Yeandle expects a response at Sale

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Exeter Chiefs captain Jack Yeandle talks to the media following his side's narrow home defeat to Northampton Saints on Saturday. Picture:

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs captain Jack Yeandle is confident lessons will be learnt in the aftermath of his side’s narrow defeat to Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership.

The defending champions saw their three-game winning streak brought to an abrupt halt by Chris Boyd’s side as they secured a first win at Sandy Park since 2014 with a 13-12 success in Round 10.

Shaun Adendorff’s converted first half try, coupled with two second half penalties from Piers Francis, proved just enough for the visitors to edge out the Chiefs, who were left to rue a series of missed opportunities themselves.

Yeandle got on the scoresheet himself in the opening 40 minutes, before Sam Skinner stole over for the home side’s second try with just over a minute to go.

That set-up the opportunity for replacement Joe Simmonds to kick a match-winning conversion from the right touchline, but as he sized up what was a testing shot in the difficult conditions, a flurry of Saints players - led by Ollie Sleightholme - charged down the ball, leaving the Exeter playmaker somewhat baffled.

Post-game, Yeandle gave an honest and frank assessment of his side’s display, which he admitted had left them all feeling ‘very frustrated’.

“No loss is ever a happy feeling in the changing room afterwards,” said Yeandle. “It was a close game and full credit to Saints for the way they played. They held us up very well, even thought we had plenty of opportunities.

“I thought their defence stood strong, they kept us out and, in the end, we left it all a little too late. We got the try at the end, had the kick (or not the kick in this case) from the touchline, but we just didn’t have enough.”

Now, the Chiefs hooker is looking for an immediate response from him and his team-mates as they prepare to face Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium this Friday (7:45pm).

“Hopefully, we can learn from today and the mistakes we made,” he added. “We’ve got a few days to put things right and then we’ll look to go hard into next week’s game.

“Going to Sale, you know it’s going to be a big, physical challenge. They have a big pack, they like to get in your face, so we have to front up.”

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