The Bath resurgence continues with a six-try win over Exeter
Number eight Alfie Barbeary had his best game so far in Bath colours with two tries as they leapfrogged Exeter into the top four. Other home tries came from Cameron Redpath, Ben Spencer, Joe Cokanasiga and Will Butt, with Finn Russell adding four conversions and a penalty.
Exeter, who were combative and well in touch until the last quarter, had scores from Henry Slade, Stu Townsend and a consolation effort by replacement prop Ehren Painter, with Slade kicking three conversions and a penalty.
The Devon side pressed hard early on but Bath used a shortened lineout to send Barbeary rampaging from his own 22, with Same Underhill in support.
Jack Yeandle killed the ruck and yet another Exeter penalty set up a lineout pick-and-drive which saw Barbeary touch down for a seventh-minute try although Russell’s kick was just wide.
On a roll ?
— Rugby on TNT Sports (@rugbyontnt) December 2, 2023
The visitors worked hard to create space out wide but Spencer was invariably on hand to clear the danger when attacks broke down, usually because Underhill was such a poaching threat at the breakdown.
Bath’s second try came on 20 minutes from Redpath who had nearly broken through on the right and was on hand again moments later as Spencer slipped him a pass in heavy traffic. The Scottish centre still had to step past full-back Tom Wyatt to reach the posts and Russell added the conversion for a 12-0 lead.
The response was immediate. Exeter made the most of a lineout in the home 22 as fly-half Harvey Skinner put Slade through a gap, leaving the Bath defence flat-footed. The England centre had no trouble converting his try.
The third Bath try came two minutes after half-time, started and finished by the impeccable Spencer, breaking on the short side of a scrum on his own 22. Cokanasiga was on his shoulder and made another 30 metres before passing back inside to his skipper who touched down in the corner. Russell’s kick was wide.
While playing a penalty advantage, Max Ojomoh might have scored too but was held up. This time Russell chipped over a penalty for a 20-10 lead.
Exeter, still full of fight, went to the other wing where Townsend wriggled his way through the Bath forwards to score a try converted again by Slade and suddenly it was a three-point game.
But not for long. Exeter lost Townsend to a yellow card and there was further punishment as a fizzing left-hand pass by Russell presented Cokanasiga with a run-in on the right for the try bonus point just after the hour mark and the British and Irish Lion this time converted.
Barbeary stole away from a ruck in the Exeter 22 for the fifth try on 66 minutes and that was quickly followed by a sixth, claimed by Butt who had only just come on from the bench.
- Click here for all the RugbyPass stats from the Bath versus Exeter Premiership game