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Exeter Chiefs clinch Sandy Park victory over Bath Rugby

Exeter Chiefs 26 v Bath Rugby 17

Two tries from Amanaki Mafi weren't enough to prevent Exeter Chiefs coming out on top of a physical encounter at Sandy Park, as they clinched a 26-17 win over Bath Rugby.

With the wind behind them, the home side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first-half, and with it kept control of the scoreboard. A collapsed scrum led to Gareth Steenson’s first three points of the game. He doubled the lead on 18 minutes, before adding a further penalty ten minutes later.

At 9-0 down, a promising attack sparked for Bath when Semesa Rokoduguni powered down field and play moved into the Exeter 22. But, just when it looked like Bath may find a way through the staunch home defence, Steenson read the play and intercepted. The ball was quickly out to James Short on the wing, who charged downfield. Short found Whitten on his shoulder, and despite a desperate tackle from Adam Hastings, the centre stumbled over the line in the corner to score the first try of the game. Steenson added the extras, taking the score to 16-0 with three minutes of play left in the half.

As the first forty minutes drew to a close, Bath hauled themselves back into the game. A penalty was sent to touch and after Exeter infringed at the lineout, the decision was again made to go for the corner. Hooper took the ball cleanly, and the maul drove hard towards the line. A pile of bodies crashed over and, after consultation with the television match official, the try was awarded to Amanaki Mafi. Tom Homer converted, taking the score to 16-7 as the two sides went in at the break.

Half-time: Exeter Chiefs 16 – Bath Rugby 7

Bath came out firing at the start of the second-half and earnt a penalty within minutes of the kick-off. Matt Banahan found touch inside the 22, and another rampaging maul saw Mafi touch down in the corner for his third try in as many games. Homer was again on target with the extras, meaning there was now just two points between the two sides. 16-14.

The momentum Bath had gathered at the start of the second-half took a knock on 48 minutes after Max Lahiff was shown a yellow card at the scrum, but the visitors managed to keep Exeter from increasing their lead whilst a man down.

Exeter clawed back some momentum in the sin-bin period though, and on 64 minutes Steenson added a further three points to their tally.

Homer responded in kind eight minutes later after a surging Bath maul was brought down illegally to narrow the gap once more, but the final few minutes of the game belonged to Exeter. They turned pressure into territory, drawing penalties to take them into the Bath 22. A 5m lineout was taken cleanly, and Kai Horstmann drove over for the try. Steenson added the conversion to seal the win for the home side.

Final score: Exeter Chiefs 26 – Bath Rugby 17.

Match details

Sandy Park
Aviva Premiership
28 February 2016
KO 13:00

Attendance: 12,612
Referee: Greg Garner
Half Time score: 16-7

Exeter:
Tries: Whitten (34), Horstmann (76)
Conversions: Steenson (35, 77)
Penalties: Steenson (11, 17, 27, 64)
Bath:
Tries: Mafi (39, 41)
Conversions: Homer (42, 42)
Penalties: Homer (71)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Exeter and Bath.

7'

Substitution

Max Clark replaces Kyle Eastmond for Bath.

12'

Penalty Goal! Exeter 3 - 0 Bath

Gareth Steenson kicks a penalty goal for Exeter.

12'

Substitution

Kyle Eastmond replaces Max Clark for Bath.

18'

Penalty Goal! Exeter 6 - 0 Bath

Gareth Steenson kicks a penalty goal for Exeter.

28'

Penalty Goal! Exeter 9 - 0 Bath

Gareth Steenson kicks a penalty goal for Exeter.

35'

Try for Exeter! Exeter 14 - 0 Bath

Ian Whitten scores for Exeter.

36'

Conversion! Exeter 16 - 0 Bath

Gareth Steenson with a conversion for Exeter.

40'

Try for Bath! Exeter 16 - 5 Bath

Amanaki Mafi scores for Bath.

43'

Conversion! Exeter 16 - 7 Bath

Tom Homer with a conversion for Bath.

43'

HALF TIME

Match score: Exeter 16 - 7 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

42'

Try for Bath! Exeter 16 - 12 Bath

Amanaki Mafi scores for Bath.

43'

Conversion! Exeter 16 - 14 Bath

Tom Homer with a conversion for Bath.

46'

Substitution

Lewis Stevenson replaces Ollie Atkins for Exeter.

49'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Max Lahiff for ten minutes.

50'

Substitution

Beno Obano replaces Amanaki Mafi for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Jack Yeandle replaces Luke Cowan-Dickie for Exeter.

52'

Substitution

Ollie Atkins replaces Lewis Stevenson for Exeter.

56'

Substitution

Charlie Ewels replaces Stuart Hooper for Bath.

58'

Substitution

David Wilson replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Ross Batty for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Amanaki Mafi replaces Beno Obano for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Will Chudley replaces Dave Lewis for Exeter.

60'

Substitution

Alex Brown replaces Harry Williams for Exeter.

60'

Substitution

Kai Horstmann replaces Dave Ewers for Exeter.

63'

Substitution

Alec Hepburn replaces Ben Moon for Exeter.

63'

Substitution

Matt Garvey replaces Dominic Day for Bath.

65'

Penalty Goal! Exeter 19 - 14 Bath

Gareth Steenson kicks a penalty goal for Exeter.

65'

Substitution

Guy Mercer replaces Amanaki Mafi for Bath.

72'

Penalty Goal! Exeter 19 - 17 Bath

Tom Homer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Lewis Stevenson replaces Ollie Atkins for Exeter.

77'

Try for Exeter! Exeter 24 - 17 Bath

Kai Horstmann scores for Exeter.

78'

Conversion! Exeter 26 - 17 Bath

Gareth Steenson with a conversion for Exeter.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Exeter.

Final score: Exeter 26 - 17 Bath.

Exeter Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Gareth Steenson024016
Ian Whitten10005
Kai Horstmann10005
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Amanaki Mafi200010
Tom Homer02107
Exeter v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PBen
Moon
1Max
Lahiff
P    
    HLuke
Cowan-Dickie
2Ross
Batty
H    
    PHarry
Williams
3Henry
Thomas
P    
    LJonny
Hill
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LOllie
Atkins
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LGeoff
Parling
5Dominic
Day
L    
    FLDave
Ewers
6Leroy
Houston
FL    
    FLDon
Armand
7Francois
Louw
FL    
    8Thomas
Waldrom
8Amanaki
Mafi
82   
    SHDave
Lewis
9Chris
Cook
SH    
4 2 FHGareth
Steenson
10Adam
Hastings
FH    
    WJames
Short
11Horacio
Agulla
W    
    CSam
Hill
12Kyle
Eastmond
C    
   1CIan
Whitten
13Matt
Banahan
C    
    WOlly
Woodburn
14Semesa
Rokoduguni
W    
    FBPhil
Dollman
15Tom
Homer
FB 2 1
Replacements
    RHJack
Yeandle
16Tom
Dunn
RH    
    RPAlec
Hepburn
17Nick
Auterac
R    
    RPAlex
Brown
18David
Wilson
RP    
    RLLewis
Stevenson
19Charlie
Ewels
RL    
   1RFLKai
Horstmann
20Matt
Garvey
RL    
    RSHWill
Chudley
21Guy
Mercer
R8    
    RWill
Hooley
22Jonathan
Evans
R    
    RMax
Bodilly
23Max
Clark
RC