Bath deny Exeter Chiefs again

Bath remained ubeaten by Exeter Chiefs at The Recreation Ground when they held on to win 23-15 in the Aviva Premiership.


Exeter have not beaten Bath in a competitive game since a 1st round tie at the County Ground in 1978.

The home side Bath started like a train, controlling possession from the outset,
and it didn’t take them long to hit the front.

Nick Abendanon’s jinking run set up Ben Williams to score in the right-hand
corner after Gonzalo Camacho had missed two tackles in quick succession.

They weren’t the last tackles the Chiefs would miss either as they struggled
to deal with the relentless waves of attacks from the hosts.

Several defenders made a meal of bringing down Francois Louw after quarter of
an hour and that allowed Stephen Donald to find Kyle Eastmond in acres of space
on the right wing and he coasted over in the corner.

The visitors finally got some possession midway through the half and they did
briefly show a glimpse of the form that has made them the second top try-scorers
in the league this season, with Jason Shoemark and Tom Johnson giving Brett
Sturgess the chance to trundle over in the corner.

Bath were dominant for the most part though and they added a late penalty from
World Cup-winning fly-half Donald to make it 15-5 at the break.

Exeter improved in the early stages of the second half and reduced the deficit
with a Steenson penalty but the hosts hit them with another killer blow moments
later as the impressive Eastmond and Abendanon shipped the ball out for Louw
to score.

Still the Chiefs refused to lie down though and, after Dan Hipkiss was sent
to the sin bin with quarter of an hour remaining, replacement Ignacio Mieres
took advantage of the extra man by using an overlap as a decoy and stepping
inside Tom Biggs to score.

Hipkiss never re-entered the fray as he was given a second yellow card whilst
in the sin bin for getting involved and interfering with the ball when he shouldn’t
have and that added to a nervous end to the match for his side.

A late Donald penalty made the victory safe though and, despite an almost endless
period of added time as the hosts pushed for a bonus point try and Exeter looked
for a losing bonus point, that was the final score of the game and Bath deservedly
recorded their fourth win of the campaign.

Final Score Bath 23 (15) Exeter 15 (5)


Scorers


Bath
Tries: Williams, Eastmond, Louw
Penalties: Donald 2
Conversions: Donald


Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Sturgess, Mieres
Penalties: Steenson
Conversions: Mieres


Match Officials
Referee:
Wayne Barnes (111th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe.
TMO: Geoff Warren.


Teams


Bath


15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.


Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.


Exeter Chiefs


15 Luke Arscott , 14 Gonzalo Camacho , 13 Phil Dollman , 12 Jason Shoemark , 11 Matt Jess , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Haydn Thomas ,1 Brett Sturgess , 2 Simon Alcott , 3 Carl Rimmer , 4 Dean Mumm , 5 James Hanks , 6 Tom Johnson , 7 James Scaysbrook , 8 Richard Baxter


Replacements : 16 Chris Whitehead , 17 Ben Moon , 18 Chris Budgen , 19 Aly Muldowney , 20 Dave Ewers , 21 Kevin Barrett , 22 Ignacio Mieres , 23 Ian Whitten

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