Quins end miserable recent run with win over Bath
Sinckler among the scorers.
England prop Kyle Sinckler was among the try scorers as Harlequins claimed their first Aviva Premiership victory of 2018 with a hard-fought 20-5 success over Bath.
It ends a four-game losing streak in the league for Quins, who were much-improved defensively in a match which was admittedly short of top quality.
While they can hope to use this result as the start of a better run of form, the loss is a damaging one for Bath’s play-off hopes, as they remained five points adrift of the top four following a wasteful display.
Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis made just his second start of the season for Harlequins after his recovery from a throat injury, while Bath were able to welcome back Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau.
The match got off to a scrappy opening, with Bath unable to capitalise on having most of the territory in the early going, although a Quins knock-on in their own half led to the breakthrough.
It was all straightforward, as Zach Mercer broke from a scrum before passing to Kahn Fotuali’i, who went clear of some weak tackling before giving Matt Banahan a walk-in for his ninth try of the season.
James Wilson, who kicked seven out of seven in last week’s victory over Sale Sharks, missed the conversion and the stand-in fly-half was then at fault, as the hosts hit back.
His pass meant for Tom Homer was intercepted by Tim Visser, just outside his own 22, and there was no catching the winger from there, as he gave Catrakilis an easy conversion.
Catrakilis then extended Quins’ lead to 10-5 with a penalty, although he was unsuccessful with another attempt, as Bath were twice penalised for offside.
Indiscipline continued to hurt the visitors in the second half, as Max Lahiff was sent to the sin-bin just a minute after coming off the bench with his side conceding a string of penalties.
Harlequins eventually made the most of their pressure, as Dave Lewis quickly recycled the ball for Sinckler – recently introduced himself – to crash over from close range, with Catrakilis converting.
Bath desperately looked for a route back into the game, with a dangerous move involving Wilson, Nathan Catt and Cooper Vuna stopped by a terrific tackle just a few metres out by Luke Wallace.
Mercer and Nathan Charles were also denied by some heroic Quins defending in the closing stages before Marcus Smith’s penalty made sure of a much-needed victory.