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Bath leave it late to defeat Exeter in Premiership

Semesa Rokoduguni

Semesa Rokoduguni’s try means Exeter are without a win in five games in all competitions

Semesa Rokoduguni’s stoppage-time try snatched a Premiership win for Bath in a low-scoring encounter at Exeter.

The England international went over in the sixth minute of added time, after Mitch Lees thought he had won the game for Exeter with a late try of his own.

Gareth Steenson’s penalty was the only score of an attritional first half.

Dave Attwood had a Bath try chalked off early in the second half for a forward pass but two George Ford penalties put Bath ahead before the late tries.

Bath are third after a sixth win in seven league outings, three points behind leaders Saracens, while last season’s beaten Premiership finalists Exeter are in seventh following their fourth defeat of the campaign.

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Ford had missed two penalties in the opening 20 minutes, both of which the England half-back would have expected to put over easily.

The game did not come to life until the final 10 minutes, when first Lees was forced over after a maul that began on the Bath 22 – just reward for a Chiefs side that had dominated territory in the second period.

But Exeter failed to control the game, Steenson missing a penalty to win it with five minutes left before Bath laid siege to the Exeter line.

Winning seven penalties in a row in the left corner, Bath eventually kicked to the opposite wing and with no time left on the clock they eventually got the ball to Rokoduguni, who skipped past a couple of challenges to go over.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter:

“The game very quickly became a confrontational battle that had some errors in it. I don’t think either team will be massively pleased by some of the rugby, but both teams will be pleased by the commitment of the players.

“Fair play to Bath, they showed that bit more resilience to edge a close game and you have to give them great credit for that.

“I am disappointed and I am frustrated but, in some ways, if you lose a game like that and you look at the table now and the results we’ve had, you can start to set yourself new challenges.”

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder:

“I’m not getting carried away at all. I’m just enjoying the week and the battles every week.

“I don’t think we’re the complete side, not by a long way. That was a true test and exposed a few areas of weakness for us, so we’ll have a good look at ourselves.

“But if anything we showed fantastic character. It was good, gutsy stuff and we’ll learn from it.”

Exeter: Turner; Woodburn, Whitten, Slade, Short; Steenson (capt), Lewis; Low, Yeandle, Williams, Lees, Parling, Dennis, Horstmann, Waldrom.

Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Francis, Hill, White, Maunder, Hill, Devoto.

Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Banahan, Brew; Ford (co-capt), Fotuali’i; Auterac, Batty, Thomas, Charteris, Attwood, Garvey (co-capt), Ellis, Ewels.

Replacements: Dunn, Lahiff, Palma-Newport, Stooke, Mercer, Homer, Priestland, Williams.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37768672