Defending champions Exeter Chiefs will see what they can make of a Bath outfit which will be kicking itself after an unexpected loss to the newly-promoted Newcastle Falcons in Round 1.
Exeter continued their brilliant form of last season with a 33-3 hammering of Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop last weekend and look set to be the team to beat in this competition once more. Rob Baxter’s charges put five tries on the board while limiting the home side to just one penalty with rock-solid defence.
Bath seemed taken completely by surprise by a spirited and determined Falcons side which brought a physicality that Charlie Ewels and co. were not quite expecting.
Bath made a good start with an early try inside the opening ten minutes but Newcastle showed great fight to storm their way back into the game and hold out their opponents until the end for a very valuable win.
Last round’s occurrences have put Exeter back in the number one spot on the overall standings while Bath now occupy ninth and will be harbouring an eagerness to climb back into the upper echelons of the tournament.
The teams clashed three times last season with Exeter taking the spoils on each occasion; first in Round 2 where Exeter won narrowly, 13-10; then in Round 13 where Exeter turned the screws on Bath in a 57-20 drubbing; and lastly in the semi-finals where Chiefs were again too good – 35-6.