Bath Rugby have solidified their fantastic start to the season with a 25-17 victory over Harlequins at the Recreation Ground.
In front of a packed home crowd, the boys in blue showed their loyal supporters the sort of payback that only comes with 25 years of blind investment. The strings were mercilessly stroked by the maestro Finn Russell as he adapted the gameplan to suit a Bath side firing off all cyclinders.
Stringing the ball through the hands and trusting each and every fingerprint, Russell and Ben Spencer were able to pick and choose the gaps to slide on through. Big units on the wings in the shapes of Joe Cokanasiga and Will Muir were allowed to gallop along the touchline, barreling into each and every sorry Harlequins defender that dared stand in their way.
Elliot Stooke was everywhere, whilst Charlie Ewels was everywhere that Quins didn’t want him to be. A quality bath performance, backed up by the result.
Checl our ratings here:
Bath Rugby XV:
1 Beno Obano – 6
Scrummed and carried well, solid.
2 Niall Annett – 6
Lineout’s were secure, only lost one. Scrum percentage lower than he would have liked.
3 Thomas du Toit – 6
Same as Beno.
4 Elliott Stooke – 9
An incredibly powerful performance. Was involved in everything. Standing ovation as he left the field
5 Charlie Ewels -8
Barnstorming runs all game, huge shift.
6 GJ van Velze – 7
Carried well, part of a dominant Bath pack.
7 Miles Reid – 7
First major impression was a vital turnover on the Bath try line, from then on he was terrific. Deserved the final try to get bonus point.
8 Alfie Barbeary – 7
Carried well, particularly towards the start of the match. Gave Bath a good footing on the attack.
9 Ben Spencer (c) – 9
Made a brilliant behind the back take for disallowed try which was sadly later knocked on. Dictating game really well, despite a couple of rogue box kicks. His combination with Russell is quite possibly the best in the Premiership right now. Brought off to a standing ovation.
10 Finn Russell – 9.5
Wonderful assessment of space to create the opening try by squeezing the ball through the smallest of gap for outside runners. He continued the match in the same vein, composing each and every passage of play with direct intent. It was a compete fly half performance, missing the perfect 10 due to lack of blindfold.
11 Will Muir – 8.5
From winning his early high ball, the galloping horse never put a foot wrong. Best moment was his impressive power down the wing to set up Ojomoh’s eventually disallowed try.
12 Max Ojomoh – 7.5
Looking confident on the ball and came into his own as the match went on. Interesting centre combination with Lawrence, will be one to look out for in the long run.
13 Ollie Lawrence – 7.5
He’s either scoring them or setting them up, this time it was all about the latter. A solid performance, one of Bath’s most consistent players.
14 Joe Cokanasiga – 8.5
Finished both tries really well. Dealt well with the overhead kicks with composure, using his size and strength to his advantage, despite looking uncomfortable in situations where kicking would be a better option. Would like to see him back his speed rather than focusing purely on power.
15 Matt Gallagher – 8
Quins couldn’t get a hold of the ever-improving fullback. Looked solid and deserved of his place.
8 – Bath only got better as their replacements dug their hells in. Secured the win, and a top of the table Christmas finish.