Harlequins edge Bath
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Harlequins got their first win in Pool Three of the Champions Cup largely due to the boot of flyhalf Marcus Smith in a 15-9 triumph over Bath.
In pouring rain open play was at a premium with neither side able to cross for a try but Quins played the conditions better and made fewer errors especially in the first-half when they built up a 9-0 lead.
Smith was their hero landing three penalties in the opening 13 minutes while Bath, who were boosted by the inclusion of Anthony Watson at fullback and World Cup winner Francois Louw in the pack, struggled to make much impact.
Two Freddie Burns penalties cut the deficit to six before the hour mark but the decisive blow was landed six minutes from time by Quins centre James Lang who landed a towering penalty from near halfway.
Home hooker Elia Elia received a yellow card for an illegal tackle four minutes from time and although Burns gave Bath late hope with his third penalty there was no late drama as Harlequins held on for victory.
Both sides were keen to make up for defeats in their opening games, especially Harlequins who suffered a mauling at Clermont.
Coach Paul Gustard had made a host of changes and Quins were also boosted by the return of England prop Joe Marler after his World Cup exploits.
Harlequins travel to Pool leaders Ulster on Saturday, December 7 while Bath host Clermont at the Recreation Ground the previous evening.
Pens: Smith 4, Lang
Pens: Burns 3
Yellow card: Elia Elia (Harlequins, 75)
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ross Chisholm, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 James Lang, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Lawday, 7 Will Evans, 6 Chris Robshaw (captain), 5 Matt Symons, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Will Collier, 2 Elia Elia, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 George Head, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Semi Kunatani, 21 Niall Saunders, 22 Paul Lasike, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye.
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Wright, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Josh Bayliss, 6 Elliott Stooke, 5 Charlie Ewels (captain), 4 Josh McNally, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Lewis Boyce.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Rhys Davies, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Jamie Roberts.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffkin (Ireland), Eddie Hogan-O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)