Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 31 Exeter Chiefs 14

Mike Ford revealed how he will be giving his players three days deserved rest after Bath Rugby recorded their fifth successive Aviva Premiership Rugby win with a 31-14 defeat of Exeter Chiefs.

Bath fell behind to a Matt Jess breakaway midway through the first half but were in charge thereafter with Horacio Agulla and Kyle Eastmond giving the hosts a 14-7 half-time lead.

Jack Nowell’s intuition pulled Exeter level after the break but it was all Bath thereafter as Dave Attwood dotted down a driving maul and Ford added a penalty to make it 24-14.

Fly-half Ford then produced the pass that allowed Anthony Watson to score at the death for the bonus point and also converted – all while Mitch Lees was in the bin for the Chiefs.

Bath went top with the win ahead of Northampton Saints’ clash with Harlequins and, with eight days until their trip to Leicester Tigers next up, head coach Ford wants his players to rest up.

“We have had Quins, Montpellier twice, Gloucester and now Exeter, so five big games in a row in some pretty heavy conditions,” said Ford.

“The boys are going to have a break now, we are going to let them be off until Wednesday and then we have another big game against Leicester away.

“We need to be fresh for that one because that will be a tough game, we are pleased with where we are art the moment but we know there is a long way to go.

“We are 18 months into the philosophy and environment that we’re creating and, although we didn’t win anything in 2014, I think we ruffled a few feathers and rattled a few cages.

“We are in a good place but it is a very, very tough league and if we take our eye of the ball for one minute we know we will get beat by anyone.

“The players are going to have a few days off to re-energise and we will come in fresh for the Leicester game.”

Meanwhile Exeter head coach Rob Baxter wants an immediate response from his players as they face another derby clash with Gloucester Rugby a week from now next Saturday.

“We’ve had two tough away games over Christmas, and what we have got to do now is double our efforts for a very important game next weekend at home against Gloucester,” he said.

“If you want to stay at the top end of the table, you have got to win your home games. I’ve said to the lads if we had come here and won it wouldn’t have won us the Premiership.

“So we have got to make sure that coming here and losing doesn’t have too big of an effect on our season. It was a tough game against a team that is playing very well, and we’ve come up short, but it should not decide our season.”
 
Bath: Watson; Agulla, Joseph (Burgess 62), Eastmond, Banahan; Ford (Devoto 788), Cook (Young 64); Auterac (James 41), Webber (Batty 48), Thomas (Wilson 66); Hooper, Day (Attwood 48); Garvey, Louw, Houston (Fearns 64)
 
Exeter: Dollman; Nowell, Slade, Hill, Jess (Horstmann 71); Steenson (Whitten 73), Chudley (Thomas 57); Moon (Rimmer 53), Yeandle (Cowan-Dickie 53), Low (Francis 53); Mumm, Welch (Lees 13); Ewers, Armand, Waldrom
Replacements: Vainikolo
 
Scorers:
 
Bath Rugby
Tries: Agulla, Eastmond, Attwood, Watson
Conversions: Ford 4
Penalties: Ford
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Jess, Nowell
Penalties: Steenson 2
 
Referee: JP Doyle
Attendance: 13,300

Latest News

Saints eleven pen new deals

Northampton Saints has today announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad. Three of the more experienced players,…

Luther Burrell

Symons wants Gloucester Rugby to kick-on against Wasps

Just three points separates Gloucester Rugby and sixth-placed Harlequins and centre Andy Symons is determined to see the Cherry &…

Bath Rugby surpass 40,000 ticket sales for The Clash

Bath Rugby is thrilled to confirm that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for The Clash, when they will take…

Bath Rugby

Evans determined for a Harlequins top-six finish

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is determined to drive Harlequins to a top-six finish as the Aviva Premiership Rugby season reaches…

We’ll expect a physical test against Saints, says Worcester’s Ben Howard

Ben Howard is expecting a big, physical battle when his Worcester Warriors side face Northampton Saints on Saturday. Full-back Howard,…

Evans and Lambert return to the starting line-up for the visit of Leicester Tigers

Harlequins has announced the team to play Leicester Tigers in Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership tomorrow at The Stoop,…

Nick Evans

Leicester Tigers team news ahead of Aviva Premiership trip to The Stoop

Lachlan McCaffrey and Peter Betham return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday's Aviva Premiership Round 16 fixture away to…

Peter Betham

Front-row trio sign new deals at Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after three of his current squad today put pen…

Ben Moon

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Steve Diamond

The charge against Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game,…

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons