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Match report: Harlequins 20 Bath Rugby 5

04 Mar 2018
Match report: Harlequins 20 Bath Rugby 5

England prop Kyle Sinckler was among the try scorers as Harlequins claimed their first Aviva Premiership Rugby victory of 2018 with a hard-fought 20-5 success over Bath Rugby.

Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis made just his second start of the season for Harlequins after his recovery from a throat injury, while Bath were able to welcome back Wales No.8 Taulupe Faletau.

The match got off to a scrappy opening, with Bath unable to capitalise on having most of the territory in the early going, although a Harlequins knock-on in their own half led to the breakthrough.

Zach Mercer broke from a scrum before passing to Kahn Fotuali’i, who went clear before giving Matt Banahan a walk-in for his ninth try of the season.

Minutes later, James Wilson’s pass intended for Tom Homer was intercepted by Tim Visser, just outside his own 22, and there was no catching the winger from there, as he gave Catrakilis an easy conversion.

Catrakilis then extended Harlequins’ lead to 10-5 with a penalty, although he was unsuccessful with another attempt, as Bath were twice penalised for offside.

Indiscipline continued to hurt the visitors in the second half, as Max Lahiff received a yellow just a minute after coming off the bench with his side conceding a string of penalties.

Harlequins eventually made the most of their pressure, as Dave Lewis quickly recycled the ball for Sinckler, fresh on himself, to crash over from close range, with Catrakilis converting.

Bath desperately looked for a route back into the game, with a dangerous move involving Wilson, Nathan Catt and Cooper Vuna stopped by a terrific tackle just a few metres out by Luke Wallace.

Mercer and Nathan Charles were also denied by some heroic defending in the closing stages before Marcus Smith’s penalty made sure of a much-needed victory.