Fixture: Team Bath Rugby 1st team vs Exeter University 1st XV
Date: Wednesday 7 December 2011
Score: Team Bath 23 Exeter University 9
Venue: Sports Training Village, University of Bath
The last fixture between these two Universities had ended with a victory for the home side and the away side, Bath, feeling very disheartened and frustrated with the way the game had gone especially due to the fact that all squad members knew they should have came away with a win.
Therefore, all members of the match day squad were eager to put down a marker and prove how good they actually are.
In a change of location, the side had decided to play their first game of the year at the Sports Training Village and on a cold and wintry afternoon ran out with steely determination clear for all to see.
From the off, the University of Bath played with precision, skill and flare and took the game to Exeter.
Physical running from the forwards and clever running angles from the backs allowed the home side to put pressure on the opponents and it wasn’t long for the first points to be scored.
Great interplay and offloading from backs and forwards alike set up a position close to Exeter’s 22 metre line.
From the following phase of play, winger and speedster Sam Miller claimed the ball off scrum half George Drury and jinked his way through the defence to score under the posts allowing an easy conversion for fly half Zak Vinnicombe.
Exeter kicked off and straight away Bath were eager to get back to scoring ways. The forwards secured possession went wide straight away and Alex Brown on the other wing ran strongly into the Exeter half.
Ensuing phases followed and it wasn’t long before Exeter had to give away a penalty which was duly converted by Vinnicombe making the score 10-0 to Bath, almost the perfect start.
Exeter then began playing some rugby, trying to put Bath under pressure. Bath however, were more than equal to it, providing no way through for Exeter with great offensive tackling that resulted in a mistake allowing Bath to clear their lines.
Exeter then started to show some form of dominance in the forwards with a good scrum and some hammering lineout drives.
Bath once again managed to control these waves of attacks and through pressure in defence turned the ball over and won a penalty with Vinnicombe converting.
A further penalty from Vinnicombe meant the lead was building nicely for the home side and the best part of the match was yet to come.
Outstanding skills were shown from players one through to 15 with play sweeping the entire width of the field. The move was finished once again by winger Miller which meant the first half finished with a score line of 23-0 to the University of Bath.
In the second half, Exeter came back at Bath but the defence held firm meaning the only way Exeter could score was through the boot of their fly half. He struck three times meaning the score was now 23-9 to the home side.
With 10 minutes left to play, the Bath forwards showed their class. They closed the game off with fantastic control in the tight, picking and going time after time duly frustrating the away side into giving penalties away which is exactly what happened in the final play of the game.
As a result, Vinnicombe kicked the ball out to the sheer elation of the players and coaches as they felt they had put to bed the emotions of the previous and disappointing fixture between these two universities.
The final score was University of Bath 23 – Exeter University 9.