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A breath of fresh air for the Premiership
Chiefs to finish clear of relegation
Posted Oct 21, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Exeter Chiefs have been a breath of fresh air in the Aviva Premiership this season and, despite being third bottom presently I believe they will be able to stay up and build upon the foundations laid this year.
The Devon club have invested heavily and wisely in their squad and they are reaping the benefits in the country’s elite league. So far they have won two and lost three of their five matches but they have gone about their rugby in the right way, looking to attack and score points.
It is this excitement that endears me to them and gives me the belief that they will be just fine this season.
So what makes them tick? Well, firstly they have an extremely accomplished kicker in Gareth Steenson who has so far bagged 82 points in all competitions and they have a back in Mark Foster capable of scoring tries against the best defences.
It is these foundations that give the newly-promoted club an edge over their rivals at the bottom. And the fact that they face Leeds Carnegie, Sale (both home) and Wasps (away) in the next five league fixtures should be enough to put some breathing space between them and the bottom clubs.
I think the Chiefs will be happy to finish second bottom and avoid the drop this season, but I honestly believe they can expect better than that.
I’m tipping them to finish ninth out of 12 this year and then kick on next season. Maybe this is a brave prediction, maybe it’s conservative, only time will tell.