Bonus-point win for Harlequins

Date published: February 10 2017

Harlequins moved up to fifth position in the Premiership standings on Friday after they claimed a 42-8 win over Bristol at Ashton Gate.

Tom Varndell broke the all-time Premiership try-scoring record on a disappointing night for his Bristol side.

The first-half was an even affair as a try from Joe Marchant handed Quins early impetus.

Varndell's superbly taken record-breaking score pulled Bristol back into the match and the sides were close heading into the break. 

However, Bristol started the second-half with 14-men after Ryan Bevington's sin-binning on the stroke of half-time. It took its toll as the visitors seized the momentum and a win with tries from Mark Reddish, Charlie Mulchrone, Matt Hooper and James Chisholm.

Another disappointing night at Ashton Gate for Bristol leaves them propping up the Premiership table with a trip to Welford Road next up on the agenda. Quins, meanwhile, rise up to fifth.

Quins opened the scoring in the third minute after a good start from the visitors culminated in a grubber kick through which was seized upon by Marchant to score. Ruaridh Jackson added the conversion to establish a seven-point lead.

Bristol hit back with a penalty seven minutes later, the away side were penalised for not rolling away before Jason Woodward nailed the penalty attempt to reduce his side's deficit to four points.

Jackson restored his side's advantage with a penalty after the hosts were caught offside at the 22.

Up next in the 20th minute, a moment to savour for Bristol's Varndell. The former Wasps and Leicester man breaking the all-time Premiership try-scoring record with his 91st in the competition. He did it in style too, Mitch Eadie played in the 30-year-old who showed great skill to finish and make the score 8-10.

Jackson kept the scoreboard ticking over with a 39th minute penalty to make the half-time score 8-13.

The second-half started in the same fashion as the first as Reddish powered over from close-range. Jackson converted to make the score a healthy 8-20.

In the 55th minute, Dave Ward broke through the Bristol ranks before playing in Mulchrone to score the visitors' third try. Jackson converted once again to make the score 8-27.

Harlequins secured the bonus point with a 59th minute try from Hopper, Marchant intercepted a Bristol pass before breaking and finding Hopper whose try was confirmed after a second viewing from the TMO.

Chisholm completed the scoring for Quins in the 77th minute. The World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Year scoring from close range to make the final score 8-42 after Tim Swiel's conversion and a subsequent penalty.

The scorers:

For Bristol:
Try: Varndell
Pen: Woodward
Yellow Card: Bevington

For Harlequins:
Tries: Marchant, Reddish, Mulchrone, Hopper, Chisholm
Cons: Jackson 3, Swiel
Pens: Jackson 2, Swiel
Yellow Card: Visser

Bristol: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Jack Wallace, 13 Will Hurrell, 12 Tusi Pisi, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Olly Robinson (c), 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Gaston Cortes, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Ryan Bevington 
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 Jack O’Connell, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Thretton Palamo, 23 David Lemi

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Matt Hopper, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Charlie Mulchrone, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Dave Ward, 6 James Chisholm, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 George Merrick, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Owen Evans 
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Matt Shields, 18 Tyler Gendall, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Luc Jones, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Sainsbury