Bath U18s 64 Chiefs U18s 7
Bath Rugby Under-18s:64
Exeter Chiefs Under-18s: 7
Alfie Martin at The Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs Under-18s are still searching for their first victory in this season’s Premiership Rugby Under-18s League after they were soundly beaten away to Bath at the Recreation Ground.
Looking to bounce back from their opening fixture away to London Irish the previous, the young Chiefs were hoping for much-improved showing against their near neighbours in this latest assignment.
Instead, they ran into a Blue, Black and White machine, who were particularly impressive on the day, running in ten tries.
Pressure on the Chiefs’ breakdown resulted in Bath’s opening try, which was eventually finished off by Will Hendy, and the hosts claimed their second of the game shortly after when Owen Dudman released George Worboys to run in under the posts.
Academy coach Ruairi Cushion reflected on the loss after the final whistle, insisting that the result will fuel a resurgent response from his young side come the New Year.
“As a team, we’re obviously disappointed in our performance,” said Cushion. “We failed to action many of the key points we discussed and worked on during the week – and that allowed Bath momentum in the game. Our reactions and speed of thought were poor and we felt Bath won too many 50/50s due to our mental alertness.
“Bath are an excellent side and will be the ones to beat in this competition, but what was most disappointing for us was our attitude when things got tough and how we turned individual instead of fighting as a collective.”
The Under-18s now have a break for Christmas, their next run-out in the Premiership competition being at home to a dangerous Bristol ensemble on January 5.
Bath Rugby Under-18s: G Worboys, G Hamer-Webb (D Dudman 59), D Periel, M Ojomah (R Moxam 49), O Dudman (G Goss 52), O Bailey, W Cook (T Carr-Smith 52), J Guest (A Stanley 52), J Stewart (T Jenkins 52), J Bertinet (J Robson 58), E Richards (Capt.), E Staddon (F Read 52), X Hastings (A Chenoweth 52), W Hendy, N Merigan
Tries: W Hendy, G Worboys (2), J Stewart, M Ojomah, O Bailey, G Hamer-Webb (2), J Guest, A Stanley. Conversion: G Worboys (7)
Exeter Chiefs Under-18s: A Relton (J Davies 50), B Fenton, I Welch (W Trinder 35), A Gozzard, F Dart, H Lidstone, T Cairns (A Stacey 35), C Goldsmith (D Welch 52, C Goldmith 58), W Goffey (M Oliver 52), C King (C Leigh 52), J Elsworth, J Greaves (Capt.), S Butterworth (J Thorne 50), J Bond (E Maltby 37), J Stansfield (S Butterworth 64)
Try: B Fenton Conversion: H Lidstone
There was to be no let-up from Bath, who added to their tally when hooker John Stewart spotted the opportunity to dive over after a well-drilled catch-and drive move close to the Exeter line.
As the half ticked by, the home side continued to rule the roost as they added further tries through No.8 Nahum Merigan and Max Ojomoh to put them 26-0 to the good. Then, on the stroke of half time, Bath collected another maximum haul, Hendy combining well with Jack Bertinet to set up Orlando Bailey.
Any thoughts that there would be a let-up on the resumption were quickly extinguished as Gabriel Hamer-Webb and Jamie Guest provided further touchdowns to put Bath firmly in command at 45-0.
The impressive Hendy continued to cause big problems for the visitors and he was involved heavily in Bath’s next try.The back-rower showed his carrying skills down the right, before the ball was sent out to the opposite wing. A long looping pass from Periel was gathered by Hamer-Webb, who was able to claim his second converted score of the game.
To their credit, the Chiefs continued to battle away in difficult circumstances and they were duly rewarded for their efforts when winger Ben Fenton snuck over in the corner for a consolation score, converted by Haydn Lidstone.
Bath, though, quickly responded to the Chiefs’ effort, adding late tries through Archie Stanley and Worboys to seal a comprehensive victory.