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Saturday, 23 October 2021

Harlequins secured bonus-point win over Bath Rugby at the Twickenham Stoop



Supporters of rugby union were treated to another exciting game at the Twickenham Stoop.

Esterhuizen opened the try-tally for the hosts Harlequins within the opening three minutes; Smith adding the extra points.

Visitors Bath Rugby replied promptly with a 3-point penalty, but the hosts extended their lead with Esterhuizen scoring his second in the 15th minute of the game.

Despite this positive intent, momentum shifted in the 24th minute as an awkward tackle on speeding Bath fullback de Glanville saw Quins' Marler shown yellow. This resulted in another frustrating first half for the quartered men; Underhill powered over the try-line for the men in white; converted.

Things worsened for the hosts after they lost possession following a scrum and Bath took full advantage of a high defensive line from Quins, perfectly placing a kick behind them, with the ball rolling into touch just 5 metres from the hosts' try-line.  Bath pushed onward and were playing advantage as Quins were penalised for not rolling away after tackling; Stuart darting over the whitewash.   The extra two points were added and this gave the visitors a five-point lead going into half-time.

Half-time at The Twickenham Stoop: Harlequins 12 - 17 Bath Rugby

With a 5-point deficit, Quins were looking to start strong in the second half.  Bath Rugby kicked off; the ball caught by Quins who box-kicked into the visiting half.  Bath knocked on under tackle handing the hosts a scrum.  They passed the ball from wing to wing before a penalty was awarded to the visitors and  Cipriani sent the ball up the touch-line, landing just outside the 22.

Scrum to Quins, followed by a penalty, allowing the hosts to clear their lines.

Harlequins secured line-out ball but the Bath defense was strong.  The ball was moved from wing to wing but with little territory being gained.

Marchant then gathered from the ruck and made a break through the Bath defensive line before play was halted for a Head Injury Assessment for the visiting scrum-half.

Danny Care opted for a scrum inside the visiting 22.  Quins played the ball quickly; Care passing to Smith who had to stretch to gather the ball.  The fly-half secured it and arched around the opposition, found a gap and over the try-line.  Smith converted his own try and the hosts retook the lead.

Opportunities came and went for both sides; Quins gave away a penalty after getting up to the visiting 5-metre line; Bath breaking through the defense and running the length of the pitch only to be stopped by a desperate try-saving tackle from Green.

The hosts came close to another try as Marchant broke through the Bath defence before offloading to Esterhuizen then onto Smith.  Care then chipped over to the wing for Lynagh but the ball could not be gathered cleanly and was instead knocked on into the dead-zone.  In another attack, Care broke through and chipped over the last man but could not out-step the defence - fans felt he was taken out but play continued and Bath cleared their lines.

Harlequins often make decisions that worry their supporters, and this game was no different.  The hosts earned free-kicks and penalties; each time opting for a scrum despite the kickable points on offer.  The fans needed not have worries as this tactic paid off:  Dombrandt sent the ball to Marchant who leapt for the line, touching down by the corner-flag.

Smith lined up the posts and added the extra 2 points extending their lead to 9 points: 26-17 with just over 5 minutes remaining.

As a rendition of 'The Mighty Quinn' resonated around The Twickenham Stoop, the hosts were awarded a penalty within their own half.  A long kick by Smith took play up to the Bath 22.

The hosts opted for a cheeky short line-out.  Quins started to show off their ball-handling skills as Smith passed to Green, who returned the ball.  Smith danced his way through the defence and passed to Marchant on the wing who crossed for his second try of the game and Quins' 5th.

Full Time at The Twickenham Stoop: Harlequins 31 - 17 Bath Rugby

 Next Sunday: Harlequins vs Saracens

 


posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 11:37 pm  

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