Henry Slade shrugged off the disappointment of being dropped from England's Six Nations squad by scoring 14 points in Exeter's bonus point 34-15 win over Leicester Tigers in their Premiership clash on Friday.
The 23-year-old kicker's contribution, which was watched by England coach Eddie Jones who omitted him from the squad to play Scotland on Saturday week, helped Exeter close the gap to leaders Wasps to just a point.
The day's other match saw Northampton stay in contention for a play-off place, the Saints trouncing Sale 32-12.
Wasps have a tricky trip to fourth-placed Bath on Saturday and third-placed Saracens, the defending champions, round off the weekend's play away at Newcastle.
Exeter bounced back from conceding an early try to the Tigers -- Michele Rizzo touching down.
Kai Horstmann rounded off the week which saw him sign a new contract with the Chiefs with a try carved out of determination in blocking Owen Williams's kick and touching down, Slade converting.
Williams made up for his blocked effort in restoring the lead to the Tigers with a penalty but then Slade converted a penalty of his own for 10-8.
The visitors extended their lead in a disastrous passage of play for Leicester.
Hosts captain, former England hooker Tom Youngs pulled down the maul and was yellow-carded with the referee awarding a penalty try -- the Chiefs 10th of the campaign and Slade knocked over the conversion.
The Chiefs had to wait till over nine minutes of Youngs sin-binning had elapsed before adding to their total, Stu Townsend scoring his first try for the club -- Slade converting for 24-8.
Slade added another three points just before the break to put the visitors in a commanding position.
Leicester clawed their way back in as a try by France international Maxime Mermoz reduced the deficit early in the second-half -- Williams converting.
The hosts chances of turning things round increased as former player Geoff Parling was sin-binned for offside but it was the Chiefs who scored points in his absence to kill off the game.
Mitch Lees stormed over and Slade added the extras to leave the hosts demoralised and well beaten.