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Author Topic: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins  (Read 217 times)

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Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« on: Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 22:32* »
Bath vs Harlequins - Saturday 2nd March
by Bedfordshire Boy

With Bristol beating Gloucester in Friday night’s game Quins travelled to the West Country knowing that win, lose or draw they were guaranteed to still be in third place in the table at the end of the weekend matches. Despite the weather forecasts earlier in the week predicting heavy rain during the afternoon the forecast on the day was for the weather to be windy but dry which is just as well having to spend the afternoon in the open Dyson Stand.

A few changes from the side that beat Bristol last week with Mat Symons back with James Horwill in the second row and Ben Glynn moving into the back row as well as Lewis Boyce replacing Joe Marler who was on the bench. One change in the backs with James Lang and Marcus Smith changing places. Always enjoy visiting The Rec, Bath a real rugby city and not the easiest place to pick up a win but one or two bonus points would be a good return.

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Not A Good Sign When The Pitch Needs Repair Before Kick Off

James Lang gets the game underway, Quins retain the ball and keep recycling but make no headway as the Bath defence forces them backwards and noticeable that Bath were not contesting the breakdown. Quins are awarded the first scrum of the game, Bath are penalised allowing Quins to find touch within 10 metres of the Bath line from which they continue to press. A second scrum five metres out leads to the first try of the afternoon when Chris Robshaw gets over the line to touch down.

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Chris Robshaw Touches Down

Conversion by James Lang is successful so Quins seven points on the board after 9 minutes and Bath yet to touch the ball. Lang clears the restart to touch enabling Bath to get hold of the ball for a period but they are unable to make any progress out of their half and eventually Priestley spills the ball. Alex Dombrandt gets hold of the ball, kicks it forward for Joe Marchant to chase down, gather and cross the line for Quins second try. Another successful conversion from Lang and the scoreboard reads Bath 0 Quins 14 with just 12 minutes on the clock and the Bath crowd very silent. A couple of minutes later the game is halted as Charlie Mulchrone is injured and it is clearly very serious as Joe Marchant stops playing to support him as the medical staff rush on to the pitch. After a lengthy delay Mulchrone gets to his feet and manages to walk from the field to be replaced by Dave Lewis, a change probably sixty odd minutes earlier than planned.

Bath got their first points of the day after sixteen minutes of play when Quins were penalised for offside in the centre of the pitch allowing Rhys Priestland to score with a very good kick against the wind, Bath 3 Quins 14. Bath attack again from the restart, Quins are penalised for not rolling away in the tackle which allows Priestland to kick deep into the Quins twenty two. The resulting rolling maul is well defended by Quins who win the ball from the scrum but the clearance kick from Lewis is gathered by Bath allowing them to set up another attack. Quins defend their line well and win another scrum when Bath knock on in the tackle, Quins are then awarded a penalty from the scrum which Lang gets safely into touch. A bit of aerial ping pong following the line out until a pass from Ross Chisholm to Mike Brown sets Brown off on a run to the halfway line before being tackled, the ball is recycled but the move breaks down as the ball goes directly in to touch thirty metres from the Bath Line.

Bath are definitely beginning to get into the game and from the line out they end up deep in the Quins half following a break by Freddie Burns. Although Quins repel the initial attack, the ball emerges on the Quins side of a ruck which is picked up by a Bath player who slips the ball to Jonathon Joseph who runs in to score in the left hand corner. The conversion is wide of the posts so after 27 minutes the score moves on to Bath 8 Quins 14. Bath creep a little closer to the Quins total a few minutes later when a kick from Bath is spilled by Chris Robshaw, Quins are penalised at the scrum and Priestland steps forward to convert his second penalty of the afternoon. Just as Bath seem to be getting the upper hand Quins strike back when Mike Brown breaks down the left hand side, a brilliant offload sets Joe Marchant free who passes inside to Alex Dombrandt to score under the posts. With two more points added by James Lang Quins extend their lead ten points six minutes from the break. Priestland kicks the restart straight into touch but then lose the advantage as Will Collier is penalised in the scrum. Bath kick to the twenty two and from another penalty sees Quins defending a five metre line out. Quins defend well but cannot stop Nathan Catt touching down in the corner and with Priestland missing another conversion the half time score is Bath 16 Quins 21.

Bath kick off for the start of the second half and it takes only three minutes for them to add to their score when Quins are penalised for holding on resulting in a fairly straightforward penalty conversion by Priestland. As the game gets underway again a kick to the wing by Lang is almost gathered by Marchant who clashes with Freddie Burns in the air resulting in a knock on. Burns gets to his feet although looking a bit fragile as the game restarts with a scrum to Bath who set up an attack but yet again fail to look after the ball eventually resulting in a Quins scrum. Joe Marler replaces Lewis Boyce and Tom Homer replaces Burns at fullback for Bath as Bath are penalised at the scrum. Quins kick to touch but Bath disrupt the line out which sets up a Bath attack which ends up in a penalty to the home side close to the twenty two. Three more points from the boot of Rhys Priestland and Bath take the lead for the first time in the match, Bath 22 Quins 21 with 50 minutes gone.

