Exeter Chiefs ended Bath Rugby's unbeaten run in the Anglo-Welsh Cup with an 11-28 victory in the Final at Kingsholm.
Exeter were quick off the mark, with their opening try coming after just five minutes. Last year’s finalists opted for the catch and drive at the line-out five metres out, before Kai Horstmann sent Jack Innard over in the corner. Joe Simmonds added the extras. 0-7
Simmonds added two penalties, before Freddie Burns got Bath off the mark with one of his own to take the score to 3-13 with 20 minutes on the clock.
Bath got in amongst the tries five minutes later, in a move started and finished by Cooper Vuna. The winger fielded the Exeter kick in his own half, before rampaging his way through the Chiefs’ defence. Shaun Knight continued the pressure, as he powered his way into the 22. With Bath on the front foot, Burns set a superbly weighted pass out to Vuna, who finished in style in the corner. 8-13
Exeter hit back straight away, and it was Innard again who found himself over the whitewash. It was another cleverly executed move once again from the set-piece, with the hooker providing the finish following a driving maul. Simmonds made it a seven-point score, to extend Chiefs’ lead. 8-20
It got even better for the reigning Aviva Premiership Champions seven minutes before the interval, when Toby Salmon added a third try of the afternoon for the Chiefs. After Horstmann had charged down Burns’ clearance kick, Chiefs continued to put pressure on the Bath defence. Their persistence was rewarded, as Salmon went over from close range. 8-25
Despite relentless pressure on the Chiefs’ pack in the closing stages of the half, Bath were unable to turn their territory into points.
Half-time – Bath Rugby 8-25 Exeter Chiefs
The score remained the same until Burns took Bath to within 14 points with a long range penalty, 13 minutes into the second-half. 11-25
Exeter continued to assert their dominance on proceedings, but Bath managed to prevent further scores, twice holding up the Chiefs’ maul over the line.
With just over 10 minutes to play, Simmonds was given the helping hand of the crossbar, as his penalty attempt put the score beyond doubt.
In a low-scoring second half, it was left to Chiefs to close out the game and ensure that the Anglo-Welsh trophy would be on its way back to Devon.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 11-28 Exeter Chiefs