Hunter hails Simmonds as he finds tryline once more


Exeter Chiefs forwards coach Rob Hunter hailed the performance of young back rower Sam Simmonds as he scored yet another try in the 34-24 home win over Newcastle Falcons.

The 22-year-old scored his fifth Premiership try of the season, his eighth in 12 league games, and his 12th in 17 matches in all competitions.

“Sam is keeping it really simple for himself and he is playing really well,” said Hunter.

“He is confident and he is enjoying it, and we are trying to get him on the ball as often as we can, and he is working hard to get his hands on the ball and the lads are working hard to try and get him the ball as well, and when you have got somebody in form like that, who is so dangerous really, he is low to the ground, he has got really quick feet and he is fast and powerful, it is enjoyable seeing him every time he touches the ball, because you think something is going to happen, and it is a very nice thing to have in our armoury.”

And with the equally prolific Thomas Waldrom set to return from a broken foot against Glasgow in the Champions Cup next weekend, Exeter are set to have a very great selection problem at No.8.

“That is going to be a nice situation to have,” said Hunter. “Maybe they might play together, because when you have two guys threaten- ing the defensive line, it actually creates space for other people.”

Speaking about the performance in general, Hunter said: “It was a good five points against a side who was joint top of the table going into the game, and six matches in you have got to take notice of that, so we are pretty pleased but plenty of stuff to take a look at during the review on Monday morning,” said Hunter.

“We put a lot of effort into the first half and I think both sides were a little bit punched out in the second period and it died down a little bit, but I think we did a lot of damage in that opening 40 minutes.

“As we rolled into the second half, our forwards were pretty good, we drove pretty well, we scrummaged pretty well, and we controlled the territory pretty well.

“To be fair we had a few loose moments in there, and you have got to give credit to Newcastle, they are walking away from Sandy Park with a bonus point, which is not something that happens regularly.

“There might be a few embarrassed faces next week when one or two things we did get replayed. That loose stuff isn’t really what we want to do. We want to be tougher than that, and we are going to need to be as we go through the season.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.