Yeandle thrilled to mark his first start for home-town club with a try
Exeter-born Jack Yeandle admitted it was a thrill to make a try-scoring first Aviva Premiership start for his home-town club last weekend.
Hooker Yeandle has made nine appearances for the Devon club since completing a move from Championship side Doncaster Knights over the summer.
However, Saturday’s 47-16 victory over London Welsh was the former Crediton player’s first top-flight game in the starting XV, and he marked the occasion with a vital try.
His touchdown was the first of five, coming at a time in the game when Chiefs were still showing some nerves after a run of five winless games in the Premiership.
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“It’s awesome,” said Yeandle. “It’s great to get the scoreline, great to get the big win, especially after the close run of games we have had. To turn that around and really put in that big performance was awesome for us.
“We have said to one another that we have been playing well in good patches with good phases, but haven’t been gelling and clicking to get that final score was awesome.”
Yeandle’s first-half try enabled Chiefs to take a 19-9 lead into the second half.
Four more tries followed from Tom Hayes, Damian Welch, Sireli Naqelevuki and Jack Nowell, and suddenly Chiefs looked like a team capable of challenging for a place in the top half of the table once more.
“There was a lot of nervous energy out there in the first half,” said Yeandle. “There was a bit of pressure on both teams but once we both settled into our game and got into our rhythm, we started playing rugby and the opportunities came.”
The 23-year-old, who signed a new deal with the club earlier this month, said Chiefs’ recent run had produced change of tack in their training sessions leading up to last weekend’s game.
They were clinical and tough against the Exiles and much of that came from the way they prepared.
“We have tried to be a little bit more clinical and harsh with each other in training,” said Yeandle. “We wanted to make sure that when we get scoring opportunities, we do actually finish them off.”
As well as Yeandle and Nowell, there were other young players who impressed for Chiefs against the Exiles. Alex Brown, who also joined Chiefs from Doncaster at the same time as time as Yeandle, and Dave Ewers also made positive impacts from the replacements’ bench.
“It’s outstanding to have guys so young performing at the highest level, they have got so many years ahead of them,” said Yeandle.
“For us, it is great doing that little run around during the warm-up, it is great hearing the crowd screaming for you. I’ve grown up watching and now I get to play here, it’s brilliant.”
A trip to league leaders Harlequins this weekend will refocus the mind, but Yeandle expects Chiefs to take their usual level-headed approach, regardless of their most recent performance.
He said: “We will have our analysis and do our reviews but then we will go heads-down and just roll into it.”