Chiefs on the winning path
REACTION: Ollie Devoto insists Exeter Chiefs must use their victory at Newcastle Falcons as the springboard to continue climbing up the Premiership table.
Rob Baxter’s side claimed their first top flight win since late September when they triumphed 32-19 at Kingston Park last Friday.
Summer signing Devoto set the ball rolling for the visitors, scoring his maiden try for the Chiefs inside the opening few minutes, before teammates Thomas Waldrom, James Short and Will Chudley followed him over the whitewash.
It was a much-needed victory for the Devonians, who will now be looking to build on the recent upturn in form when Worcester Warriors are the visitors to Sandy Park this Saturday.
"It was a good win for us," said Devoto. "To get four tries against anyone in the league, particularly away from home, is fantastic and we’re really pleased with the result.
"Now, though, we have to back it up against Worcester this weekend. We’re playing at home, we love playing at Sandy Park, and we can’t wait to get going again,"
Standing in the way of the Chiefs this weekend will be a Warriors side, who have yet to beat their hosts in eight previous top-flight meetings.
It’s a healthy record by any standard, but England international Devoto knows the Chiefs can ill afford to take the Midlanders lightly.
"They are a very good side with some top quality players," he warned. "Any team in the division is capable of beating one another, so we have to prepare well this week and be ready to match what they bring to the game.
"There are elements of our game which still need to improve, defensively we’re still not trusting the system enough and conceding a few too many penalties, but if we can get that right and add to our attacking shape which is coming together nicely, then we can really look to take teams apart,"
Certainly, in attack the Chiefs looked pretty clinical against the Falcons with Devoto delighted to get himself up and running with his first points for the club.
"It was pretty lucky if I’m being honest, the ball just appeared in my hands," explained the 23-year-old after he intercepted a pass from Newcastle scrumhalf Micky Young.
Even then Devoto still had plenty to do, racing from just outside his own 22 to the try-line, outpacing Falcons flyer Marcus Watson in the process.
"I just had to pin my ears back and hope for the best," he joked. "I was chuffed to get over in the end!"
The Falcons win, coupled with an impressive win over Cardiff Blues the week previous, have proved the perfect pick-me-up for the Chiefs after suffering late heartache against Ulster and Bath in recent times.
"They were tough results to take," continued Devoto. "In both games, we put ourselves in a position to win, so to come away with very little from both games was tough to take. The last few weeks, however, things have improved and as a squad, we definitely think we’re moving in the right direction,"