Exeter boss Rob Baxter heaped praise on his side's scrum as they overcame Cornish Pirates in the Premiership Rugby Cup at Sandy Park.
The Chiefs trailed 13-12 at half-time, but a dominant set piece laid the foundations for 26 unanswered points as they went on to win 38-13.
It was a second bonus-point win in as many games for Exeter in the cup.
"The scrum is the one thing that's really holding it all together," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.
"Last season anyone who watched us play will know that probably, with a scrum that's performing anywhere near like it is at the moment, we probably would have been a top four side.
"Games slipped away from us over and over again because it just put punctuation marks in every performance.
"We'd be away, we'd be in a very competitive game and we'd be at one end of the field and all of a sudden we'd be at the other end of the field based on the scrum.
"We've spent a lot of time and effort on that and we look to be reaping the rewards at the moment that Rob Hunter and Ross McMillan are doing, so that's going to be very important for us to create a solidity around what we do game by game."