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Chris Robshaw helps Harlequins triumph at Bath

Published 31/10/2015

On World Cup final day, England captain Chris Robshaw was on Harlequins duty
On World Cup final day, England captain Chris Robshaw was on Harlequins duty

England captain Chris Robshaw began to put his World Cup woes behind him as he returned to Premiership action in a stunning 38-28 Harlequins victory at Bath.

Robshaw would have rather been on international duty at Twickenham, which was staging the World Cup final, but England's early exit caused him to refocus on club affairs.

Kiwi fly-half Nick Evans was the main destroyer, kicking eight penalties and converting tries by Danny Care and Dave Ward in a faultless 28-point display from the tee.

Bath led 13-12 at the break with a try by Kyle Eastmond but they paid dearly for their indiscipline, especially around the breakdown. Two late tries by Nick Auterac and Semesa Rokoduguni helped them avoid humiliation, but not defeat.

The damage was done in the nine minutes after half-time when Evans kicked two penalties and also converted a breakaway try by club captain Care.

Quins looked by far the more fluent side in the first quarter and led 6-3 with two penalties by Evans to one by Ford.

But Bath wrested back control, mainly through strong carrying by their pack. Loosehead Max Lahiff was particularly impressive and front-row partner Davey Wilson nearly made it to the line but his offload went astray.

The Harlequins defence buckled and bent under the onslaught but Bath's delivery from the breakdown was just a second or two too slow to create big enough gaps for Ford and Co behind the scrum.

Rokoduguni was a real handful in the number 14 shirt but it was Eastmond who danced down the right touchline to score on the half-hour after a well-timed miss pass from Ollie Devoto.

Ford's conversion put the home side 10-6 ahead but they conceded two penalties in quick succession, the second after debutant Tim Visser broke clear from the restart and Bath went off their feet in a ruck on their own 22.

Harlequins promptly did the same at the other end and Ford sent Bath in at half-time with a 13-12 lead.

The lead was quickly wiped out in a calamitous nine minutes after the break.

Evans first kicked a penalty and then Care made a devastating break from a ruck on his own 22, chipping ahead and then kicking ahead before picking up just short of the try-line to score.

Evans added the conversion and soon made it 25-13 to Quins with his penalty after Nikola Matawalu dropped a clanger by taking a kick into touch when it would have gone out on the full.

The alarm bells really began to ring for Bath when the Kiwi landed a seventh penalty after 54 minutes and Quins were three scores ahead. Ford replied with a simple penalty at the other end but Bath began to look ragged and Evans landed his eighth penalty on the hour.

With the help of the TV match official, referee Matthew Carley then showed Eastmond a yellow card for a 'no arms' tackle on Yarde. Quins took advantage by creating a 71st-minute try for replacement hooker Dave Ward, a former Bath player. Evans' conversion to his tally to 28 points.

Bath regathered to score a catch-and-drive try through Auterac but Ford was wide with the conversion, his first miss this season. Rokoduguni scored on the whistle, with Ford adding the conversion.

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