Bath 14 Harlequins 3.
On a festive December Saturday two England’s top sides met for what should have been a ‘cracker’ of a match. Upon arrival at the Recreation Ground we were met by the sights and sounds of Christmas with funky music playing, festive hats and a raft of the now fashionable Christmas jumpers.
After a nervy start both sides settled down with Bath showing their attacking capabilities with a good attack which immediately earned them a penalty neatly converted by George Ford for the lead. With Harlequins struggling to find any rhythm in attack and not being able to get out of their half they again conceded another penalty which Ford again easily converted. Bath didn’t seem to panic at any point during the half and easily had the measure of Harlequins with some good counter attacking from Anthony Watson and Aguella. However it was Fords kicking that was doing the most damage with a great display of kicking, seeming to know every angle of the Rec to find touch!
After another silly penalty from George Robson, Bath went into half time with a 9-0 lead and a man advantage after a moment of frustration saw Charlie Walker earn himself 10 minutes in the bin for a late and dangerous tackle on Watson. Bath were now looking the better of the two sides.
At the start of the second half Harlequins their first chance to get on the board just before the half hour mark. Nick Evans was on hand to knock over a simple penalty, with clear cut chances still few and far between. Shortly after we then saw the moment of the match with a well taken try by England’s Jonathon Joseph clearly showing he has gas to burn taking on Mike Brown and rounding him for a good score in the corner.
George Fords goal kicking radar then failed him slightly missing the chance to put Bath even further ahead, this was a pattern for the next three kicks which was surprising given his kicking from hand!!
The half was then quite a quiet affair until the last few minutes of the game when Harlequins camped themselves on the Bath line then they appeared to have restored some London pride when it seemed like Tom Guest had crossed over the line for the try. However the referee waved their protests away and did not seem remotely interested in speaking to the TMO!! This was a very bizarre decision as TV replays show the ball grounded! Who would be a ref!!
One of the best bits of the game was Matt Banahan and his son playing a bit of rugby after the game with Fran Louw such a great thing to see, that’s something to tell his kids in a few years!!!!