Despite finishing top of the Premiership table with the second most points in history and making the final, Exeter Chiefs have had to contend with a lot of criticism this season due to their style of play.
South-West London locals. Later today @ExeterChiefs supporters will be amongst you. Contrary to stereotypes they will not:
– be driving tractors
– chewing straws
– drinking cider (before 10:00)
They will however be full of bonhomie and wish you good day. Do not be alarmed.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) June 1, 2019
There is no denying that the Chiefs are the leading exponents of the driving maul in the Premiership, and it brings a great number of points for them. With a bruising pack, they have also been accused of doing one too many pick and gos. However, with two of their outside backs in the RPA Players’ Player of the Year shortlist, Exeter fans have argued that they are not as one dimensional as some would suggest.
The club further defended themselves on Twitter recently, after Premiership Rugby shared a montage of their best tries this season. These tries showed the likes of Henry Slade, Santi Cordero and Tom O’Flaherty at their scintillating best, running in some of the best tries of the season.
Exeter commented on this post, saying: “Boring, boring Exeter Chiefs. It’s not all pick and go with us.”
Boring, boring @ExeterChiefs
It's not all pick and go with us, which is your favourite? https://t.co/ElIjBklTuF
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) May 30, 2019
Picking a Try of the Season for @exeterchiefs is going to be tough! ?
O'Flaherty's semi-final effort takes some beating, but these other scores may give him a run for his money ?
Which was your favourite from the #GallagherPrem finalists? ?
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 30, 2019
With two British and Irish Lions, Alex Cuthbert and Jack Nowell, in their back three, as well as the electric Cordero, it is understandable that the Chiefs feel slightly aggrieved that they have been branded a boring team throughout their campaign.
However, Exeter will frequently be compared to Champions Cup winners Saracens, who certainly play the more expansive style of rugby between the two. Then again, Exeter have clearly shown what they can do out wide this season.
The two meet in the Premiership final tomorrow, and as shown in the past, Exeter will need to exhibit more than brute force up front to overcome an equally, if not more formidable Saracens pack.
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