On a night that had been billed as a one-man show it was a solid team performance from Bath Rugby that eventually produced a bonus-point win over Harlequins at the Recreation Ground.
Rugby League convert Sam Burgess started the evening on the bench and made his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance with 20 minutes to go.
The game was far-from over at that point as Bath struggled to kill off a battling Quins defence that had been reduced to 12 men.
But the home side showed the form that has lifted to the top of the table as they scored two tries in the final 15 minutes to supplement their first-half efforts.
After an early feeling out process Bath began to put pressure on Quins and sensed blood after passing on the chance to go three ahead on five minutes.
And they had the breakthrough they craved two minutes later after great play from Horacio Agulla found Matt Banahan who ran over – Ollie Devoto missing the conversion.
Harlequins were doing themselves no favours and were penalised twice from the scrum in the opening 15 minutes.
That gave Bath momentum as they continued to turn the screw on Quins and they had their reward in the 19th minute.
Devoto was the provider this time as Quins were dragged from side to side and eventually the ball found its way to Kyle Eastmond who crossed over – Devoto’s kick hitting the upright.
The visitors responded however and their first real attack of the match proved fruitful as they won a penalty that Nick Evans converted.
However, Bath restored their ten-point lead moments later with a penalty of their own – Devoto making amends for his earlier misses to take the score to 13-3.
Despite being under the cosh for the majority of the half Quins came close to closing the deficit when Danny Care showed a turn of pace to break through but was stopped short of the line.
That momentum carried into the second-half as Nick Easter found some space and Quins forced an early penalty that Evans kicked to get the visitors within seven.
Quins were once again penalised from the scrum but Devoto was having a rough night and missed for the third time.
Bath had another penalty moments later but Devoto was overlooked this time as the home side looked for the corner.
Despite their early score Quins were once again under pressure as Bath looked to extend their lead.
Quins made it harder for themselves on 54 minutes when Kyle Sinckler was yellow carded and it went from bad to worse when George Robson saw yellow moments later.
If that wasn’t bad enough Will Collier was yellow carded and Quins were three men down.
Burgess took to the field to help Bath capitalise on the numerical advantage but the home side were struggling to kill off a spirited Quins defence.
However, they finally got the breakthrough with 15 minutes left on the clock – Ross Batty peeling around the corner after a driving maul to crash over.
However, Devoto couldn’t increase the 18-6 lead after once again proving inaccurate with the conversion.
Quins were down and with seven minutes to go they were out as the home side sealed the bonus point with a try from Leroy Houston and Devoto finally added to his tally.
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