Exeter late show stuns Bath

Date published: December 31 2016

Exeter Chiefs came from 11-0 down to beat play-off rivals Bath 17-11 in their Premiership clash at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

Two late tries from James Short ended Bath’s nine-month unbeaten home record.

Semesa Rokodoguni had put his side in front with a breathtaking score, but they were left settling for a losing bonus point.

After a slow start to the game, Bath finally made the most of their dominant possession when George Ford slotted two penalties in quick succession either side of the 20 minute mark.

Rokodoguni went close with a superb individual effort when he collected his own chip before racing away, only to be halted by his English counterpart Jack Nowell.

But the Bath wing eventually got his try with another outstanding score, as he beat three Exeter defenders from 10 metres out to reach for the whitewash and score an unconverted try.

The visitors were resurgent after the break and looked the most likely to score next.

The Chiefs opened their account on the hour mark through a Gareth Steenson penalty, before Anthony Watson went close in the corner on his return from injury, once again stopped by Nowell with the help of Phil Dollman.

With 10 minutes left, replacement back Short slid in to the corner after an exquisite juggling act from Luke Cowan-Dickie, meaning Steenson’s touchline conversion brought his side to within a point.

As Exeter played through the phases with a series of pick-and-goes, Short carried over for his second try, turning the game on its head. Steenson’s immaculate conversion took the Devon side further clear.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Try: Rokoduguni
Pens: Ford 2

For Exeter:
Tries: Short 2
Cons: Steenson 2
Pen: Steenson

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Aled Brew, 10 George Ford (cc), 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Matt Garvey (cc), 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Paul Grant, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Max Clark, 23 Anthony Watson

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 James Short

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner, Phil Watters
TMO: Geoff Warren