The Devon club wrapped up their fourth Aviva Premiership campaign on Saturday with a 23-13 victory at Newcastle Falcons thanks in the main to tries from Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ben White and Fetu'u Vainikolo.
Young fly-half Henry Slade weighed in with the remainder of the visiting points to ensure the Chiefs claimed not only a league double over the Northerners, but also eighth place in the standings after 22 rounds of competitive action.
Moving forward, Aussie international Mumm - who took over the captaincy duties at the beginning of the season from Irishman Tom Hayes - believes the Chiefs are in good shape and says minor adjustments made this summer will ensure the club continue to develop.
“There were a lot of games where we didn’t lose by much against some quality teams - the teams that will be there when it comes to semi-finals and final time,” said Mumm. “You can take some solace from that, but there is also a little bit of heartache that we didn’t manage to close out those games.
“There is a lot to learn, but I think we have got a wonderful squad going forward. We have got some quality young players who are going to get better as the years go by. Luke Cowan-Dickie today was an example of that, so was Sam Hill and Henry Slade. Those guys will be even better next year and I am very excited about it.”
As the Chiefs have shown, head coach Rob Baxter is happy to go with the philosophy of 'if you're good enough, you're old enough' - and with at least 10 current players having experienced their first regular season of duty in the Premiership, the signs are certainly encouraging for the foreseeable future.
Blooding youthful stock, however, does mean there will be a period of transition and on occasions this year the Chiefs have fallen just short with seven of their Premiership defeats coming within at least a score. The low point, though, was their recent defeat to Sale Sharks when they suffered a record top flight on home soil.
Mumm and his team-mates were aware that performance was unacceptable and recent showings against both Harlequins and the Falcons helped to restore some pride within the ranks of the Chiefs.
“Importantly, in the last two games we have returned to the intensity we should play at,” added Mumm. “In terms of the breakdown, and the defence, there has been no hesitation, and our ball-carrying has been strong, so it has been a great finish for us and we are very happy.
“Newcastle is not the easiest place to go to and win, and strategically, we played very well. Early on, we probably didn’t play enough territory and they got some cheap points, but as the game went on we played territory really well, and credit to Sladey (Henry Slade), Dolly (Phil Dollman) and a few of the other backs for their ability to do that. That paid dividends, because once we got a lead we were able to hold onto it reasonably comfortably.”
As well as signing off with a win at the weekend, the Falcons trip also marked the final appearance in Exeter colours for forwards Hoani Tui and James Phillips, who along with the likes of Craig Mitchell, Romana Graham and Jason Shoemark are all heading for pastures new next season.
The 30-year-old said the absence of such experience within the Exeter changing room would be felt, particularly as they gave so much on and off the field, but stressed now was the time for others to step up to the mark.
“The guys who are leaving have played a huge part at the club,” continued Mumm. “We are losing Hoani (Tui), James Phillips, Craig Mitchell and Shoey (Jason Shoemark), and the guys who have retired as well.
“That is a huge hole culturally in the team, because they have really set the standard of what goes on and what has been the lie of the land in the previous four or five years with this squad. It is going to be a huge loss, but I suppose we must also see it as an opportunity to cement a culture going forward and one we are very proud of. Those guys have set a legacy, and it is up to those still at the club to live up to that.
“People in the outside world only see what happens week in and week out on the pitch, and therefore, if you see a big loss against Sale, you think something might be off or missing, but the other side of it is what those guys offer off the field and in the changing room day to day, and those things matter, and those things make a team over a season.”
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