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Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 25-18 Bath Rugby

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 25-18 Bath Rugby

Exeter Chiefs triumphed at home against Bath Rugby to record their first win of the Premiership Rugby Cup, despite both teams dotting down three times.

Winger James Short and and centre Ollie Devoto scored in the first half for the Chiefs to put them in the driving seat.

Ross Batty hit back just before the break and a second-half double from Jack Wilson threatened a comeback, but Tom O’Flaherty’s dot-down and seven points from the boot of Joe Simmonds was enough to seal victory for the hosts.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Playing at the back of the field instead of his favoured No. 10 role, Simmonds shone on his first start since the game against Falcons in September.

Not only was his kicking from the tee immaculate, including a brilliant kick from the right touchline to convert O’Flaherty’s try and keep the scoreboard ticking, but his attacking from deep proved threatening throughout.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Wilson’s first try was a wonder to behold. Jamie Roberts instigated the move with a typical crash up the middle, taking the hosts to within five metres and offloading the the supporting Josh Bayliss.

The ball was recycled and spread wide to Wilson and the winger dotted down impressively to keep the visitors in the game.

WHAT THEY SAID

Exeter Chiefs assistant coach Ricky Pellows said: “We asked for a reaction from the guys in the week following our performance up at Newcastle. We got that in the first half, an outstanding performance playing into the wind.

“The effort and the fight that we showed in that first half is exactly where we wanted to be. Then we took ourselves to a real strong position in the second half, but in some aspects we took our foot off the gas and Bath came back into the game.

“We struggled defensively in a few areas but from an overall perspective it’s been a brilliant reaction from last week and we’re happy to take the win.”

Bath Rugby’s Josh Bayliss said: “Coming to Sandy Park in these conditions was always going to be tough. We took steps forward from last week. Discipline is where we let ourselves down. When you give a team like Exeter the ball, they are always going to capitalise on it.

“We spoke at the end and I was really proud of their effort, compared to last week we took a lot of steps forward.”

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