Rob Baxter delighted after Exeter overcome Bath hoodoo
After winning only one of their previous 11 league encounters against Bath, Exeter boss Rob Baxter was delighted to see the Chiefs overcome their bogey team 26-17 at Sandy Park.
Baxter had seen a healthy 16-0 lead eroded as Bath staged a strong rally before a try from replacement number eight Kai Horstmann three minutes from time sealed a hard-fought win.
Ian Whitten scored Exeter's first try and Gareth Steenson converted both and kicked four penalties. Bath's response was two tries from their number eight Amanaki Mafi, with Tom Homer converting both and kicking a penalty.
Baxter said: "It's nice to finally redress some of those losses as we've been on the end of some narrow defeats previously.
"We thoroughly deserved to win this one but those tries just either side of half-time did take the wind out of my sails.
"The first try was a soft one to give away as it shifted momentum and our 16-0 lead had suddenly gone but our discipline was fantastic into the wind.
"We had played very well to build up that 16-0 lead as Bath have one of the best defences in the league. It was frustrating as they kept trying to take tempo out of the game but the referee (Greg Garner) did work hard to try and keep the game flowing."
Bath's defeat, their ninth in 13 Aviva Premiership matches, saw them remain ninth in the table, 10 points behind eighth-placed Sale and now with little chance of qualifying for next season's European Champions Cup.
Assistant coach Toby Booth refused to be drawn on their predicament and said: "We coaches just look at seven days ahead and seven days back and therefore London Irish next week is our focus. But we could do with registering something in the wins column.
"It's very disappointing that we've got absolutely nothing from this game as we have done extremely well to claw ourselves back into it after a slow start.
"Our set-piece wasn't good enough at the start so we couldn't get enough possession. When we had a great chance in the second half, we weren't accurate or clinical and didn't put ourselves in the right areas of the field when we had the wind in our favour.
"Defeat was our own fault and I'm not blaming the referee but I didn't think we had the rub of the green in certain areas."