-14/15 season.

Last Saturday's record-breaking 74-19 home win over London Welsh not only ensured the Devon club finished their latest batch of Aviva Premiership fixtures lying second in the standings, but ensured them of the perfect round having already seen off Newcastle Falcons, Harlequins and Bath in as many weeks.

Add into the mix that the Chiefs are also pushing hard in the latter stages of both the European Challenge and LV= Cups and it all makes for exciting times for everyone down at Sandy Park.

The England international has enjoyed a stellar opening season in Exeter colours having joined the Chiefs last summer from rivals Leicester Tigers.

The all-action No.8 has not only featured in every top flight fixture, but he currently tops the try-scoring charts in the Premiership having picked up 12 already this season.

Two of those scores came at the weekend when the Chiefs blew aside the attentions of Welsh, who have now lost 27 consecutive games.

Although the Chiefs endured a testing opening quarter to the game – even trailing 12-6 at one stage – they regrouped powerfully to swot aside the attentions of the Exiles with another impressive display.

Waldrom readily admits he is loving his new lease of life in the Westcountry, but knows that if the Chiefs are to prosper further this season they will have to raise their standards even further over the coming weeks.

"As a squad we're very happy at the moment," he said. "We had to work hard to get the points at the weekend because we knew it would be a tough battle, both physically and mentally, after the three previous games. We knew we had to come out and perform and I thought we did that for large bits."

With nothing to lose and seemingly everything to gain, Welsh stunned many inside Sandy Park with their vibrant opening that yielded tries for prop Nathan Trevett and winger Seb Stegmann.

However, once Will Chudley had claimed Exeter's opening try just moments later, the floodgates opened for the home side and it was virtually one-way traffic after that.

"We didn't feel we had the ball much in the first 20 minutes," explained Waldrom. "We didn't really stamp our authority on the game, but as the game went on we slowly found our rhythm and that is when we started to make inroads.

"Also the boys that came off the bench, they really added some impetus to go forward and that was when we started to enjoy ourselves a lot more."

With just five rounds of the scheduled Premiership season remaining, Waldrom knows the Chiefs are nicely placed to have a crack at securing their first-ever place in the end of season play-offs.

The run-in, though, is far from easy for Rob Baxter's side and with Waldrom's former club Leicester next on the agenda in the league on (March 28) and also this Sunday in the semi-final of the LV= Cup, testing times lie in wait for the Chiefs.

"It's in our own hands and up to us what we do week in, week out from now on," added Waldrom. "We know we have some very big games coming up, but we're in a good position as players these are the types of games you want to be involved with. As I said, how we perform will be down to us, but it's going to be enjoyable and I know we're all looking forward to the challenge.

"Right now we're up there battling on three different fronts, which is amazing for a club like this. Whoever Rob picks I know will do a job because the squad have been training well all season, so it's up to us to do the best job possible.

"Yes it's always nice to make a final, but first we must get past the semi-final and that's never easy, especially against a side like Leicester. I know first hand all about the threat they will pose, but we have to believe in what we are doing."

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