Worcester Warriors will pose a threat, says Gareth Steenson
Gareth Steenson insists Exeter Chiefs will not be underestimating struggling Worcester Warriors when Premiership action returns to Sandy Park on Saturday.
The Chiefs have come through the opening two rounds of the Heineken Cup with a job well done, sitting on top of what is an incredibly tight Pool Two.
They are sixth in the Premiership, and will be red hot favourites to dispose of a Worcester side lying bottom of the table, with only two points, and without a win in any competition this season.
However, even though the Midlanders went down 29-15 at home to Sale Sharks in the Amlin Cup on Saturday, in their last away game, seven days before, they managed a 9-9 draw at French Top 14 Championship side Oyonnax.
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The French outfit are a very tough nut to crack on their own patch, having already beaten European champions Toulon, Heineken Cup runners-up Clermont Auvergne and French title holders Castres there this season, so Worcester are showing signs of improvement under new director of rugby Dean Ryan.
"They are a good side, whichever way you look at it," said fly-half Steenson, who was in fine kicking form again in Exeter's 20-16 Heineken Cup defeat at Glasgow last Sunday.
"There is no team in the Premiership who isn't a good side, and if you are off your game slightly, you are going to lose. It's as simple as that.
"We are going to be hurting a wee bit from Sunday, so we have got to get ourselves back into Premiership mode pretty quickly.
"We just bounce through games and it will be nice to be back at Sandy Park, in front of hopefully a good crowd, as we get back into the bread and butter of the Premiership."
Expectation levels were going through the roof after the dazzling 44-29 victory over Cardiff Blues in the opening round of the Heineken Cup, so a defeat to Glasgow was greeted with an element of disappointment.
However, the Warriors, whose line-up was stacked full of internationals, have only lost once this season in seven games, so a losing bonus point should not be sniffed at by Exeter.
"I think the way the game panned out, to come away with a point at the end of the game was very pleasing, considering we weren't in bonus-point range with only a few minutes to go," said Irishman Steenson.
"The conditions were tough, but we were in a good position at half-time, and then we just seemed to make a few silly mistakes which let them into the game.
"Fair play to them, they took their chances when they had them, but we will take the bonus point."
Steenson's boot had helped give Exeter a 9-6 interval lead, despite facing the elements in the opening 40 minutes.
"We were playing into a breeze in the first half, and to come in at the break three points up was credit to the boys," said Steenson. "They came out and stuck it to us in the second half, they carried the ball really well and we just made a couple of unforced errors which ultimately put them a couple of scores up.
"We are going to be better for the experience though. If we look at where we were last year at this point in the Heineken Cup, we are now sitting with six points as opposed to one. The progression is fantastic, and it is all about building and getting better."