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Exeter brush aside Bath in six try mauling

By PA

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Reigning champions Exeter moved to the top of the Gallagher Premiership table with a six-try mauling of Bath at Sandy Park.

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The Chiefs’ destruction of the Bath pack was the key to their second bonus point victory in successive weekends as the hosts ran out 40-3 victors.

Number eight Sam Simmonds, who claimed a hat-trick against Harlequins last time out, scored another two tries, with further scores from Tom O’Flaherty, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Ian Whitten and a penalty try helping Exeter to a big win.

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Fly-half Joe Simmonds converted three of the tries, with replacement Jack Walsh adding the extras to another.

Bath’s only score was a penalty from fly-half Rhys Priestland.

Sam Simmonds continued where he left off in Exeter’s 33-3 thrashing of Quins at The Stoop last week with his fourth and fifth tries of the season in the first half.

Priestland popped over his 16th-minute penalty when Exeter were accused of a no-arms tackle but the rest of the game was more about how Bath could keep the home forwards from steamrolling them than any chance of competing for the win.

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Exeter showed what was to come later when, just after the half-hour, Sam Simmonds got his second score, which brother Joe converted again, before a remarkable try from O’Flaherty.

Joe Simmonds sent over a cross-kick to the left form his own 10-metre line. It was about to land between the halfway line and the Bath 10-metre line but O’Flaherty outrageously volleyed the ball downfield with the outside of his right foot, chased it and just got ahead of Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie to score an amazing try that Simmonds also converted.

The Chiefs eight had Bath’s pack on the back foot throughout the second half and there was little the visitors could do about it.

Bath were fortunate not to give away a penalty try when the Chiefs drove very near the away line. But, when the same thing happened again from an attacking line-out, this time referee Christophe Ridley ran between the posts for the penalty touchdown and Exeter’s bonus point.

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Exeter played to their dominance up front and had a call for a second penalty try as Sam Simmonds looked to touch down.

It was turned down in favour of yet another penalty scrum and, this time, the drive let Hidalgo-Clyne score a simple try with 19-year-old Walsh booting his first points for the Chiefs with the extras.

And there was a last roar by the Chiefs, with Whitten scoring in the corner late on, meaning they have now scored 73 points in two games and conceded just six this season.

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Exeter brush aside Bath in six try mauling

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