Chris Whitehead expects more from Exeter
Chris Whitehead knows it is a sign of how far Exeter Chiefs have come that they were frustrated to leave Northampton Saints with a losing bonus point - but the hooker insists it still didn't make the journey home any easier.
The Chiefs headed to Franklin's Gardens full of confidence having doused the flames of excitement for a new-look Sale Sharks in round one of the Aviva Premiership, putting them convincingly to the sword 43-6 at Sandy Park.
But Northampton proved a tougher nut to crack and although they fought back twice - from an early 12-0 deficit to lead 13-12 at half-time and again when trailing by eight points with just two minutes left on the clock - Exeter had to settle for a losing bonus point, going down 24-21.
This means the Saints keep up their unbeaten home record against the Chiefs and with this dismal record in mind you would think that those in the white of Exeter would have been thrilled to leave Northampton with something to show for their efforts.
But while Whitehead admits this might have been the case two season's ago in their debut campaign, the 26-year-old insists it was a very different mood in the camp this time around.
"The overall feeling in the dressing room after the game was one of frustration and missed opportunities as that was as good a chance as any to come away with a victory," he said.
"In our first season in the Premiership if we had come away from Northampton with a losing bonus point it would have almost felt as though we had won the World Cup."
"But the third time around it is a different story and we were frustrated come the final whistle because we felt they had scored through our mistakes."
"Fair play to Northampton for making the most of them and that is what the top sides do, they punish you for your errors and make you pay."
To read more go to exeterchiefs.co.uk
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