Bath Rugby fall to defeat at The Stoop

Bath Rugby fell to a 20-5 defeat to Harlequins at the Stoop in Round 17 of the Aviva Premiership this afternoon.

After the game was postponed from Friday night due to the adverse weather conditions, both teams were desperate to get out on the field.

A cagey first-half saw Bath take the lead on the 16th minute. Taulupe Faletau secured clean ball from the base of the scrum, allowing Kahn Fotuali’i to burst through the gap in the Quins’ defence. The Samoan scrum-half found Matt Banahan outside him, who had a simple canter over the line. 0-5.

Tim Visser opened the scoring for the home sid e with an interception try, and Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion to take the lead.

The try shifted momentum in favour of the home side, and the fly-half then extended Quins’ lead on the 28th minute with a penalty. He missed with a second attempt four minutes from the break, as neither side were able to capitalise on their chances.

Half-time: Harlequins 10 – Bath Rugby 5.

Bath started the second-half on the attack, but resilient last-ditch defence from Quins prevented them from scoring. Instead, the home side were able to turn the pressure around, forcing the visitors into errors and ill-discipline.

Quins were upping the tempo as the seconds ticked by, and referee JP Doyle eventually lost patience, sending replacement Max Lahiff to the sin-bin. Moments later, Quins made the extra man count, Kyle Sinckler crashing over from short range. Castrakilis added the conversion. 17-5.

Bath were desperately trying to get back in to the game, and went close with a powerful run from James Wilson bringing Nathan Catt and Cooper Vuna into the play, but Quins held firm.

The Television Match Official was called on twice in the last ten minutes, both times looking at potential Bath scores. First Zach Mercer was ruled to have been held up over the line, then Catt looked to have got the ball down, but there was no clear grounding.

Quins were clinging on for victory, and replacement Marcus Smith added a penalty three minutes before time.

With seconds on the clock, Smith intercepted a Bath pass, and looked to be away for the home side’s third try. Mercer, however, had other ideas, and the back row chased down his fellow England squad apprentice to bundle him into touch.

Final score: Harlequins 20 – Bath Rugby 5.

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