Bath overcome Harlequins at the Rec

By Rory Poulter

3rd Feb 2022 | Local Sport

Credit: JMP/Juan Gasparini for @harlequins.
Credit: JMP/Juan Gasparini for @harlequins.

Harlequins travelled to The Rec looking to extend a seven-match winning streak across all competitions, most recently claiming back-to-back dramatic victories in the Heineken Champions Cup having secured home advantage later in the playoffs.

However, it would be a Bath side with nothing to lose that reversed Quins' fortunes, with a dramatic late win more often than not the running order for the Londoners, not their opponents.

Quins started in an impressive fashion, coming close to claiming opening scores within the first four minutes. Both early scoring opportunities went begging, with fullback Tyrone Green sending a try-scoring pass into touch above the waiting Luke Wallace down the left touchline in the second minute while wing Nick David lost the ball in contact in the fourth in the process of scoring.

Eventually finding their opening points, Quins pounced as Bath failed to send a penalty kick into touch, with David counterattacking down that right touchline before giving the final pass to blindside Dino Lamb to canter in for the score. Fly-half Tommy Allan added the conversion to make it a full seven.

After some nifty defending within Quins deadball area to prevent a certain Bath try, fullback Green was shown a yellow card by referee Tom Foley for a deliberate knock-on as Bath sent a second assault on the Quins tryline.

Bath probed the Quins defence often but were not able to secure a try against a 14-man defence but the home side was able to secure back to back penalties to reduce Quins' lead to a single point with less than ten minutes until half-time.

Quins had the final say of the first-half, claiming a second try just before the break despite a surge of penalties going against them in the final five minutes. David was once more the catalyst for the score, breaking clean through the middle of the Bath defence before sending it out to his supporting runners. Scotland international centre Huw Jones took on the final charge, drawing his man and passing out to wing Cadan Murley for the score. No conversion for Allan from out wide, but the score allowed Quins a six-point lead at the break.

Bath wing Will Muir was the man to claim the headlines at the start of the second half, with the former England Sevens man claiming consecutive scores to put Bath ahead for the first time of the day at 18-12 with just over 20 minutes left to play.

Drama at the end of the game seems to have become a trademark for Harlequins, with Academy lock George Hammond claiming a late try on the end of some fine counter-attacking work from Jones down the centre of the pitch and then Green down the right touchline to send Hammond over for a late try. Allan couldn't add a touch touchline conversion, leaving Bath a single point advantage with six minutes left on the clock.

Any hope of a classic Harlequins win with the clock in the red was dashed as Bath kicked another penalty, extending their lead to four points before receiving the restart and sending the ball into touch for their second win of the season. A losing bonus point would be the only thing the travelling Londoners would take back with them to Twickenham.

A high penalty count and a heavy injury toll saw Harlequins depart the West Country with a costly defeat, looking to make the most of a lengthy eight-day gap between games. Next up, Sale Sharks at The Stoop.

Final score: 21-17

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