Harlequins got off to a determined start at The Stoop this weekend after heading into the changing rooms up 9-5 at the break, with fly-half Marcus Smith kicking three penalties to punish Bristol for indiscipline at the breakdown.
A late first-half score for Bristol’s openside flanker Dan Thomas would be the only score for Pat Lam’s side in the opening 40, with Gustard’s men showing improved aggression and defensive determination from last week’s European loss against Racing 92.
However, half-time would prove an energiser for Harlequins’ guests, with Bristol running in three second-half scores to claim the bonus-point win.
Harlequins would add a fourth penalty through the boot of Smith in the 47th minute before the fly-half claimed an additional seven points through an impressive individual score with the clock in the red.
Claiming all 19 of Club’s points for the day, Smith stepped clean through the Bristol defensive line before evading Bristol’s final covering defender to dot down for Quins’ only try for the day.
Quins head into next Friday’s New Year’s Day clash away to Worcester Warriors looking to claim a sixth consecutive away win in the Gallagher Premiership.
Final score: Harlequins 19 - 27 Bristol Bears
Try: Smith 80
Conversion: Smith 80
Penalties: Smith 5, 18, 24, 46
Bristol Bears scores
Try: Thomas 40, Luatua 45, Randall 56, Adeolokun 65
Conversion: Sheedy 45, 65
Penalties: Sheedy 50
Next match: Worcester Warriors vs Harlequins. Friday, January 1, 2021. 19:45 kick-off. Live on BT Sport.