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Match report

2 years ago

Bath Rugby battle back to draw at Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs 12 v 12 Bath Rugby

29 December 2012, KO 15:00

Sandy Park
AVIVA Premiership

Penalty | Steenson 12' Try | Claassens 16' Substitution | Alcott <> Clark 40' Penalty | Steenson 42' Penalty | Steenson 43' Penalty | Steenson 50' Substitution | Donald <> Heathcote 50' Substitution | Devoto <> Williams 52' Substitution | Sturgess <> Moon 54' Substitution | Caldwell <> Hooper 55' Substitution | James <> Beech 60' Substitution | Claassens <> McMillan 63' Substitution | Muldowney <> Johnson 63' Substitution | Mumm <> Hanks 63' Substitution | Tui <> Rimmer 68' Substitution | Wilson <> Perenise 68' Substitution | Beech <> James 69' Substitution | Skirving <> Skuse 70' Try |  75' Conversion | Heathcote 76' Substitution | Mears <> Dunn 76'



















29 December 2012, 6:37pm

Bath Rugby battle back to draw at Sandy Park

Bath Rugby battled to a hard-fought draw at Sandy Park this afternoon, holding Exeter Chiefs to 12-12 at the final whistle, maintaining their unbeaten record over the West Country rivals.

Whilst the sun shone for the game, the torrential rain that had been pouring down beforehand made for slippery conditions and a greasy ball, with the wind also playing its part in a true battle of attrition.

Exeter, who went into the game having not lost at home in the Aviva Premiership all season, drew first blood with a penalty from Gareth Steenson 12 minutes in.

The visitors were quick to respond however, keen to keep the Chiefs at bay. Michael Claassens broke from the back of the maul and fed the ball wide. Stephen Donald danced with the touchline to keep the ball in play, before passing back inside over the heads of the Exeter defenders to Claassens who dived over the line in the corner. Kicking into the wind, Donald was narrowly short with the conversion, but Bath had their noses in front.

Both sides looked to try and find holes in their oppositions defence, but both held firm. The Bath scrum in particular was holding strong, winning penalties and enabling the visitors to relieve the pressure Exeter were putting them under at times in the 22.

Exeter were to go in marginally on top however, after Bath were found to be offside. Steenson made no mistake with the kick, and took his side into the lead at half-time.

Half-time - Exeter Chiefs 6 – Bath Rugby 5.

The home side came flying out of the blocks in the second half, upping the tempo and dominating both in possession and territory and Steenson added two further penalties to the Exeter tally within 50 minutes.

Bath worked hard to try and hit back and were building good phases of possession but small handling errors with the greasy ball crept in at vital moments and allowed Exeter to clear.

As the game wore on, so the conditions worsened, and whilst both sides kept slogging away, their efforts were nullified by stern defences on either side.

With just seven points in it going into the final ten minutes, Bath had all to play for and maintained their level of effort and character in trying to keep Exeter at bay.

A penalty was awarded to the visitors with just five minutes remaining and a lovely touch-finder from replacement fly-half Tom Heathcote saw them with a lineout 5m out from the try line. The lineout was secured, a huge driving maul set up and when Exeter illegally stopped it, referee David Rose ran between the posts and signalled the penalty try. Heathcote held his nerve to nail the conversion and bring the scores level and secure the draw.

Final score – Exeter Chiefs 12 – Bath Rugby 12.

Match details

Referee: David Rose
Half Time score: 6-5


Pens: Steenson (12,42,43,50)


Tries: Claassens (16), (75)
Cons: Heathcote (76)

Exeter score card

Name Tries Conv Pen Drop Pts
Gareth Steenson 0 0 4 0 12

Bath score card

Name Tries Conv Pen Drop Pts
Michael Claassens 1 0 0 0 5
Tom Heathcote 0 1 0 0 2

Other results

29/12/12 London Welsh 15 - 34 London Wasps
29/12/12 Harlequins 26 - 15 London Irish
29/12/12 Leicester 17 - 12 Gloucester
Bath Rugby Lineup
Player image


Sam Vesty

Fly Half




P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
FB Luke Arscott15Ollie Devoto FB
W Gonzalo Camacho14Horacio Agulla W
C Phil Dollman13Kyle Eastmond C
C Jason Shoemark12Matthew Banahan C
W Matt Jess11Tom Biggs W
4 FH Gareth Steenson10Stephen Donald FH
SH Haydn Thomas9Michael Claassens SH 1
P Brett Sturgess1Paul James P
H Simon Alcott2Lee Mears H
P Hoani Tui3Dave Wilson P
L Tom Hayes4Dave Attwood L
L Aly Muldowney5Ryan Caldwell L
FL Dean Mumm6Francois Louw FL
FL James Scaysbrook7Guy Mercer FL
8 Richard Baxter8Ben Skirving 8


rh Neil Clark16Tom Dunn rh
rp Ben Moon17Charlie Beech rp
rp Carl Rimmer18Anthony Perenise rp
r8 James Hanks19Stuart Hooper r8
rfl Tom Johnson20Will Skuse rfl
rsh Kevin Barrett21Mark McMillan rsh
rfh Ignacio Mieres22Tom Heathcote rfh 1
rc Ian Whitten23Ben Williams rc