PROP Brett Sturgess thinks Exeter Chiefs are close to getting results against the sides at the top of the table following their loss at Bath.
Despite tries from locks Damian Welch and Damian Welch in either half, the boot of George Ford saw Bath to a 21-16 success.
For once, Gareth Steenson was outshone from the kicking tee as he missed three attempts on goal while Ford landed all six penalty attempts and a drop goal.
“For the first time since we have been in the Premiership, we went to the Rec and attacked the game from the start,” Sturgess said.
“Last year we gave Bath too much of a head start when we played them at their place, and we came good towards the end of the match.
“This year we went there and played with intent, and tried to run the ball and play our game. We got a couple of tries, but we just missed out once again.
“We are nearly there and nearly getting the results against the top sides.”
After their 35-17 loss at Bath in the LV= Cup two weeks earlier, Exeter were keen to make a better start and they opened the scoring with a penalty from Steenson.
Ford replied before Matt Jess put Welch on a powerful charge that saw him beat three players on a run to the line.
Steenson missed the conversion but Ford landed two more penalties to give Bath a 9-8 half-time lead, despite Exeter having dominated of the play.
Ford’s extended the lead with his fourth penalty, but Mumm won a footrace to his own kick ahead to dot down.
Ford and Steenson traded blows for the rest of the match but Bath came through to win.