Gold relieved to take win

PA Sport
Dan Hipkiss saw red as Bath ground out a 23-15 win over Exeter
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Dan Hipkiss saw red as Bath ground out a 23-15 win over Exeter

Bath head coach Gary Gold was a relieved man after his side leapfrogged Exeter in the Aviva Premiership - but only after surviving a stirring second half from the Chiefs.

But Gold was critical of his side's discipline in the second half although they held on for a 23-15 win.

Gold said: "I'm very proud of the character we showed but not so much of certain aspects of the way we played in the second half, such as the penalty count. We'll take that win against a team of that quality though. We've got massive respect for Exeter. They're one of the toughest opponents we've played this season."

Poor discipline very nearly cost Bath victory. They were hanging on at 20-15 when Exeter full-back Luke Arscott found himself contesting a ball on the touchline with Dan Hipkiss, who was actually in the sin-bin. The ex-Leicester centre saw yellow again and an automatic red.

"I didn't see it too well," said Gold. "But some of our coaches saw it and said it wasn't the cleverest of things to do. We needed him to come on for the last four minutes."

Instead it was left to Stephen Donald to put the game beyond doubt with a 79th minute penalty for a 23-15 victory, denying Exeter a losing bonus point.

Bath have a number of injury worries, including England squad prop Davey Wilson who went off with a shoulder injury. Of more concern to Gold was a neck injury to skipper Francois Louw. Gold explained: "He had a bad blow to the head and he seems to have suffered a compression of the vertebrae. We will find out more next week."

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter was left rueing a poor first half performance but was not blaming the rigours of two weekends of Heineken Cup action.

"My frustration is not about coming up short - it's with that first half performance. We just lacked a bit of clean decision making. We also missed a few kicks at goal. We wouldn't have been talking about losing bonus points then (had we scored them).

"In the second half we looked great and full of energy. I've got to be pleased with the guys' physical endeavour but we found ourselves two tries down without firing a shot. It's disappointing that we came away without even a losing bonus point."

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