The Irishman marked his 100th Premiership appearance for the Devon club by playing a key role in his side’s 33-17 victory at a sold out Sandy Park.
Scrum-half Will Chudley helped himself to a brace of tries for Rob Baxter’s team, whilst there were also touchdowns for Thomas Waldrom, James Short and Tom Johnson.
Exeter’s win - their sixth in seven top flight starts this season - helped the Chiefs to maintain their position within the division’s top two and ensured they finished 2015 on a high note.
Post-match, Steenson was quick to highlight the club’s latest success, saying: “We absolutely delighted to have got the win, especially in front of a sell-out crowd here at Sandy Park. The crowd were fantastic throughout and although it wasn’t the conditions we hoped for, to come away with the five points is brilliant.”
In yet another home fixture played in testing conditions, the Chiefs did well to hold their rivals at bay against a strong first half wind. With the scores locked at 10-10 at the break, Exeter even had to fight back when Josh Beaumont stole over for a converted score early in the second half.
Chudley’s second try just moments later restored the home lead and from there on it was the Chiefs who ruled supreme.
“Going in at 10-10 was pretty good for us,” said the 31-year-old playmaker. “We then had the wake up call with the try early in the second half, but credit to the lads they stuck in there, we did what we had to do, and we came away with the result.”
Ahead of kick-off, the Dunganndon-Born back was given a rousing welcome onto the pitch as he became only the second Exeter player - Matt Jess is the other - to have made 100 Premiership appearances.
“It was very special,” said Steenson. “Jessy is the only other guy at the club to have done it, so I’m sure when the times comes it will be something for me to look back on. Already I’ve achieved a few milestones in my career, including getting my 150 appearances earlier this season, but for now I’ll worry more about next week [at Northampton] because we have a short turnaround leading into that game.”
The Chiefs will head to Franklin’s Gardens in high spirits, but also mindful of the fact that the Saints - who suffered a surprise loss at London Irish on Saturday - will be looking to not only bounce back from that setback, but also avenge last season’s Exeter double.
“They are going to be smarting a wee bit,” continued Steenson, who is fast closing in on Tony Yapp’s all-time Exeter points record. “Northampton, though, is a great place to go and play, so we’re looking forward to it, especially as it’s going to be another sell-out crowd.
“As a player these are the types of games you want to be involved in. Yes they’ll be hurting, especially after the Irish result, but we know it’s going to be a big physical test up there. The key for us this week is to get our bodies fresh, make the most of the short turnaround, and prepare as best we can.
“Today was a great result for us, but there are still things for us to work on. It’s great when you get five points like we did, but know you can still play better. Hopefully we can push on again next week and into the New Year.”
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