Bath declare essential win over Exeter in Premiership play-off push | EUROtoday

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Exeter Chiefs 14 Bath Rugby 26

There was a time when Bath dominated supreme in English rugby, a formidable on-field drive, often known as serial trophy winners.

Like all good issues, nevertheless, that ultimately got here to an finish – and within the case of the boys from the historic Roman metropolis, it has been a fairly barren spell since they final lifted the title again in 1996.

A plethora of distinguished gamers and coaches have come and gone in that intervening interval, however regardless of loads of huff and puff, the key of success has but to be discovered.

In Johann van Graan, it appears, they now have a studious entrance man from whom to launch their newest assault for glory.

The South African arrived on the Rec two years’ in the past following a profitable stint accountable for the Irish giants, Munster. Not fairly a poisoned chalice to tackle, the 44-year-old is eventually making his presence actually felt.

“That’s potentially our best win of the season,” mentioned Van Graan. “It was a terrible feeling coming here two weeks ago and coming up just short. Also, why I say it’s potentially our biggest win of the season, this Exeter team doesn’t lose here. You’ve got to fight for 80 minutes and I’m so proud of the boys today.

“I think we learned a lot from the last game. Exeter play a very certain way and I think that’s the beauty of life in rugby. You’ve got to learn your lessons and we certainly learned a few lessons the last day. Today, we had firepower right across the 80, and I’d say we met fire with fire, so I’m glad we came out on top.”

Having inherited a squad that had loads of potential, however clearly lacked the killer intuition when it mattered most, the roots of restoration are eventually beginning to spring into life.

Tackling acquainted foes Exeter Chiefs for the second time in a month – the Devonians received the sooner encounter within the Champions Cup – it was Bath who set the tone on an excellent afternoon within the West Country.

No 8 Alfie Barbeary was Bath’s tormentor-in-chief, throwing himself right into a sequence of early heavyweight collisions.

The Chiefs weren’t giving an inch and having soaked up a bout of early stress, it was the flip of the house facet to strive their hand in assault. Full-back Josh Hodge threatened with two trademark bursts from deep, whereas winger Immanuel Feyi-Waboso was an actual livewire on the precise wing.

The England worldwide, although, did have a heart-stopping second when he appeared to collide in flight with reverse quantity Will Muir.

Initially it didn’t look good for Exeter’s man of the second. Crucially for him, nevertheless, subsequent TV replays confirmed his actions had been nothing greater than full-blooded endeavour to understand the ball – and the matter was deemed nothing greater than a knock-on within the last shake-up.

With either side persevering with to tear into each other, significantly up entrance, it was Bath who started to construct up a head of steam. Given the platform to strike from a close-range line-out, Barbeary connected himself to the again of a maul to roll his approach over for the sport’s opening rating, which was beautifully transformed from the touchline by Ben Spencer.

The Chiefs appeared to reply virtually instantly, scrum-half Tom Cairns sniping by way of a ruck for a rating that met with nice approval from the plenty. Home pleasure, nevertheless, proved short-lived because the officers noticed the actions of Exeter prop Ehren Painter in clearing the pathway for his team-mate.

Bath made the a lot of the let-off to not solely maintain their line intact, however then prolong their lead on the stroke of half time, lock Charlie Ewels escaping by way of the center of a line-out earlier than drawing within the cowl to ship Spencer scampering over for the transformed rating.

Whatever was mentioned by Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter on the break, it clearly had the specified impact, the Chiefs decreasing the deficit inside 5 minutes when former Bath winger Olly Woodburn was available to complete.

But Max Ojomoh then prolonged Bath’s grip on proceedings, capitalising on a mistake to say a 3rd rating, earlier than alternative Miles Reid wrapped up the all-important bonus level when he squeezed over by the house posts.

Stu Townsend’s late strive gave the Chiefs a glimmer of hope, however by then the injury had been performed and it was Bath who celebrated a priceless victory within the race for the play-offs.

“I’m not saying we didn’t turn up physically today, because at times we played some great rugby and it was a right battle out there, but I don’t think we’ve been quite focused in certain areas,” Baxter mentioned.

“I don’t think we’re completely out of the play-offs, but we were probably already at a stage where we had to have three or four wins to be there anyway. Now, we’re at the stage where we definitely have to have three wins and it could get interesting.”

Match particulars

Chiefs: Hodge; Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Devoto (Wimbush 54), Woodburn; Skinner, Cairns (Townsend 52); Sio (Southworth 59), Yeandle (Norey 59), Painter (Street 40); Pearson (Dunne 53), Jenkins (c); Roots (Tshiunza 50), Vermeulen, Fisilau. Replacement (not used): Haydon-Wood

Bath: Gallagher; Cokanasiga, Lawrence, Ojomoh, Muir; Bailey, Spencer (c, Schreuder 79); Obano (du Toit 52), Dunn (Faiva 68), Stuart (Griffin 63); Roux (du Plessis 52), Ewels; Hill, Underhill (Reid 52, Bayliss 63), Barbeary. Replacement (not used): Butt

Referee: A Leal

Attendance: 14,933

Scoring Sequence: Barbeary Try (0-5), Spencer Con (0-7), Spencer Try (0-12). Spencer Con (0-14), Woodburn Try (5-14), Slade Con (7-14), Ojomoh Try (7-19), Reid Try (7-24), Spencer Con (7-26), Townsend Try (12-26), Slade (14-26).