Luke Cowan-Dickie believes Exeter Chiefs reaped the benefits of keeping the ball alive as they beat Ospreys 36-22 on Saturday.
The Sandy Park outfit found themselves 10-8 down at half-time at home in the LV= Cup but they turned the screw up front in the second half and kept the ball in the hand more to score four tries.
Even when the Welshmen fought back to level at 22-22 midway through the second period, Exeter stuck to their guns and claimed two more scores to wrap up the victory.
That sees them in with a chance of making the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh tournament, and Cowan-Dickie was pleased with the display.
“It’s always good to get a few wins in the bag,” said the hooker, who scored a try in each half.
“I thought it was a bit slow in the first half, they got on top of us, but in the second half we came out firing and got the result.
“We said at half-time we wanted to keep the ball in hand. It was our mistakes that were keeping them on top in the first half.
“We wanted to carry hard and get our leg drive going, get quick ball and win the race to every ball.”
The 20-year-old added: “We always knew they were going to be good in the third quarter, that’s when they get most of their tries and when they get on top.
“We knew it was coming but they still managed to get a couple of tries, which makes it frustrating. But we knew what we had to do and we stayed on task and came through in the end.”
Exeter will know precisely what is at stake by the time they face Worcester in their final group game next weekend as Pool Two leaders Sale travel to face the Ospreys on Friday evening, while second-placed Leicester host unbeaten Bath.
If the Sharks score four tries or more in victory, the Chiefs will be unable to reach the last four, with the final to be played at Sandy Park in March.
Cowan-Dickie said the players will approach Saturday’s game looking to win and score several tries in the process.
“As you don’t play the other teams in your pool, we have to wait for a few other results,” he said.
“We’ll just look to do the same again, score loads of tries and hopefully get a win with a bonus point.”
Cowan-Dickie was one of ten Academy products who featured for the Chiefs against Ospreys, and three of them have been rewarded with new three-year Academy deals.
Centre Tom Hendrickson, back Max Bodilly and scrum-half Jack Oulton have signed deals that will take them through until summer 2017, although Academy deals are reviewed annually.
Cornishman Cowan-Dickie has appeared in the last three matches, having been injured at the start of the campaign before getting two matches while on dual-registration terms with Plymouth Albion.
He hopes to get another chance to impress against Worcester and stake a claim for a place in the squad for a Premiership match.
“It’s been a good period for people like me, with the Heineken and LV games, it’s given us a chance to get game-time for Exeter,” said Cowan-Dickie.
“Next week is another game, I’ll be doing a few extras this week and hopefully get selected again and then try to put in another big performance.”
“Rob [Baxter] always give the boys a chance, no matter what the game,” he added. “If he thinks you’re playing well, he’ll give you a shot.
“It’s good for all us young boys to get on the pitch and show what we can do, and hopefully twist a few heads and get in the Premiership side.”