Bath United produced an accomplished performance as they secured a 42-7 victory against Exeter Braves in the Premiership Rugby Shield at the Rec.
It was United who opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes. A succession of penalties saw Alex Davies give his side the attacking throw five metres from the line. A powerful driving maul saw United crash over the line, and it was Michael van Vuuren who continued his recent scoring record. Davies added the extras from the tee. [7-0]
United extended their lead less than 10 minutes later. Tom de Glanville showed his footwork in the build-up to give his side the attacking platform, which allowed Tom Homer to score on his return to competitive action. Davies made it a seven-point score [14-0]
Exeter struggled to build any momentum through their phases, with United proving disruptive in both the line-out and the breakdown.
United continued to assert their dominance on proceedings, and their attacking flair was rewarded on the 20 minute mark. The trusted catch and drive came into play once again, but it was a moment of genius from Chris Cook that opened the Braves’ defence. The scrum-half drew his man before sending Davis through on a superb line. Davies continued his 100% record from the boot to give United a commanding lead. [21-0]
Braves responded five minutes before the interval to reduce the deficit to 14 points. It was Tom Hendrickson who was at the centre of the move, as he opened up the United defence. The centre came up five metres short, but following concerted pressure on the try line, Rus Tuima muscled his way over from close range.
Half-time – Bath United 21-7 Exeter Braves
There was nothing to separate the two sides in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, but United were next to strike. After another steal on the Braves throw, United went through the phases, before Paul Grant rumbled over from close range. [28-7]
Two minutes later, United were over the whitewash once again. De Glanville showed his skills with ball in hand with the initial break before offloading to Cook on the right wing. The scrum-half showed his experience as he sent a one handed offload to Homer, who had the pace and the awareness to add a fifth try of the afternoon. Davies was faultless again with his conversion. [35-7]
The floodgates continued to open, as United scored their sixth with 10 minutes left on the clock. Darren Atkins showed his pace as he stormed up the centre of the field into the Braves’ 22. The visitors were subsequently reduced to 14 men and that gave United the weight in numbers to go over the whitewash from close range. [42-7]
United closed out the final moments to complete an impressive day at the Rec, with Bath Rugby U18s coming out 64-7 winners earlier in the day.
Full-time - Bath United 42-7 Exeter Braves