Bath Rugby climbed back into the top four of the Gallagher Premiership with a 19-12 win over Harlequins at the Rec on Saturday.
A brace of scores from winger Ruaridh McConnochie set the Blue, Black and White’s up for a third straight league win, which hasn’t been achieved since 2016.
The hosts began the game with a flourish as Hooper’s men applied flurries of pressure on the Harlequins defensive line.
Bath broke the deadlock after 11 minutes as McConnochie broke free and found the gap to score his first try of the season. Priestland’s effort at goal was narrowly wide. [5-0]
After a dominant opening quarter, the hosts were back on the scoreboard. This time the Welsh fly-half made no mistake from the tee as he added a simple three points from a wide position. [8-0]
Harlequins got themselves on the scoreboard after 27 minutes with a Dombrandt score against the run of play. The powerful No. 8 charged down Priestland's clearance kick in the 22 and in-form scooped up the loose ball and crashed over untouched [8-5]
As the half came to a close, the Blue, Black and White maintained the pressure on Harlequins as Josh Matavesi crossed the whitewash after running a crushing line. The centre’s effort was chalked off as referee Tom Foley saw a forward pass before the run from Chris Cook.
Half-time – Bath Rugby 8-5 Harlequins
Shortly after the break the visitors compiled the pressure on the hosts as Marcus Smith turned the tide with a breakaway try. The fly-half found the gap and kicked the ball through before claiming the ball and going in under the sticks under pressure. Smith converted his own score to edge Harlequins ahead. [8-12]
Bath continued their resilient attitude and won themselves a crucial penalty after 57 minutes. Francois Louw won the penalty after getting himself over the ball and Freddie Burns was able to bring the hosts back to within a point. [11-12]
As the pendulum swung in an evenly balanced second-half, it was Bath who go a crucial try through McConnochie who added his brace. The winger was beneficiary of an excellent break from Priestland who opened up the space and offloaded to the 28-year-old. [16-12]
With the game reaching its final edge, Bath added the crucial score to seal the points as Burns added his second penalty of the afternoon. Bath won several penalties in quick succession from Foley as they amounted the pressure before a penalty at the ruck allowed the fly-half to convert.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 19-12 Harlequins
Bath Rugby host the West Country derby against Bristol Bears on Sunday 1st March as the Blue, Black and White’s search for a fourth win in the row.
22 February 2020
Referee: Tom Foley
Half Time score: 8-5
- Tries: McConnochie (11, 65)
- Penalties: Priestland (19), Burns (57, 75)
- Tries: Dombrandt (27), Smith (53)
- Conversions: Smith (54)