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RUGBY: Gold warning over Bath discipline
9:00am Monday 29th October 2012 in Sport
GARY Gold warned his Bath Rugby side that their discipline will have to improve after they escaped with a 23-15 win at home to Exeter Chiefs.
On their return to Aviva Premiership action at the Rec, Bath made a flying start with early tries from Ben Williams and Kyle Eastmond.
Exeter hit back through Brett Sturgess but when Francois Louw went over for Bath's third try they looked out of sight.
However a succession of penalties, as well as a yellow card for Dan Hipkiss allowed the Chiefs back into it through Ignacio Mieres, and that was compounded when the former Leicester Tigers centre was sent off while in the bin for preventing a quick lineout.
Stephen Donald's late penalty ensured the win for the hosts but Gold insisted that the penalty count would have to come down.
He 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.
"I didn't see [the second Hipkiss yellow card] too well. 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.
"[Francois Louw] 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."
While Gold was delighted with the result but not the manner, Baxter was equally frustrated with his side's first-half performance.
Gareth Steenson missed three shots at goal, while Exeter struggled to impose themselves however after the break they looked a different team, with Gonzalo Camacho and Aly Muldowney both influential.
And having worked so hard to get back in with a chance of victory, Baxter admitted it was disappointing to miss out on the consolation of a losing bonus point, with Mieres missing a late penalty effort before both sides engaged in an incredible battle for the extra point in a frantic six minutes of injury time.
He said: "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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