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Bath

  • Joseph,
    Penalty goals: Ford (3),
14 - 3

Harlequins


  • Penalty goals: Evans,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 21st Dec 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: The Recreation Ground
  • Att: 11,500

Aviva Premiership: Bath win top-four battle with Harlequins

Last updated: 21st December 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

TIM MOLENAAR HARLEQUINS

Harlequins were not able to penetrate a stern Bath defence

JONATHAN JOSEPH BATH

Jonathan Joseph: Scored the only try of an attritional game

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Bath moved clear in third place in the Aviva Premiership table after securing a 14-3 victory over fellow top-four hopefuls Harlequins at the Recreation Ground.

The hosts, who are now six points above fourth-placed Quins, won the physical battle before killing off their opponents with a stunning try by centre Jonathan Joseph.

England full-back Mike Brown was left clutching thin air as the speedy Joseph ran round him to the line in the early stages of the second half.

Bath went into the contest seeking to extend their unbeaten record at home in the league to a full year and to post their 11th win on the bounce.

Fly-half George Ford opened the scoring with a 30-metre penalty in the opening minutes and was presented with an even easier chance to make it 6-0 shortly afterwards.

However, the visitors were soon piling on the pressure and centre Tim Molenaar surged into the Bath 22, only to spill the ball in Ford's last-ditch tackle.

Pressure

Ford was forced to relieve the pressure with a series of kick but, when body-checked by George Robson, the young playmaker stepped up to the tee to put Bath 9-0 ahead on 25 minutes.

His opposite number Nick Evans finally put Quins on the board with a 30-metre kick in the 28th minute and Ford then missed a couple of chances from difficult angles shortly before half-time.

But Quins did not get off scot-free as Charlie Walker was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Anthony Watson, meaning the visitors started the second half a man short.

That still did not entirely explain how they allowed Joseph to pierce the defensive line so easily for his score on 46 minutes which Ford failed to convert.

As the game opened up going into the final quarter, Bath's defence had to be just as alert to the threat of the Quins' backs but territory, possession and the penalty count were swinging the way of the home side.

Skipper Chris Robshaw rallied his players into a compelling spell of high-tempo rugby as the game drifted into the last 10 minutes but the Bath back row was equal to the task.

Quins continued to come forward but saw their last chance go begging when Tom Guest was held up on the line from a catch-and-drive and Bath finished the job by marching back the visitors' scrum to force the penalty.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton

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