Bath edge try-less Quins

16th Apr 2011, 17:11

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Telling try: Michael Claassens celebrates the only try of the game

Telling try: Michael Claassens celebrates the only try of the game

An early try from Michael Claassens helped Bath pull of a 19-15 Aviva Premiership victory over Harlequins at the Rec on Saturday.

An early try from Michael Claassens helped Bath pull of a 19-15 Aviva Premiership victory over Harlequins at the Rec on Saturday.

The South African scrum-half touched down in the 11th minute as Bath leapfrogged Quins in the table and boosted their hopes of Heineken Cup rugby next season.

In an error-ridden game, Bath made a vibrant start and led when Claasens applied the finishing touch to a rare flowing move and Butch James added the conversion.

The score was just reward for the hosts' vibrant start but Harlequins gradually steadied themselves and began to make inroads deep in Bath territory.

With Quins enjoying a purple patch midway through the first half, two penalties from Nick Evans reduced Bath's lead to a point by the 25th minute.

However, Bath fashioned an impressive response and forced a penalty which James converted to put his side 10-6 ahead. Quins refused to lie down and hit back with another penalty from Evans to leave the scores finely poised at 10-9 in Bath's favour at the break.

Shortly after the restart, two more three-pointers from James edged Bath further in front and Evans then landed two more penalties in quick succession to take his tally to five by the 59th minute after Bath Sam Vesty's was shown a yellow card for infringing at the ruck.

Yet James claimed his fourth moments later to give Bath further breathing space and they held on for the four points.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Try: Claassens
Con: James
Pens: James 4

For Harlequins:
Pens: Evans 5

Yellow card: Vesty (Bath - 60th min)

Bath: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Stuart Hooper, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Peter Short, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Biggs, 23 Nick Scott.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 John Andress, 2 Joe Gray1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 James Johnston, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Venue: The Rec
Referee: Andrew Small