Bath Rugby 24-39 Exeter Chiefs, Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs scored three tries in the final quarter as they went on to beat Bath Rugby 24-39 in their Gallagher Premiership encounter at the Recreation Ground on Friday.
This is Exeter's sixth win from as many games this season as they have claimed the top place in the table with 29 points while Bath are at seventh place with 13 points.
The first points in the game came in the 12th minute from the boots of Freddie Burns when he kicked a penalty goal and 12 minutes later the home side stretched their lead to 10 points after a clever kick from Semesa Rokoduguni found Rhys Priestland, who scored the opening try. Burns added the extras.
Exeter responded back when Townsend intercepted Burns' pass on halfway to cross over in the 29th minute and Gareth Steenson slotted a conversion and a penalty on either side as the scores were levelled 10-10.
Burns with his second penalty goal got Bath into the lead but it was shortlived as Don Armand touched down for the visitors as the teams headed into the break with a 13-15 lead.
The start of the second half saw Burns and Steenson trade penalties but a sin-bin to Rokoduguni in the 59th minute put the hosts down to 14-men temporarily. Despite the setback they did not concede any point in the 10-minute phase and instead kicked a three-pointer to take the scoreline to 16-15 as the game headed into the final quarter.
Nevertheless, Rob Baxter's men dominated when mattered the most as tries from Matt Kvesic (62'), Ian Whitten (66') and Jack Nowell (71') followed by triple conversions from Steenson saw them take their tally to 39 points before a try from Chris Cook reduced the losing margin for Bath to 15 points.
Whitten saw a late yellow card for a no arms tackle but it hardly had an impact in the game as Exeter registered another victory.
"It felt like it was a game that was going to be very tight and I've got to give the players credit for taking it by the scruff of the neck," Baxter told BBC.
"Were we at our best? No. Was the first half a bit patchy? Yes. There were some uncharacteristic things from us, but credit to Bath, they challenged us really well.
"We created pressure in the end though by taking the game on the front foot and getting tries on the end of a concerted effort.
"There were quite a few moments we didn't win tonight that I would've expected us to, so we'll talk about how we'll need to crank things up a couple of levels if we're going to be successful."
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.
The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?
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