Rugby – Exeter crush Bath 35-6 to reach fifth straight Premiership final

(Reuters) – Exeter Chiefs remained on course for a domestic and European double after delivering a clinical five-try display to beat Bath 35-6 in the Premiership semi-final on Saturday.

Victory sent Exeter into the Oct. 24 Twickenham showpiece where they will meet Wasps, who defeated Bristol Bears 47-24 to reach their first final in three years.

“It shows how we’ve been going the whole season and then we put in the performance we wanted,” Exeter captain Joe Simmonds said. “To stop Bath from scoring a try is a credit to the team.”

Bath enjoyed early spells of possession in the Exeter territory but the Chiefs recovered to score from their first attacking position at Sandy Park.

Lock Jonny Hill crossed the try line in the 16th minute for the hosts before Simmonds added the extras.

Rhys Priestland slotted home two penalties in four minutes for Bath to cut the deficit down to one point, only for Exeter to respond from the restart through a Luke Cowan-Dickie try.

Exeter were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes after Hill was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge but they weathered the worst of the storm to reach halftime with an eight-point lead.

A Stuart Hogg try early in the second half followed by Hill’s second killed off the contest before Ollie Devoto burrowed over to score against his former club.

Exeter flyhalf Simmonds, who was forced off with a knock in the closing stages of the match, produced another standout display to improve his chances of securing an England call-up for the autumn internationals.

“If I get a chance for England that would be great but right now my key focus is Exeter,” he said. “We have two finals now.”

Rob Baxter’s Exeter face French club Racing 92 in the European Champions Cup final on Oct. 17 before a fifth consecutive Premiership final appearance at Twickenham.

The last time Exeter and Wasps met in the title decider was 2017 when Exeter came out on top to win their first-ever top division title.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis

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