Centurions Club match reporter, Ben Da Costa, reviews the crucial victory over Exeter Chiefs in the LV=Cup.
Bath Rugby make it 4 out of 4 in the LV= Cup and continue a great run of form in 2012 after a 3-31 victory over Exeter Chiefs.
The boys were welcomed onto the Sandy Park turf by hundreds of kids after the Chiefs' Super Sunday event earlier in the day; which consisted of 120 youngsters from the local community enjoying the opportunity to have a coaching session at Sandy Park with Chiefs' head coach Rob Baxter and a couple of first team players.
The boys in blue, black and white started the game with flying colours with quick passing down the back line to Sam Vesty, who put a little grubber kick in behind the defence, which pacey winger Tom Biggs dived on to and impressively touched down, despite being held back by a Chiefs player. The referee, unsure about the grounding of the try, sent it upstairs to the TMO, which confirmed Bath's early lead. With Olly Barkley converting, the score was 0-7 after just 7 minutes; Great Start!
This game continued to be action packed, when just 3 minutes later Stephen Donald's clearing kick was blocked by Chiefs' centre Sam Hill, resulting in a foot race between himself and Olly Woodburn with them both scrambling to get the ball down. The referee again sent it to the TMO who again gave it in the favour of the visiting side and awarded a 22 to the Bath boys!
The Bath momentum continued for the rest of the first half. This showed when after the 20th minute mark Donald put through a well-weighted grubber kick resulting in Biggs' again going over to making the score 0-12 to the away side.
Exeter showed signs of getting back into the game when plenty of phases by the Exeter forwards resulted in a penalty being scored by Dorrian, making the score 3-12; was there an Exeter come back on the cards?
Exeter continued this pressure late into the first half and looked like scoring until Tom Biggs' used his predatory skills to intercept a try-scoring pass and then sprint 70 meters down the pitch to score his hat-trick! Barkley converted the try to make it 3-19 at the break.
Bath started the second half slower than the first, with no major action occurring until the 52nd minute. Bath were camped on the Exeter try line when home side hooker Chris Whitehead stopped the ball from coming out at the ruck, giving referee Neil Hennessy no choice but to send him to the bin for 10 minutes.
Bath used the one man advantage 7 minutes later, when some great phases of play by the backs resulted in Olly Woodburn going over athletically in the corner, making the score 3-24 and continuing his great run of form!
The day was capped off by a great solo effort by Josh Ovens, who picked the ball up from the back of a ruck, slipped in behind the Exeter defence and crossed underneath the posts; making the conversion easy for Olly Barkley, who in turn converted to make the score 3-31 at Full Time.
Centurions Club man of the match has to go to the man who scored 3 tries and always puts his body on the line for the team, that is ... Tom Biggs!
Bath captain Francois Louw in an interview for the Centurions Club said he was happy about the performance and that "the guys put in a hell of a performance, we wanted to get into the semis, so I can be proud of the boys".
Another great victory for the Boys in Blue, Black and White to enjoy and let's see if they can carry it into the Aviva Premiership fixture against Newcastle Falcons at the Rec next weekend.
Don't forget, Centurions Club supporters, that there is an open training session being held at the Rec at 10:15 on Friday 17th, the day before the Gloucester game. So why don't you come on down and enjoy a day of half term with the boys?