Bath 23-19 Exeter Chiefs, Aviva Premiership, September 17
Davis delighted with Vesty showing
ESPNscrum Staff
September 17, 2011
Sam Vesty calls the shots for Bath, Bath v Sale, Aviva Premiership, Recreation Ground, Bath, England, September 25, 2010
Sam Vesty ended with a personal haul of 13 points © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Dan Hipkiss | Sam Vesty
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Bath first-team coach Brad Davis believes fly-half Sam Vesty is playing his best rugby since arriving at the Recreation Ground.

The former Leicester player, who joined Bath last year, kicked three penalties and also converted tries by Dan Hipkiss and Nathan Catt in a 23-19 win over Exeter in the Aviva Premiership. He also made just as big a contribution with his calm game management.

Bath are waiting for All Black Stephen Donald to arrive in November, but Davis is more than happy with Vesty's contribution in the interim. He said: "In all three games Sam has really stamped his authority, not only on the game but on the team. I thought it was a pretty accomplished performance.

"At the same time I think he has another 20 per cent in him where certain parts of his game can be improved upon. Definitely, that second 40 minutes was the best he's played for us and I think he controlled proceedings pretty well."

Exeter's dominant scrum forced a last-minute penalty try to snatch a losing bonus point but Bath director of rugby Ian McGeechan was satisfied with his team's showing.

"I thought the second half was as well as we have played so far," he said. "Although we tried to stick them into the corners and play out, we didn't execute as well as we wanted to. "Other than that, I thought we played well and we just adjusted things at half-time, which made a big difference. When we got the tempo, I thought we looked good - even in the first half. But we know we didn't do it often enough."

Exeter are second in the Premiership after three games and coach Rob Baxter was satisfied with that effort.

"We've got points in all the games so far and as long as we are a little bit better over the course of the season, I'll be happy," Baxter said. "We've got to take small steps to be a really competitive side in the Premiership. Let's not get deluded about how tough the Premiership really is."

On the Exeter performance, he added: "It was a relatively close game in a lot of ways. We perhaps made a few too many mistakes to really capitalise on moments of pressure that we did have. And one defensive error where we slipped off a couple of tackles on Dan Hipkiss broke the game up to the extent that at the end we were pretty pleased that we got something out of it.

"Our forwards came out of it pretty strongly. And the one moment of pressure we managed to force at the end resulted in a bit of payback for us. Yes, I'm pleased. Ten points from three games - we've been to Leicester and and we've been to Bath - is a pretty good return for us at this stage of the season."

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