NEC Harlequins secured their place in the Zurich A League final thanks to a 31-5 victory over Bath at the Recreation Ground last night (29th March), to extend their winning run in the competition to six matches. The visitors scored five tries in total with Chris Bell, playing at fly half, going over twice in the opening exchanges.
Quins made a sensational start to the match with Bell going over for his first try with just two minutes on the clock. The England Under 21 centre then went over again minutes later and with Matt Moore adding the conversion, Quins led 12-0. Remarkably, no further points were added in the rest of the first half though Moore failed with a penalty attempt just before the interval.
Three minutes after the restart and Quins opened the second half scoring, with hooker James Hayter being driven over for the five points. Moore failed with the conversion but made amends 12 minutes later when he broke through to score under the posts. The winger added the two extra points on offer which meant Quins had doubled their half-time advantage (24-0).
With 15 minutes left to play, Quins sealed their victory when Roy Winters went over for try number five that Moore converted to make the score 31-0. Bath were rewarded for their efforts nine minutes from the end as Matt Perry set-up Joe Mbu for a try in the corner.
Final score, 5-31.
Bath Rugby: 15. Gareth Knox, 14. Mike Baxter, 13. Robbie Fleck, 12. Dominic Hitchcock, 11. Joe Mbu, 10. Mitch Burton, 9. Hentie Martens, 1. David Barnes (Capt.), 2. Rob Hawkins, 3. Chas Meddick, 4. Gary Gynn, 5. Dan Smith, 6. Wayne Sprangle, 7. James Scaysbrook, 8. Scott Gray
Replacements: 16. Alex Chase, 17. Mike Mangeolles, 18. Dave Ward, 19. Sam Hocking, 20. Matt Perry, 21. John Gould, 22. Pete Murchie
NEC Harlequins: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Rob Jewell, 13. Henry Barratt, 12. Andy Reay, 11. Matt Moore, 10. Chris Bell, 9. Scott Bemand, 1. Ceri Jones, 2. James Hayter, 3. Jon Dawson, 4. Tom Parker, 5. Simon Miall, 6. Chris Cracknell, 7. Luke Sherriff (Capt.), 8. Roy Winters
Replacements: 16. Marlow Warrington-Matti, 17. Tom Muggridge, 18. Reg Dejager, 19. Gavin Hart, 20. Duncan James, 21. Sean Crawley
Tries: Bell (2), Hayter, Moore, Winters
Conversions: Moore (3)
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.