It was a very important five points for us
Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter spoke of his delight as his side returned to winning ways in the Premiership with a 47-16 demolition of London Welsh at Sandy Park.
Tries from Jack Yeandle, Tom Hayes, Damian Welch, Sireli Naqelevuki and Jack Nowell paved the way for Exeter’s seventh league win of the season, whilst flyhalf Gareth Steenson kicked a further 22 points with a faultless kicking display.
Gavin Henson landed three penalties, as well as converting Phil MacKenzie’s second half try for the visitors, but that was their scant reward in a game which the Devon club dominated.
Winless in their previous five Premiership fixtures, the victory was not only much-needed for the Chiefs, but also enabled them to close back in on the division’s top six and re-ignite their push for a spot in next season’s European Cup.
"It was a very important five points for us," said Baxter
"And it freshens the season up for us a bit and keeps things exciting for us. We’re a point behind Bath now, there’s still plenty of Premiership games left, but it’s nice now to be thinking where we can go if we have some good performances rather than worrying what we might get caught up in.
"That was starting to play on a few peoples’ minds, probably wrongly, because I still think there are a lot of points on the table for us," Baxter added.
The coach felt that his side started tentatively but took control of the game once they shook the early nerves.
"We were nervy for the first quarter of the game, but I thought once we got control of the breakdown and we could create some good phase play, we looked a good side and we were more than a handful. In the end London Welsh could not hold on to us."
That said, Baxter insisted the Chiefs would take this latest win in context and report back in on Monday ready to prepare for a testing away-day trip to defending champions Harlequins this Saturday.
"The important thing is not to get carried away with ourselves now," he added.
"We have been quite critical of ourselves recently and people have been talking about whether we are on a bit of a slide.
"Obviously today is a massive relief to us and it’s five very valuable points at this time of the year. However, it shows what we have been saying, which is we have being playing OK, and sometimes you do things that force results and sometimes you get it wrong," Baxter explained.
"We keep saying we won’t get on an emotional rollercoaster when we lose, but when we win let's also not think everything is great.
"For us there are still lots to work on in our game. There were elements that were better, defensively we were sharper; our set-piece was better and we took a lot of our opportunities," The Exeter boss mentioned.
Baxter is not letting his side get ahead of themselves and understands that the position in the European Cup is still a long way away.