Jack Clifford replaces Ben Glynn as Bath attack from the Quins kick off but the ball is eventually turned over and the ball kicked deep into the Bath half as Nathan Earle earns a penalty from Bath Holding on just short of the try line. Quins kick to touch but the catch and drive results in a Bath scrum from which they clear the ball to the halfway line. The line out ball is overthrown from which Bath set up a quick attack ending with a kick through by Homer which appears to be touched down by winger McConnochie as Earle hesitates. Referee Carley asks the TMO to check for the grounding of the ball, and despite the fact that the home crowd all cheer at every replay, no try is awarded, scrum to Quins for a knock on. As we approach the sixty minute mark Symons is replaced by George Merrick followed shortly afterwards by the complete Bath front row. Bath continue to attack but a kick is charged down by Dombrandt who kicks the ball through, gathers it 10 metres out but James Horwill fails to hold the pass. Bath clear the ball and following a line out McConnochie breaks through the Quins defence running 40 metres, is tackled by Mike Brown five metres out but still manages to offload the ball for replacement hooker Batty to score. This time, Priestland is successful with the conversion so with sixty minutes gone things not looking so good for Quins being two scores behind, Bath 29 Quins 21.

Marcus Smith replaces James Lang and places his restart kick deep into Bath territory, and although Bath play their way out to half way, Bath are penalised allowing Smith to find touch inside the Batj=h twenty two. Francis Saili replaces Ben Tapaui prior to the line out which Quins win which sets up a period of attack close to the Bath line until the ball is turned over resulting in a Bath scrum. Dave Ward comes on for the final eleven minutes, Bath win the put in from the scrum allowing Priestland to make a massive kick to touch on halfway. Quins make some headway into the Bath half when a pass from Saili comes off Mike Brown who chases the ball and makes more ground himself before passing to Joe Marchant who forces himself through two tacklers to score in the corner. The TMO s called in to action who confirms that the ball to Brown came off of his knee and that the grounding was good. The conversion from Smith is off target but Quins have secured a try bonus point and potentially a losing bonus point if they can hang on or even more if they can draw the scores level. Josh Ibuanopke replaces Will Collier as Priestland gets the game underway again but Quins seem to have found another gear, they get the ball into the Bath half who have trouble breaking out. Quins are awarded a penalty which seems to be in kickable range but instead elect to go looking for a win and kick to the corner. A bit of late drama as although Bath steal the line out, it looked as though Dave Lewis nipped around the edge of the ruck to touch down for a score. In the end, the referee and TMO decide that he did not ground the ball but as Bath took the ball over their own line a scrum five was awarded to Quins.

With less than three minutes to go it looks as though two points are safely in the bag as Quins win the scrum despite a huge effort from the Bath forwards. Quins pick and go as they slowly move across the field and Quins are eventually penalised for holding on. Now in to the last minute as Priestland finds touch and it would seem that all Bath have to do is win the line out and hold on to the ball for the remaining seconds of the game. The Bath line out falters for the first time in the match as Ward runs through to claim the knocked back ball, Quins drive forward then release the ball to the backs where Smith offloads to Saili who makes ground before getting the ball to Dave Ward who takes the ball to five metres from the Bath line. Quins recycle, Lewis passes to Smith who in turn passes to Saili  who draws the Bath defensive line to him before floating a long pass to Earle who dives over the Bath defence to touch down for a try with the clock in to the red. The Quins players celebrate the score, Smith is unable to add the extra points (but who cares) resulting in a final score line of Bath 29 Quins 31.

We were certainly put through all of the emotions with this match; fourteen points ahead within the first twelve minutes, the sense of gloom as Charlie Mulchrone had to leave the field of play, Bath slowly getting into the game and eventually edging ahead on the scoreboard leading to the Quins fightback in the dying minutes and a well earned win. This game was the fourth premiership match in a row where Quins have picked up a try bonus point win which has helped to cement their third place in the league standings. At the same time there has been a lot of criticism about the defence but as supporters we tend to only look at our own side without taking into account the opposition. A really good all round squad performance with yet again a very strong bench including Marler, Saili, Clifford and Smith. Another great performance from Mike Brown (is he really not good enough to play for England), Chris Robshaw is just Chris Robshaw, the centre pairing of Marchant and Tapaui continues to impress and I really like the lock pairing of Horwill and Symons. I nearly forgot Nathan Earle who certainly knows how to score and Alex Dombrandt had another rampaging eighty minutes. Everybody contributed but one final mention of Dave Lewis who put in a good shift when you consider how little actual game time he has had with Quins. Over 14500 people attended the match and it is fair to say that the Quins supporters left the ground much the happier.

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Players Celebrate With The Supporters

So now we have the visit of Gloucester to look forward which will hopefully result in another Quins victory. One thing is for sure, we should see plenty of points scored.

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  • Academy Captain
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Re: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 23:12* »
Excellent! Thank you very much!

Nico Wilson

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Re: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« Reply #2 on: Friday 08-Mar-2019, 12:25* »
Great. Thanks


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Re: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« Reply #3 on: Friday 08-Mar-2019, 13:08* »
Very good, thanks.


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Re: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« Reply #4 on: Friday 08-Mar-2019, 13:37* »
Really enjoyed reading this report and reliving the drama of the final seconds!
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Re: Match Report: Bath vs Harlequins
« Reply #5 on: Friday 08-Mar-2019, 20:33* »
Thanks BB, an engaging and enjoyable read... Must be easier writing about winning!



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