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Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 11 Exeter Chiefs 28

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 11 Exeter Chiefs 28

A rapid start from Exeter Chiefs left Bath Rugby shell-shocked as the reigning Premiership champions claimed the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Kingsholm.

Two tries from Jack Innard and another from Toby Salmon in the first half left the Blue, Black and Whites with too much to do as Chiefs won 28-11.

A Cooper Vuna try and two penalties from Freddie Burns reduced the deficit for Bath, but they remained second best throughout as their 10-year trophy drought continues.

Chiefs, on the other hand, reclaimed the trophy they last won in 2014 in their fourth successful Anglo-Welsh Cup final appearance and will now look to achieve the double by retaining their Premiership title.

Man of the match – Moray Low

Jack Innard deserves a special mention for two crucial tries, but Moray Low was immense for Chiefs as their pack dominated the first half.

Having started every game in the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season, the Scottish prop saved his best until last to ensure Exeter reclaimed the trophy.

Try of the match – Jack Innard

The consensus was that Chiefs won the game in the opening quarter and Innard’s try kicked off the scoring with only five minutes on the clock.

It was a team effort as a smart lineout and dummy driving maul presented Innard with the opportunity to crash over down the blindside.

Moment of the match

Kai Horstmann charging down a clearance kick from Freddie Burns proved crucial, setting up the third try for Toby Salmon at the end of the first half.

The captain was brought down before the tryline, but Chiefs recycled and after piling on the pressure with multiple phases, Salmon crossed the whitewash.

What they said

Exeter Chiefs skills coach Ricky Pellow said: “I am very, very proud of this group of players, not just those that played in the final but the squad that played in the group stages and semis as well.

“Full credit to the whole squad and I am very proud of the young guys and senior ones too.

“Kai Horstmann has been a great stalwart for the club, and for him to finish with silverware and to lead that side is massively pleasing.

“It shows the strength in this squad that we can go from last Friday’s win to this Friday with a completely different squad and play at a very high level.”
“That fast start pretty much won us the game,” added Pellow. “We said we had to come out and hit the ground running.”

Todd Blackadder, director of rugby at Bath Rugby, said: “We really set ourselves up, didn’t we? There was some aimless kicking, we didn’t put enough pressure on and they really worked us over. Once again, it killed us.

“The disappointing thing was, these are one of games and you’ve got to try and win as many moments as you can. Especially the first quarter, I didn’t feel like we won anything.

“We were on the back foot the whole first 15-20 minutes. The first 20 minutes I don’t think we had the ball and when we did, we handed it right back to them.

“Chiefs are a well-drilled side and just keep playing. I think they executed better. We prepared really well, we just didn’t execute.

“This is our challenge at the moment; we didn’t do what we said we were going to do, so we can only look at ourselves.”

Social media reaction

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