Head coach Ali Hepher insists Exeter will ‘stay hungry’ to secure the Gallagher Premiership title this season.


The Chiefs overwhelmed Northampton with an astonishing 54 points in 48 minutes to win 57-7.

It was all the more incredible as Northampton came to Sandy Park knowing that a win would put them top of the table.

But tries from Jonny Hill, Elvis Taione, Jannes Kirsten, Tom Hendrickson (2), Ben Moon, Tom O’Flaherty and Sam Simmonds, along with a penalty and five conversions from fly-half Joe Simmonds and two conversions by his replacement Gareth Steenson, sent the Saints crashing.

Northampton’s only consolation was they were not whitewashed as fly-half James Grayson crossed for a second-half try that he converted himself.

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It puts Exeter eight points clear of second-placed Sale Sharks, and the journey continues next week with a trip to Harlequins, who lost to Bath on Saturday.

Hepher said: “That is a massive game. They will be hungry after yesterday and we have got to make sure we are in the right frame of mind.

“There is another four or five points up for grabs and we have to have an appetite to go after them.


“That is the secret for us going forward. We have to make sure we stay hungry.”

Hepher explained: “We don’t want to take our foot off the pedal.

“There is plenty to improve on from today and we will do that on Tuesday morning and get on with it.”

The first half-hour was turgid with one Simmonds penalty dividing the teams and Hepher added: “We were disappointed with the early part of the game. They are a good side and are high in the league for a reason.

“We were a bit slow in the way we played the game. We wanted to up the tempo and speed of the game.

“Equally, there was a lot of good stuff in the second half and the guys fought relentlessly for the points.”

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd was philosophical after the hammering, saying: “I just said to someone after the game that 57, 27, 37 does not bother me.

“We chased the game at the end and coughed up some soft tries.

“We got to 34 minutes and it was 8-0 and the plan was to try and get through the first 40 minutes with minimal damage and see if we could bring some fresh guys on at half-time, which was a pre-planned move.

“Between 34 minutes and 40 minutes, eight became 22 and then we chased the game.”

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