Gareth Steenson: Exeter Chiefs aim to be Premiership champions

Exeter score a try
Sam Simmonds' late try ensured Exeter's place in a second successive Premiership final

Exeter Chiefs have improved enough this season to win their first Premiership title, says captain Gareth Steenson.

The Chiefs face Wasps in next weekend's final at Twickenham after dramatically beating European champions Saracens in Saturday's semi-final at Sandy Park.

"We're in a much different place. Even in the changing room after the game it feels different," Exeter fly-half Steenson told BBC Sport.

"We've talked very much about building and being champions this year."

Exeter, who were promoted to the top flight for the first time in 2010, lost to Saracens in last season's Twickenham showpiece after a poor first half.

But they made amends by scoring in the final seconds in front of a partisan home crowd to overcome Sarries, who looked to be heading for a shot at a third successive domestic title after a late try of their own.

"Maybe last year wasn't exactly the same way of thinking, maybe we were just happy to be in that final," added Ulsterman Steenson, who kicked eight points in Exeter's win.

"It was our first experience and a lot of people say you've got to go through finals and lose them to put yourself in a good position."

'We expect a bit more of ourselves'

Steenson's thoughts were echoed by forwards coach Rob Hunter, who felt Saturday's win over Saracens was the high point of his Exeter career.

"It was probably, in some respects, bigger than the final last year," said Hunter.

"The final was a grand day out last year, it was all very new to us, whereas this year we're a different side, we expect a little bit more of ourselves.

"We've been there before, we're a bit more resilient, we've got a bit more experience.

"Two months into this season we did what we should have said in the changing room last year after the final, which was 'how do we win this next year', rather that 'it's been a great season'."

Top Stories