Bath United looked to build on last week's Premiership Rugby Shield encounter against Saracens Storm, but Ryan Davis' young team were beaten 52-10 by a strong Exeter Braves side at Sandy Park in Round 2 yesterday.
The evening saw Max Ojomoh and Nahum Merigan return to the starting line-up after missing last week’s fixture due to training with England U20s.
The pair went head-to-head with experienced international and Premiership players Ollie Devoto and Matt Kvesic in the West Country derby which saw Exeter’s early scrum dominance put them out of reach in the first forty minutes.
Ricky Pellow’s side dominated and ran in a total of eight tries, while in reply Bath countered with second-half scores from Tom Doughty and George Worboys.
It didn’t take long for Exeter to make their mark. Kvesic was on hand to poach Exeter’s opening try on four minutes after he, along with winger Short, raced after skipper Stuart Townsend’s clever grubber in behind the Bath defensive line. The conversion was missed. [5-0]
Five minutes later Braves doubled their advantage, Tom Wyatt raced over by the sticks after the Braves put together a slick handling move which created space for Max Bodilly, whose simple offload allowed the full-back to glide over. Skinner added the conversion. [12-0]
Wyatt soon scored his brace with Exeter dominating at scrum time, the Braves pack used a scrum penalty to kick deep into the Bath 22. Tom Price soared highest in the line-out and fed Kvesic, who slipped round the side and drove towards the line. The No.8 came up short, but the hosts recycled the ball into a driving maul, which allowed young hooker Poole to be driven over. Skinner added the extras. [19-0]
Skinner then added Exeter’s bonus-point try. The fly-half finished well after Devoto sliced his way through the middle of the Bath defence and offloaded to Skinner for a simple dot down over the whitewash. Skinner added the extras to extend the scoreline [26-0]
There was to be no let-up from Pellow’s side, who added a fifth try through Short, who followed after Tom Hendrickson’s grubber in behind to dot down. Skinner landed the conversion. [33-0]
Bath battled valiantly, but any time they got near the Exeter try line, they were met with an experienced, physical and unyielding Braves defence.
Half-time - Exeter Braves 33-0 Bath United
Exeter made six changes and the fresh pack at scrum time had a strong effect.
Tuima added a sixth, not long after the teams came back out but Bath refused to lie down and their bravery was rewarded when hooker Doughty was able to make his way over in the right-hand corner. [33-5]
Short added his second try of the night on the hour mark finishing off neat approach before Bodilly went over which was converted by Skinner. [45-5]
George Worboys responded soon after with a second try for the visitors, racing over on the left-hand side. [45-10]
Braves however continued to push forward and created space for Skinner to pick his spot to race over for their eighth of the night, which he also then converted. [52-10]
A very hard night for Bath United who faced a stronger, more experienced Exeter Braves. The team now head back up the M5 to face Bristol Bears at home in Round 3 on Saturday 21st December, KO 15:00.
Full-time - Exeter Braves 52-10 Bath United
Bath United: 15. George Worboys, 14. Levi Davis, 13. Will Butt, 12. Max Ojomoh, 11. Myles Bean, 10. Alex Davies (c), 9. Ollie Fox; 1. Will Vaughan, 2. Tom Doughty, 3. Kieran Verden, 4. Will Britton, 5. Rhys Davies, 6. Jack Davies, 7. Lewis Beer, 8. Nahum Merigan.
Exeter Braves: 15. Tom Wyatt, 14. Max Bodilly, 13. Tom Hendrickson, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. James Short, 10. Harvey Skinner, 9. Stuart Townsend (c); 1. Billy Keast, 2. Jordon Poole, 3. Patrick Schickerling, 4. Stan South, 5. Tom Price, 6. Josh Caulfield, 7. Sean Lonsdale, 8. Matt Kvesic.