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Match Report: Bath Rugby 13-19 Harlequins

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match summary

On a bitterly cold evening for The Rec faithful, it was Quins who came away with a win after delivering an unrelenting attack. 

A try from Will Butt closed the gap in the second half, but magic from Cadan Murley gave Quins a six-point lead. 

Fighting to the last second, it wasn’t to be for the hosts who came away with a losing bonus point.


team news

Ben Spencer was back to captain the Blue, Black and White to take on Harlequins.

England international Joe Cokanasiga made his first start for Bath since October which saw Matt Gallagher move to fullback.

Scotland international Cameron Redpath returned to inside centre, paired alongside Ollie Lawrence. 

Dave Attwood returned to the Gallagher Premiership after featuring in the Premiership Rugby Cup last weekend following his three-week ban, and Will Spencer also returned to the Premiership coming off the bench in the second row. 

Harlequins made just one change to their XV who secured victory over Gloucester last week with Oscar Beard coming in in the number 13 jersey. 

Bath Rugby: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Will Butt, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer (c); 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Josh Bayliss

Impact players: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Max Green, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Richard de Carpentier

Harlequins: 15 Nick David, 14 Cadan Marley, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Danny Care; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jack Walker, 3 Wilco Louw, 4 Dino Lamb, 5 Irne Herbst, 6 Jack Kenningham, 7 Will Evans, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c)

Replacements: 16 George Head, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 George Hammond, 20 Archie White, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Lennox Anyanwu


first half

Kicking off under the Friday night lights at a very chilly Rec, the game’s first scrum came in the opening minute after pressure from Bath forced a Quins knock-on. 

A strong contest from both packs allowed Ben Spencer to kick the ball downfield for Quins fullback Nick David to break through the Bath line. Earning a scrum just outside the Bath 22, it was Quins captain Alex Dombrandt who got the first score of the game under the posts after a feed from Danny Care, converted cleanly by Tommy Allan.

Bath sent the ball deep from the restart and placed themselves down in Quins 22. David cleared into the stands for Tom Dunn to take the first line out of the evening. Sweeping the ball out through the pack, Ted Hill carried hard and Quins found themselves offside. Orlando Bailey kicked Bath’s first points of the game in front of the sticks sitting the score at 3-7.

Joe Cokanasiga found himself in possession from the restart and brazenly bounced off the Quins defence, but unluckily brought down inside the 22. The slippery conditions allowed Cokanasiga’s offload to go unclaimed allowing Quins to clear their lines. 

Gifting possession back to the visitors, referee Andrew Brace blew for crossing and Bath were soon having to switch to defence mode on their five-metre line. Managing to steal the ball from the line-out but they were pulled up for knocking the ball on.

After sweeping the ball out from the scrum, the visitors were dealt huge blows from Ollie Lawrence forcing Quins to play the long game and eventually claim their second try in the 23rd minute through the hands of outside centre Oscar Beard. With Allan missing the conversion the score sat at 3-12. 

Earning two penalties through Miles Reid and Josh Bayliss turnovers, Orlando Bailey shaved both kicks just wide of the posts and Bath trailed nine points at the break after staving off Quins relentless attack in the closing minutes of the first half. 

second half 

Getting Bath off a strong second half start, Will Butt replicated some of the magic he showed against Leicester and gave Bath their first try of the evening, closing the gap to 10-12. 

Ted Hill soon gave Bath another break and charged up the field galloping towards Quins defenders. Halting Bath’s momentum and holding up Fergus Lee-Warner in tackle, there wasn’t much the lock could do to escape the sandwich tackle and Quins were given a chance to kick to touch. 

Hunting down and interception, Cameron Redpath tried to claim the ball but an unlucky bounce for Bath landed in the hands of a speedy Caden Murley who darted amongst the Bath pack to cross over for Quins’ third, converted by Allan to take the score to 10-19. 

Earning a penalty from the restart, Bailey’s HIA replacement Piers Francis brought the hosts to within half a dozen and sat Bath within losing bonus point territory.  

Putting the Bath defenders to work once again, Quins ate up much of the home territory but it was Joe Cokanasiga and Miles Reid who put a shift in at the breakdown and earned the ball back. 

With Bath safely down in Quins’ half, it was Tom Dunn’s turn to drive through the back of the maul to try and touchdown but a Quins arm under the ball ruled the try out after a check from TMO Brian MacNeice.

Bath emptied their bench as the clock ticked into the 70th minute and big Will Spencer entered the pitch for his 50th cap. 

After marching Harlequins up the field from a Redpath turnover, Bath gifted possession back to the visitors allowing another of their opportunities to go begging.  

Making the most of a loose pass from Quins, Bath’s next chance came as Lawrence booted the ball downfield forcing Quins to kick the ball into touch to eliminate the immediate threat.  

Driving the ball from the back of the maul, Bath replicated their earlier misfortune with look to the TMO to decide if the Blue, Black and White had scored their second. Not to be, Andrew Brace determined it to be another held up scenario and gave Quins the goal line drop out. 

In what looked like another piece of final minute magic, Bath gathered momentum and found themselves with a two man advantage with just 60 seconds on the clock. Trying to hammer on the Quins’ try-line, referee Brace blew after Niall Annett got caught in the tackle and it was Quins who came away with the win.  

Bath earned a losing bonus point from their efforts and will be looking to work on eradicating the unforced errors as they compete in the European Challenge Cup next week against Glasgow Warriors. 


 

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Premiership

Irish name side for west London derby

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Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad for Sunday’s derby clash with Harlequins at the Gtech Community Stadium in Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Oliver Hoskins are in the front row, with Rob Simmons and Adam Coleman in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Tom Pearson and Chandler Cunningham-South.

Ben White and Paddy Jackson link up to form the halfback duo, and Rory Jennings partners Benhard van Rensburg in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Lucio Cinti and James Stokes complete the line-up as the back three.

“Whenever these two clubs pitch up against one another, it always creates a good game of rugby,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“I know that we are expecting a good crowd at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday, and they will inevitably create a great atmosphere.

“We need to make sure that we put in a full 80-minute performance to give our supporters a reason to show their voice. Harlequins are a well-drilled side, and we know it will be a difficult challenge this weekend, but one we look forward to.”

London Irish:
15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South.

Replacements:
16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell.

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Baxter issues Moon injury update

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
26/1/23

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


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Premiership

TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

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South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 

Replacements: 

16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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