Premiership: Bath 21-17 Harlequins – Will Muir tries help hosts win

Bath try scorer Will Muir
Two second-half tries from Will Muir helped bottom of the table Bath to victory
Bath: (6) 21
Tries: Muir 2 Con: B Spencer Pens: B Spencer 3
Harlequins: (12) 17
Tries: Lamb, Murley, Hammond Con: Allan

Bath secured their first back-to-back Premiership wins since March with a dogged 21-17 victory over Harlequins.

Dino Lamb scored first for Quins but two Ben Spencer penalties closed the gap to a point.

Cadan Murley’s try on half-time pushed Quins’ advantage out but Will Muir scored twice for Bath after the break to take the lead.

George Hammond’s try made it 18-17 to set up a tense finale, but a Spencer penalty wrapped up an impressive win.

Bottom of the table Bath came into the match off the back of two defeats in Europe, but having finally got their first win of the season at Worcester in the Premiership before the break.

However, with an extensive injury list still enduring and Charlie Ewels, Orlando Bailey and Will Stuart all called up to the England squad, it took Quins just two minutes to break their line.

Minutes later a Danny Care cross-field kick picked out Nick David, who went over the try-line but dropped the ball.

The pressure did not let up, with Bath’s depleted front line conceding five consecutive penalties at the scrum. Quins eventually got a deserved try after some quick passing set off David, who offloaded to Lamb to go over in the corner.

Bath were the joint-lowest try-scorers in the league prior to kick-off and their lack of killer instinct was initially evident, even after Quins’ Tyrone Green was sent to the bin for a deliberate knock down.

Two line-outs within five metres of the line came to nothing, Cameron Redpath broke the line but his kick ran into touch, while Max Ojomoh almost set up Muir after a turnover ball.

Still, the penalty count quickly began to rack up against Harlequins, with loan signing Nathan Hughes making a significant impact, as Ben Spencer kicked six points over.

But again Bath threw away another try-scoring opportunity, messing up a opportunistic line-out which was stolen. Quins then raced down the other end to score, as winger Murley pounced on a numerical advantage.

The break did Bath good as they came back out firing, with Muir taking only three minutes to score, breaking a tackle and holding off another to go over in the corner.

Deep in Harlequins’ 22, Bath drilled through the phases and while Ewan Richards was deemed to have been held up over the line, a long pass from Redpath gave Muir his second.

Quins had been anonymous but with less than 10 minutes to go Hugh Jones got over the gain line, setting off Green who had Hammond on his outside to make it 18-17.

Bath have lost four matches this season by fewer than seven points but they crucially held on this time, winning a massive scrum penalty from which Spencer wrapped up their second victory.

Bath: Rokoduguni, Hamer-Webb, Joseph, Redpath, Muir, Ojomoh, B Spencer; Cordwell, Du Toit, Rae, McNally (c), Williams, Ellis, Richards, Hughes.

Replacements: Doughty, Vaughan, Verden, W Spencer, Coetzee, Simpson, Butt, Prydie.

Harlequins: Green, David, Jones, Esterhuizen, Murley, Allan, Care; Garcia Botta, Walker (c), Collier, Symons, Tizard, Lamb, Wallace, Taulani.

Sin bin: Tyrone Green (17)

Replacements: Riley, Els, Kerrod, Hammond, White, Gjaltema, Beard, Lynagh.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).

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