Bath Rugby's unbeaten run in the Aviva Premiership against Exeter Chiefs came to an end today, losing 16-6 in a tense affair at Sandy Park.
The first points of the match came soon after kick-off, as Bath were awarded a penalty at the scrum (their second such penalty in as many minutes), and Tom Homer was presented with the opportunity in front of the Exeter posts and just a metre outside the 22. The fullback coolly made it 0-3 to register the first points of the match after six minutes.
Eleven minutes in, Chiefs fly-half Henry Slade drew the scores level after Bath had gone close to scoring the first try of the match. Sam Burgess had put Homer into a hole through which the fullback burst, then found Francois Louw. One phase later, though, Exeter had intercepted and, but for the determination of the chasing Homer, might have scored. The price Bath paid was a yellow card to Micky Young for what the referee deemed to be an off-the-ball tackle. 3-3.
Bath needed every inch of the commitment they got from their defence before the first half drew to a close, twice foiling the Chiefs as they lay siege to the visitors' try line. Neither side had anything to show for their efforts until the 37th minute, as Bath had started to run some clever lines and then won a penalty in front of the home posts. Homer notched up a further three points to end a scrappy, error-strewn first half.
Half time: Exeter Chiefs 3 - 6 Bath Rugby
A monster kick from Slade after the commencement of the second half drew the scores level as Bath were penalised at the scrum.
Twelve minutes from full time, Chiefs took the lead for the first time, but only after Bath's defence had done everything in its power to keep the hosts from scoring a try. Slade was again the points scorer, slotting it from out wide. 9-6.
Chiefs put the game out of Bath's reach on 74 minutes, patiently working their way across the Bath 22 until scrum-half Will Chudley saw the gap that allowed him to glide through for the only try of the match. Slade converted, and Exeter had their historic Premiership victory against Bath.
Full time: Exeter Chiefs 16-6 Bath Rugby