17 May 13
Harlequins has confirmed an exciting group of pre-season fixtures as it prepares for the start of the 2013-14 season.
No try was scored by either side but both teams came close in the second half. The home side through Matt Banahan, but the TMO ruled it hadn't been grounded, and the visitors through Karl Dickson who took a quick tap and go and made a great dart for the line. He was inches away when he was stopped by a wall of Bath players.
In front of a buoyant and noisy crowd of 11,669 both sides gave everything to try and secure the win with Bath eventually coming out on top, while Harlequins took away a losing bonus point.
At half time the score was 9-6 to Bath after the first forty minutes produced a number of penalties for both sides. The first within the first five minutes after Bath were penalised for bringing down the line-out. Evans made no mistake on his return to the team and kicked the visitors into the lead 3-0.
Within minutes Bath had the chance to level, but Man of the Match Donald missed the posts. He was soon back on target though with his second attempt right in front of the posts in the 16th minute, which brought the score to 3-3.
Harlequins had a lucky escape shortly afterwards when a kick was charged down inside their 22 in the 20th minute. With Bath in possession and moving swiftly towards the try line a dropped ball turned it over and Evans was able to kick into touch.
He soon kicked Harlequins back into the lead after a beautiful chip kick was collected by captain Easter who offloaded to Jordan Turner-Hall. The ensuing maul resulted in a penalty to the visitors after Bath were caught holding on by referee JP Doyle. After 22 minutes Harlequins were 6-3 up.
Five minutes later Harlequins escaped again after Bath made ground on the left wing through Tom Biggs after a line-out. Biggs offloaded in the tackle five metres from the line but as the ball was passed inside, Bath lost possession and Harlequins took advantage punting the ball into touch.
In the 38th minute the home side drew level with a penalty from the boot of Donald after Harlequins were adjudged to have been offside. Minutes later Harlequins were penalised again for the same foul and Donald kicked Bath into the lead for the first time, 9-6.
After the break, the first penalty went to the home side after Harlequins were penalised in the line-out in the 44th minute. Donald kicked his team to a six point lead, but four minutes later Harlequins had the chance to pull back to within three points, but the kick was missed.
Eight minutes later, Evans did make it 12-9 after Bath held on in a tackle. He then brought the scores level once again at 12-12 after a late tackle from Bath's Guy Mercer. A penalty apiece followed swiftly afterwards in the 63rd and 65th minute. The former to Bath which Donald duly slotted over and the latter to Harlequins as Bath collapsed the maul, which Evans converted with no trouble.
In the 78th minute Bath didn't ground the ball over the try line, but an infringement by the visitors in the process secured another penalty to the home side and Donald made it 18-15.
With just seven minutes to go Bath were awarded another penalty and the lead was again stretched to six points at 21-15. But in true Harlequins style, the team never gave up and a minute later Evans was kicking a penalty at the other end of the pitch to bring his side back to within three points.
In the dying minutes he made a fantastic break upfield, but it wasn't to be and despite the tense last few minutes Bath clung on to secure the 21-18 victory.
|Bath Rugby Score Card|
|Harlequins Score Card|