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The Bath resurgence continues with a six-try win over Exeter

By PA
Bath's Alfie Barbeary celebrates (Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Resurgent Bath proved too powerful for West Country rivals Exeter, pulling away to score six tries in a 41-24 Gallagher Premiership win over the Chiefs in front of another sell-out crowd at The Rec.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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
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Red and White Dynamight 3 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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