BRACKNELL RFC dropped into the South West Premier relegation zone after suffering a 42-17 defeat at Exeter University.

Two converted tries in the topening 18 minutes gave the home side a 14-0 advantage, but Bracknell responded with a Michael Clarke try shortly after.

The hooker doubled his tally 10 minutes later, and while the conversion again went awry, Bracknell were in the game trailing 14-10 at half-time.

However, the visitors' hopes of victory were dented when the University scored their third converted try of the day in the early exchanges of the second half.

Clarke’s super-human efforts continued as on the hour mark he crossed the University try line for his hat-trick, and with the conversion successful, it was back to a four-point game.

However, Exeter dominated the final quarter and their pressure told as they scored their fourth converted try of the day and secured their bonus point.

And the home side added two further seven-pointers late on to add a further gloss to the scoreline.

Reflecting on the game, Bracknell chairman of rugby, Martin Radford, commented “The team which commanded the basics won the game. We need to learn to improve our game awareness and management, as it’s that which is costing us at the moment.”

Second-bottom Bracknell welcome Exmouth to Lily Hill Park on Saturday (3pm).