MATCH REPORT: BATH RUGBY BLOW HARLEQUINS AWAY

A first-quarter blitz saw Bath Rugby blow Harlequins away and jump up to third in the Aviva Premierhip.

In their fourth win on the bounce they delivered the fastest bonus point of the season, in only the 19th minute, and got the sellout Rec crowd rather excited.

After some frustrating attacking performances in recent weeks the hosts started with pace, aggression and precision and coupled with Quins’ porous defence and indiscipline, it created carnage.

Zach Mercer got it all going in the 2nd minute with a blistering break after Freddie Burns found him on Bath’s 10m line.

Pacy Paul Grant ran a superb inside support line and the youngster had the calmness of mind to offload to the number eight, who finished off a stirring attack.

When James Chisholm went to clear Kahn Fotuali’i out of a ruck by picking him up and dropping him on his head he might have been sent off but escaped with a yellow card after referee Craig Maxwell-Keys consulted TMO David Rose.

Bath properly punished Quins as they plundered 19 points while Chisholm was off.

Jack Wilson’s neat step and offload to Grant got Bath in behind the defence and Matt Banahan went close to scoring.

With plenty of numbers on the left, Fotuali’i found Burns unmarked and untroubled as he cantered in from 5m and added the extras again.

The third try was another eye-catching one. When Quins dropped one of many balls in the midfield, Banahan pounced and showed his power to make yards.

After a seemingly endless amount of time was wasted on scrum penalties and resets, Quins got on the scoreboard when scrum-half Jono Kitto found replacement Henry Cheeseman, who took advantage of a defensive dog leg between Ben Tapuai and Banahan under the posts.

Feeling comfortable, the home coaches made a five-man substitution as the game crept into its final quarter.

 

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