By Ben Hart

Alex Goode joked he was relieved to finally cap a milestone appearance with a win after kicking the deciding penalty in Saracens’ 22-20 triumph over Exeter Chiefs.

Despite being greeted with a chorus of boos in overtime as he lined up for his first kick of the season, substitute Goode held his nerve to ensure Saracens continued their unbeaten start to the Premiership season.

And victory was all the sweeter for the nerveless Goode, who made his 338th Saracens appearance at Sandy Park and is now tied with Kris Chesney for most all-time appearances in red and black.

“I’m very proud, it’s obviously a lot or rugby, to do it at a club that I love is fantastic really and with a win like that I couldn’t wish for many better – not many of my milestones have I actually won, so it’s quite nice to actually win one,” said Goode.

“Nobody was going to take the ball off me at the end there, I was determined to get that kick and luckily I did.

“A big shout out to the pack for getting that scrum at the end and giving me an opportunity.

“As soon as I kicked it I knew it was going over. It’s very rare that I turn that quickly, I was pretty confident and it was a great reaction from the boys.”

Saracens were on the back foot for much of the afternoon with a determined Chiefs side enjoying vastly more possession and territory.

Mark McCall’s men crossed just once, through Theo McFarland in the first half, but ultimately made better use of their opportunities, with Goode, Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly all chipping in with vital points from the tee.

“It wasn’t our best, it wasn’t pretty at times but in terms of fight and sticking together and sticking it out especially that first half with yellow cards, I thought we were outstanding in that aspect,” said Goode.

“I think we’ve played some brilliant rugby this year and attacked so well. To see us fight like that, to grind it out, to stick in there, the physical battle that it was, you know you’re going to have a hostile crowd down here and there are things to work on but the fight, the physicality, the effort was there in spades, and we never gave up.”

Saracens’ sixth league victory ensured their status as league-leaders for another week which sets them up nicely ahead of a crunch encounter with second-placed Sale Sharks at the StoneX Stadium on 30 October.

And Goode warned they will be caught by their closest rivals if they allow themselves to become complacent.

“We’re under no illusions, we’ve made a great start and are getting better and better each week, but we’ve got to keep doing that,” he said.

“People will catch up with us if we rest on our laurels.”