BRACKNELL RFC are now five points adrift at the foot of the South West Premier table after they were well beaten 40-12 at home by Exeter University on Saturday.

The students started well and opened the scoring when scrum-half Pietro Di Chio was at the end of a swift passing movement to score in the corner with eight minutes on the clock gone.

Things got worse for Bracknell moments later when visiting wing Jordan Bond picked up a dropped ball in his own half before sprinting under the posts from distance. Carl Morgan added the extras to make it 12-0.

The hosts came back into the contest as the half progressed, however, and got on the scoreboard when Chris Laidler muscled his way over after a number of attacking phases. He then added the extras to ensure the Lily Hill men trailed by just five at the half-time interval.

Bracknell made a dreadful start to the second half when they failed to deal with the kick-off, University back row Luke Bralsford retrieving the ball and feeding tight-head prop Max Taylor-Baggs to score.

Morgan's successful conversion left the home side with a 12-point deficit and when centre Fergus Donnelly scored the University’s bonus-point try, it effectively finished off the game with a quarter of the game left to play.

Exeter added their fifth try of the afternoon before Bracknell gained some consolation with 10 minutes remaining.

A catch-and-drive off a line-out in the University 22 was driven over for the hosts’ second score, skipper Michael Clarke dotting down.

However, it was the students who had the final word as a kick downfield was gathered by loose-head prop Jacob Morris to score. Morgan was on target for the fifth time in six attempts to leave Bracknell Chairman of Rugby bemoaning 'too many errors' in the defeat.

With second-bottom Newbury causing an upset in beating Maidenhead 25-22, Bracknell are now five points behind their Berkshire rivals at the foot of the table, albeit with two games in hand.

Dan ap Dafydd's men face a crucial trip to third-bottom Exmouth on Saturday.