Harlequins recorded their third Guinness Premiership victory of the campaign thanks to a 24-18 victory over Bristol at the Twickenham Stoop. Steve So'oialo scored two tries, one in each half, in his first league match of the season, with Simon Keogh claiming the hosts other touchdown. A fine solo try from winger Tom Arscott gave Bristol a losing bonus point for their efforts.
It was the home side who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, though Chris Malone missed his opening penalty attempt after 10 minutes. However, the fly half then kicked another penalty into touch deep in the Bristol twenty-two from which Quins scored their first try. After the pack made the initial drive forward, So'oialo broke away to score from close range. Malone converted but then failed to add to Quins tally when he saw a second penalty kick at goal drift wide of the target.
Bristol hit back right at the start of the second quarter. Full back Josh Taumalolo burst through the Quins midfield before a perfectly weighted pass to David Lemi allowed the winger to win the race to the left hand corner ahead of Hal Luscombe. Fly half David Hill missed the conversion from close to the touchline meaning Quins led 7-5 after 21 minutes.
11 minutes before the break and the hosts scored their second try of the afternoon. A cross-field kick from Malone found Tom Guest and his pass to Keogh put the winger in space, allowing him to break away for an unopposed run-in. Malone made no mistake with the simple conversion.
Further pressure from the home side saw the pack win a lineout on the Bristol twenty-two that resulted in Malone dropping a goal from in front of the posts. However, Hill cancelled this score out with a penalty four minutes before the break that made the score 17-8 to Quins at the halfway stage.
Bristol enjoyed a sustained period of possession and territory after the restart and their efforts were rewarded when replacement Jason Strange converted a penalty on 55 minutes to cut the deficit to six points (17-11). However, Quins struck a crucial blow five minutes into the final quarter.
After securing turnover ball inside their own half, the hosts broke downfield through Jordan Turner-Hall before he found his centre partner Luscombe. Turner-Hall remained in support to carry play just short of the Bristol line, where So'oialo was the recipient of the scoring pass. A third conversion from Malone gave Quins a 13-point lead (24-11).
With just three minutes left to play, Arscott came in on off the right wing and brushed aside attempted tackles from both Turner-Hall and Luscombe that gave him the necessary space to run-in under the posts for a fine solo try. Strange added the two extra points and all of a sudden the game was back in the balance with the score standing at 24-18.
However, Quins kept play deep in the Bristol half in the time that remained and forced the visitors into conceding a penalty. Despite Malone failing to find the target, the kick proved to be last action of the match though the miss did at least mean Bristol held on to their bonus point.
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.