Gareth Steenson: Exeter Chiefs determined to sign off season with victory over Gloucester
By Tony Tighe. Last Updated: 04/05/13 1:52pm
Gareth Steenson: Has scored 219 points for Exeter in this season's Aviva Premiership
Gareth Steenson says Exeter Chiefs are determined to finish their season with a flourish against Gloucester on Saturday.
Victory for Exeter over their West Country rivals will ensure a fifth-place finish in the Aviva Premiership for the second successive season and qualification for the Heineken Cup.
"We finished fifth last year to but to repeat that would be an even bigger achievement after having the added challenge of the Heineken Cup."
The Chiefs have produced a superb late run of form, winning five of their last six outings, and Steenson is determined to finish the job at Sandy Park against the Cherry and Whites.
The 29-year-old said: "It's a local derby and it's nice that we have the opportunity to go above them in the league. There'll be a full house at Sandy Park so we're really looking forward to it.
"We're always talking about trying to improve as a club. We finished fifth last year to but to repeat that would be an even bigger achievement after having the added challenge of the Heineken Cup. To qualify for that competition again would be fantastic.
"We wanted to be in the position where we didn't have to worry about other results going our way. We're enjoying our rugby at the minute and want to finish the season on a high."
Steenson has been one of the Premiership's form players this season, scoring 219 points for the Chiefs and featuring in all but one of their league outings.
After enduring frustration in the previous campaign when he struggled to nail down a starting spot, the Ulsterman is now thriving from a regular run of games.
"I feel I have improved as the season has progressed; I've learnt things about myself and am really happy about how things are going," he said.
"I think that whenever you get to play games on a regular basis you get that confidence and a feel for the players around you. You get comfortable in what we're looking to achieve.
"If you know what you and the team want to achieve, it gives you the confidence to go out and perform to the best of your ability. It's just a mindset really from there."
With Jonathan Sexton heading Down Under with the Lions, there have been calls for Steenson to be included in the Ireland squad for their upcoming North American tour, but the Dungannon native isn't getting his hopes up.
"I've no control over those sort of things," he said. "If something like that was to come along it would be great but as far as I'm concerned I've one game left this season."