1 January 1970, 1:00am
Bath Rugby ensured Exeter Chiefs remain winless at the Rec with an emphatic 37-15 victory this afternoon.
The home team made the perfect start to the match. In the first minute, George Ford spotted a gap and passed to the rampaging Carl Fearns. Before the number eight could be hauled down, he managed a deft offload, the ball then finding its way to Matt Banahan via Anthony Watson to score in the corner. Ford converted his first attempt at goal. 7-0.
Rather than take their foot off the pedal, Bath dotted down again only two minutes later – this try even more remarkable than the first. Ford delayed a pass to Nick Abendanon in their own half, and the fullback hared down the wing with Banahan on his shoulder. When Banahan took possession on Exeter's 22, he shrugged off two defenders before finding Matt Garvey, the blindside battling his way over to score Bath's second try in under four minutes. From the same spot as before, Ford made it 14-0 to the home side.
The Chiefs nearly got a try of their own in the eighth minute when right wing Jack Nowell broke through, only for Abendanon to tackle him inches from the tryline, with Nathan Catt winning the penalty and allowing Bath to clear when Exeter held onto the ball on the floor.
However, the Chiefs did have something to show for their first real trip into Bath territory when fly-half Henry Slade slotted a penalty in the 10th minute following an infringement at the ruck. 14-3.
Exeter fullback Luke Arscott saw his team penalised for diving in at the ruck in the 33rd minute, after he'd decided to try and round the chasing Garvey and Watson rather than make a clearance kick in his own 22. On Bath's scrum, Martin Roberts sniped his way over for a typical scrum-half score, and Bath's third try, with Ford adding the extras. 21-3.
Bath's aggression in defence kept the Chiefs at bay in the closing minutes of the first half, not least when Rob Webber intuitively read a pass from the opposition backs and put in a hammering tackle which saw the visitors spill the ball. From Bath's rapid counter attack, they soon earned themselves a penalty with 40 minutes gone, enabling Ford to take his team 21 points clear.
Half-time: Bath Rugby 24 – Exeter Chiefs 3
Two minutes into the second half, a Jonathan Joseph show-and-go took Bath up to the Exeter 22, but Abendanon just failed to find Watson with a one-handed backpass. The phase of play proved that Bath were seeking to continue with the same attacking mindset they'd shown in the first half.
The outstanding Garvey foiled Exeter twice in quick succession as they sought to launch attacks in Bath's 22, his jackalling winning his side two penalties. It was at the breakdown that Bath got their second kickable penalty, with Ford slotting a kick over from out wide with 10 minutes gone. 27-3.
On the hour mark, Exeter won a lineout in Bath's half and swiftly sent the ball wide. Number Eight James Phillips spotted a hole in the home defence and scored the Chiefs' first try of the match, but Slade's conversion attempt sliced wide. 27-8
Just after the 70th minute, Stuart Hooper and replacement tighthead Kane Palma-Newport combined well at a ruck inside Exeter's half, forcing the Chiefs into giving up a penalty. Ford kicked for touch and Bath were quick to win the lineout. The Chiefs had no answer to Bath's maul from such close quarters, and replacement loosehead Charlie Beech touched down. Heathcote made sure his toughest conversion of the afternoon was a good one, and Bath now led 34-8.
With three minutes to go, Chiefs scored through replacement hooker Greg Bateman after some sustained pressure on Bath's line, and replacement Ceri Sweeney converted. On the restart, Bath chased Tom Heathcote's kick well and Dominic Day made a heavy tackle on Sweeney which saw Chiefs penalised for holding on. Heathcote stretched Bath's lead to 37-15, which remained the final score when the referee blew up a minute later for full time.
Final Score: Bath Rugby 37 – Exeter Chiefs 15
Referee: Andrew Small
Half Time score: 24-3
Tries: Banahan (1), Garvey (2), Roberts (32), Beech (70)
Cons: Ford (1,3,33), Heathcote (71)
Pens: Ford (39,49), Heathcote (79)
Tries: Phillips (59), Bateman (76)
Cons: Sweeney (77)
Pens: Slade (7)
|17/11/13||London Irish||18 - 39||Northampton|
|17/11/13||Saracens||51 - 10||Scarlets|
|FB||Nick Abendanon||15||Luke Arscott||FB|
|W||Anthony Watson||14||Jack Nowell||W|
|C||Jonathan Joseph||13||Sireli Naqelevuki||C|
|C||Ollie Devoto||12||Jason Shoemark||C|
|1||W||Matthew Banahan||11||Tom James||W|
|2||3||FH||George Ford||10||Henry Slade||FH||1|
|1||SH||Martin Roberts||9||Haydn Thomas||SH|
|P||Nathan Catt||1||Ben Moon||P|
|H||Robert Webber||2||Chris Whitehead||H|
|P||Juan Pablo Orlandi||3||Carl Rimmer||P|
|L||Stuart Hooper||4||Romana Graham||L|
|L||Dave Attwood||5||James Hanks||L|
|1||FL||Matthew Garvey||6||Don Armand||FL|
|FL||Carl Fearns||7||James Scaysbrook||FL|
|8||Leroy Houston||8||James Phillips||8||1|