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Whitten Keen To Kick On
Whitten Keen To Kick On
16th February 2015
After four successive defeats in the last block of top flight fixtures, Rob Baxter’s side rediscovered their winning formula with an outstanding display that yielded six tries at Sandy Park.
Fly-half Henry Slade claimed 19 points for the Devon club, including a first half try, and there were touchdowns for Jack Nowell, Thomas Waldrom, Phil Dollman and Haydn Thomas, as well as a Penalty Try.
In reply, the Falcons - who trailed 32-3 at the break - countered with converted second half scores from Ruki Tipuna and skipper Will Welch, but by then the damage had already been inflicted on Dean Richards’ men.
For Whitten, though, the final outcome was a favourable one and he hopes the Chiefs can maintain their good form when they visit Harlequins in the Premiership this Saturday.
“We played well and it was nice to get a good positive result,” said the Lisburn-born back. “We had a tough run in the Premiership so it was nice to come in with a win ourselves.
“They (Newcastle) have been doing really well this year, played a good brand of rugby and won their last few games. It was a tough match but we came out the right side of it and it was nice to score a few tries as well, so we are pleased with that one.”
Saturday’s win lifted the Chiefs back into the top three momentarily, but with Saracens and Wasps both winning 24 hours later, they will head to the capital this weekend nicely placed in fifth spot.
“It’s a big game at Harlequins as they play some lovely rugby,” added Whitten. “It will be a tough game defensively so we will have to be on our game and not be resting on our laurels.”
And the former Ulster back says having got themselves back amongst the division’s frontrunners, it’s vital the Chiefs maintain their course over the coming weeks.
He continued: “When you get to these high points, it is about staying there and consolidating your position. A few losses can see you slip back down. It is about winning games at this stage of the season, collecting points and giving ourselves the best chance to be up there at the end of the season.”
Exeter’s stunning first half display set the tone for their latest league triumph and Whitten insisted it was just the tonic they needed on their return to Premiership duty.
“It is nice to score tries and get points on the board and it gives the lads a boost, especially after a tough run in the Premiership,” he said. “But we got some good results in the European Cup and LV= Cup so there is a bit of good feeling around the club now and hopefully we can keep that going.”