Friday, 21st February 2020 @ 00:00
Harlequins came away with a losing bonus point thanks to tries from Dombrandt and Smith, whilst Bath secured a 19-12 win at a wet and windy Rec.
Five minutes in Quins conceded a penalty in their own half, giving Rhys Priestland the chance for an early Bath lead. However, the fly half’s kick hit the post and Quins were able to clear the ball.
After a cagey start to the match, it was the hosts that eventually took the lead after 12 minutes, with Ruaridh McConnochie being set clear off the back of the lineout to place the ball down. Priestland failed to add the extras as Bath took a 5-0 lead.
Bath maintained the momentum following the opening score over the next 10 minutes, resulting in Quins being penalised in a similar area to Priestland’s initial missed penalty. This time he was successful and extended Bath’s lead to 8-0.
Four minutes later, Matavesi thought he had crossed the line, but referee Tom Foley reviewed with the TMO and ruled a forward pass in the build-up.
But in true Quins style, they showed resilience and came back, 11 minutes before the break, through Alex Dombrandt who brilliantly charged down the kick deep in the Bath half and touched down, narrowing the gap to 8-5 after Smith’s conversion attempt struck the post.
Quins gave away another penalty out wide, with Priestland attempting to add another three, but with the rain falling and wind blowing the number 10’s kick fell way short and lock Glen Young did well to avoid being charged down in the in-goal area.
The first half ended 8-5, following scores from McConnochie and Dombrandt with Priestland adding three from the boot, with Cadan Murley and Santiago Garcia Botta both being replaced through injury.
Five minutes in to the second half, Brett Herron was sent to the bin after the referee called him for a supposed deliberate knock on in the tackle.
Despite being a man down, it was Quins who bounced back and added the first points of the second half. Ibitoye found space out wide and was able to bring the ball back in to Marcus Smith who had the legs to run the ball in. Smith added the extras and Quins held an 8-12 lead with 25 minutes remaining.
Bath replied almost instantly with Freddie Burns converting the penalty, narrowing the gap to only one point; 11-12 after 59 minutes.
After wining the penalty deep in their half, Bath continued pressing and McConnochie ended up finding himself in some space out wide and was able to score his second try of the match. Burns wasn’t able to add the extras and Quins were only four point behind with 13 minutes on the clock; 16-12.
Freddie Burns slotted a penalty through the sticks on the 77th minute to secure the 19-12 win for Bath.
Harlequins return to The Stoop on Saturday 29 February (Kick off 15:00), facing Exeter. Tickets are still available at tickets.quins.co.uk