5 November 2011, 5:35pm
Despite a try from Dave Attwood and eight points from the boot of Sam Vesty, Bath couldn't beat table toppers Harlequins at a sold out Recreation Ground. Final Score Bath Rugby 13 Harlequins 26
Bath began the game on the front foot attacking the Harlequins defence directly and with purpose. Two penalty chances emerged within the first five minutes and Vesty coming close on both occasions but sadly couldn't find his mark. However, Quins fly-half Nick Evans had his own chance to grab the first points and he did, giving the visitors the early lead 0-3.
A counter attacking up and under kick from scrum-half Michael Claassens put Quins captain Chris Robshaw under immediate pressure from the chasing young academy winger, Olly Woodburn, who smashed Robshaw and rucked superbly turning over the ball. Quick recycling saw Bath ship the ball slickly through the hands and it looked as if winger Tom Biggs had scored the first try but for referee Dean Richards to say it was the held up. Bath scrummed down powerfully, setting a great platform to play from. Despite the spilt ball out the back of the scrum, close forward play edged inches nearer to the line, drawing in the defence. Claassens found a waiting Attwood who crashed over from short range to score the deserved Bath try. Vesty converted. 7-3.
Harlequins responded immediately though, and a well taken line-out deep in Bath's 22, rewarded the Quins as they drove over the line after a handful of pick and drives, with Robshaw touching down. Evans added the extras. 7-10.
Quins added another three points shortly after the restart when Bath were initially penalised for offside at the breakdown and penalised a further ten metres after not retreating. Evans was again on song taking Harlequins ahead by six points at half time. 7-13.
As the game resumed with the start of the second half, a penalty a piece quickly allowed both teams to add another three points to their scoresheet. Ten minutes had passed and after play broke down, following some 'fisty-cuffs', the referee sought the advice of the touch judges and awarded a penalty to Quins in which Evans added another three points to his tally. 10-19.
Bath showed great attacking sense with just over ten minutes remaining and made their way to within a metre of the Quins try line. They were awarded the penalty after Quins were found guilty of not rolling away and Vesty put the ball through the posts. 13-19.
Bath's hopes of a late comeback were shattered with just over five minutes remaining, as Mike Brown broke away from the back of an attacking Quins ruck and sneaked through a gap at the fringes, stepped the last defender and scored just right of the posts. Evans converted. 13-26.
Final score - Bath Rugby 13 Harlequins 26.
By Rob Breckon
|05/11/11||Leicester||24 - 24||London Irish|
|05/11/11||Exeter||19 - 24||Gloucester|
|FB||Nick Abendanon||15||Mike Brown||FB||1|
|W||Ollie Woodburn||14||Seb Stegmann||W|
|C||Dan Hipkiss||13||George Lowe||C|
|C||Matthew Carraro||12||Jordan Turner-Hall||C|
|W||Tom Biggs||11||Sam Smith||W|
|2||1||FH||Sam Vesty||10||Nick Evans||FH||2||4|
|SH||Michael Claassens||9||Karl Dickson||SH|
|P||Nathan Catt||1||Joe Marler||P|
|H||Lee Mears||2||Joe Gray||H|
|P||Dave Wilson||3||James Johnston||P|
|L||Stuart Hooper||4||Ollie Kohn||L|
|1||L||Dave Attwood||5||George Robson||L|
|FL||Ben Skirving||6||Maurie Fa'asavalu||FL|
|FL||Francois Louw||7||Chris Robshaw||FL||1|
|8||Simon Taylor||8||Nick Easter||8|