Yeandle celebrates maiden score
By Mark Stevens
Jack Yeandle admitted some tough internal talking helped to get the Exeter Chiefs back to winning ways with victory over London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.
Without a win in their five previous top flight fixtures, the Chiefs responded in fine fashion as they ran in five tries during a dominant 47-16 display against the Exiles at Sandy Park.
Making his first Premiership start for the Devon club since his switch from Championships side Doncaster Knights last summer, Yeandle helped play a key role in that success story as he claimed Exeter's opening try when he burrowed over from close range in the first half.
Remarking on his maiden score, he said: “It’s awesome, it’s great to get the scoreline and great to get the big win, especially after the close run of games we have had. To turn that around and really put in that big performance was awesome for us. We have said to one another that we have been playing well in good patches with good phases, but haven’t been gelling and clicking to get that final score was awesome.”
With Rob Baxter's side desperate to rediscover their winning formula, the Chiefs scrapped out a nervy first quarter before flexing their muscles impressively against last season's Championship winners.
“There was a lot of nervous energy out there in the first half,” admitted the Exeter hooker. “There was a bit of pressure on both teams, but once we both settled into our game and got into our rhythm, we started playing rugby and the opportunities came.”
The 23-year-old, who signed a new deal with the club earlier this month, said Chiefs’ recent run had produced a change of tack in their training sessions leading up to last weekend’s game - and a more clinical approach had been sought from the squad as a whole.
“We have tried to be a little bit more clinical and harsh with each other in training,” said Yeandle. “We wanted to make sure that when we get scoring opportunities, we do actually finish them off.”
Alongside Exeter-born Yeandle, a number of the club's other rising stars again impressed with Jack Nowell also on the scoresheet; and Alex Brown and Dave Ewers also flourishing when they came off the replacements' bench in the second half.
Indeed, this season has seen the emergence of several of Exeter's Academy starlets onto the big stage and Yeandle says the fact so many of them are local to the area is something that supporters and players alike can quickly warm too.
“It’s outstanding to have guys so young performing at the highest level, they have got so many years ahead of them,” admitted Yeandle. “For us, it is great doing that little run around during the warm-up, it is great hearing the crowd screaming for you. I’ve grown up watching and now I get to play here, it’s brilliant.”