It was back-to-back wins in the Premiership and a seventh consecutive away league win for Quins this weekend as the men in the Quarters battled for a hard-fought victory in the West Country.
The home side opened up the scoring proceedings on a crisp afternoon at The Recreation Ground, as Quins openside Will Evans was penalised early for breakdown infringements. Bath’s Welsh international fly-half Rhys Priestland kicked a fourth-minute penalty to put his side into the lead.
The home team’s lead was short-lived however, with Quins fly-half Marcus Smith replying with his own penalty two minutes later as Bath were pulled up by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys for being offside.
Quins turned up the tempo soon after, turning opposition possession into a score for number eight Alex Dombrandt in the ninth minute.
Evans’ efforts at the breakdown came good this time, poaching possession around midfield. The ball was spread wide through centre Joe Marchant, Smith, Louis Lynagh, Mike Brown and then Danny Care, all handling the ball before Care fed back inside to set Dombrandt over for the first of Quins’ three tries. Smith’s conversion took the away side into a 7-point lead.
Smith would add one more penalty in the 17th minute after another Bath breakdown infringement before the halfback would leave the field bleeding for a HIA assessment he would go on to fail to return from.
Scotland international James Lang arrived from the bench to step into the breach at fly-half, with the centre-come-fly-half slotting his own penalty in his first act of the day, extending his side’s lead to thirteen points.
Quins mustered one more score in the opening half before retiring to the changing rooms at the break, with winger Aaron Morris dashing into the left corner after Quins’ forward runners sucked Bath’s defence narrow. Lang’s first conversion attempt of the day slides just wide of the posts, with Quins holding a 21-3 lead at half-time.
The second half would prove a far tighter affair, with Quins adding just one more try for the day, as Care wrestled his way over in the 51st minute shortly after a yellow card for Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni - deemed by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys to have deliberately knocked the ball on in a tackle on Dombrandt.
Bath were handed another yellow immediately after, with inside centre Josh Matavesi catching Care high as the halfback dotted down for his score. Lang added his first conversion of the day to take Quins to 28 points, while Bath were reduced to 13 men.
Despite the advantage, Quins couldn’t add to their points tally for the day. Bath would, however, with a try for hooker Tom Dunn in the 44th minute later followed with a try for fullback Tom de Glanville in the 76th.
Bath looked set to add a third score late on with sustained pressure deep in Quins territory but were repelled by the South West London side’s excellent defence.
Quins looked to add a fourth bonus-point score as the clock ran into the red, but would knock the ball on in the effort. Maxwell-key’s final whistle signalled an end to a physical encounter for Harlequins as the side celebrated consecutive league wins and a move up the table to fourth, with a game in hand for Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Chiefs the next day.
Final score: Bath 15-28 Harlequins
Try: Dombrandt 9, Morris 28, Care 51
Conversion: Smith 9, Lang 51
Penalties: Smith 6, 17, Lang 23
Try: Dunn 44, De Glanville 76
Conversion: Priestland 44
Penalties: Priestland 4
Mike Brown, Louis Lynagh, Joe Marchant, Andre Esterhuizen, Aaron Morris, Marcus Smith, Danny Care, Alex Dombrandt, Will Evans, Archie White, Stephan Lewies ©, Matt Symons, Wilco Louw, Scott Baldwin, Joe Marler.
Elia Elia, Santiago Garcia Botta, Simon Kerrod, Glen Young, Richard de Carpentier, Martin Landajo, James Lang, Tyrone Green.
Tom de Glanville, Semesa Rokoduguni, Max Clark, Josh Matavesi, Joe Cokanasiga, Rhys Priestland, Ben Spencer, Zach Mercer, Miles Reid, Josh Bayliss, Mike Williams, Josh McInally, Christian Judge, Tom Dunn, Juan Schoeman
Jack Walker, Jamie Bhatti, Kieran Verden, Ewan Richards, Ethan Staddon, Will Chudley, Tian Schoeman, Will Muir.
Next match: Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers. Saturday February 13. Kick-off 16:00.