'I love scoring tries' - Sam Simmonds breaks one try scoring record but he's still chasing 23-year-old milestone
Exeter forwards coach Rob Hunter was full of praise for number eight Sam Simmonds after his brace saw him break the record for tries scored in a Premiership season by a forward.
Sam Simmonds took his tally for this campaign to 16 as Exeter were convincing 41-10 comeback winners over Worcester at a blustery and rain-sodden Sandy Park.
Henry Slade, Dave Ewers, Stu Townsend and Jacques Vermeulen also scored tries for Exeter with Joe Simmonds kicking a penalty and four conversions as Chiefs moved back into second place in the Gallagher Premiership table.
Francois Venter scored Worcester’s try with Jamie Shillcock adding a penalty and a conversion.
Hunter said: “It’s a fantastic testament to the way Sam works and it’s a special achievement for any player.
“With 45 mile-per-hour winds and rain forecast we would have taken a bonus-point victory as it is important that we control our own destiny.
“We were pretty calm at half-time (trailing 10-8) as we knew we had to keep it simple and keep our discipline for if we got close to their line we knew the scores would come.”
Breaking the try-scoring record capped a terrific week for Sam Simmonds, who on Thursday celebrated his call-up for the British and Irish Lions.
He said: “I love scoring tries and I’ve got four regular games to go to try and score the two tries to break the Premiership record for any player.
"If you tuck your ball under your arm and run straight they [South Africa] love that sort of thing, so I was conscious of having balance in our back row"#LionsRugby #Lions2021 #Lions
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 6, 2021
“It helps when players like Dave Ewers and Franny (Tomas Francis) keep forcing me over.
“It was a tough first half in those conditions but it was about staying in the game so we were happy to go in at half-time only two points down.
“We played in the right areas in the second half and we just knew we had to stick to our jobs.”
The only blot on Exeter’s day was a further injury to wing Jack Nowell, who limped off midway through the second half.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 8, 2021
Hunter said: “I’m not sure yet what the problem is but Jack has had a horrible run of injuries with a number of knock-backs in terms of rehab but he’s a very professional guy so he will work through it.”
Worcester head coach Jonathan Thomas believed the final score was harsh on his battling Warriors.
He said: “In the first half, we played the conditions really well but didn’t capitalise as I thought we had the better set-piece.
“We were disappointed to concede the eight points before the interval – their try was a breakaway one and the penalty came at the scrum after Fin (Smith) had kicked the ball dead.
“Discipline killed us in the second half, you can’t afford to concede 13 or 14 penalties in a match, but the scoreline doesn’t reflect the effort we put in although I’m disappointed at the way we fell away.”
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