Botica on song again as Harlequins beat Bath

00:58 17 November 2012

Conor O

Conor O'Shea, Harlequins director of rugby. Photo: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Harlequins 21 Bath 12

Fly-half Ben Botica only played the first half but his 15 points set Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins on the way to their second victory in the LV= Cup.

The 23-year-old son of former Wigan and Castleford rugby league star Frano Botica kicked five penalties from five attempts for Quins, 31-30 winners at Northampton last weekend.

Botica’s teenage replacement Louis Grimoldby added two second-half penalties to kill off a fightback by Bath, who had been comprehensively outplayed in the first period.

Former All Blacks fly-half Stephen Donald kicked three penalties for the visitors, with his replacement Tom Heathcote kicking one.

But their cause was not helped by the sin-binning of prop Anthony Perinese in the first half and replacement hooker Brett Sharman in the second.

Harlequins, with first-choice centres Jordan Turner-Hall and George Lowe returning from knee and ankle injuries respectively, totally dominated the first half but lacked the cutting edge to score a try.

Botica, standing in for the rested Nick Evans, booted Quins into the lead with a first-minute penalty, landing another three minutes later.

He kicked his third in the 14th minute following a scrum infringement but Donald reduced the deficit soon after.

The Harlequins scrum was proving a real handful and, after back-pedalling Bath offended again in the 19th minute, Botica stroked over his fourth penalty to make it 12-3.

Bath were punished for yet another scrum infringement and Perinese was sin-binned by referee James Jones after 26 minutes.

However, three minutes later Donald kicked his second penalty when Harlequins were caught offside on their own 22-metre line.

Quins responded with Botica’s fifth penalty from wide out on the left.

After being forced to defend for virtually the entire half, Bath finally made their first incursion into the Quins 22 in the final minute.

Harlequins desperately defended a wave of attacks and even though Bath prop Charlie Beech forced his way over, he was held up by weight of numbers.

Botica, who had taken a heavy knock late in the first half, was replaced by teenager Grimoldby, who made his senior debut.

Donald pulled back another penalty for Bath six minutes into the second half, but the visitors then suffered a blow with the loss of centre Ben Williams, who was carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury.

Bath replaced Williams with Semesa Rokoduguni and sent on first-choice scrum-half Michael Claassens - making his 150th appearance for the club - for Chris Cook in a bid to turn their fortunes around.

Claasens immediately linked with Donald to set up an attack and Bath posed a far more serious threat as Quins lost their earlier momentum.

Heathcote, who had replaced Donald seven minutes earlier, cut the deficit to three points with a 65th-minute penalty but Grimoldby restored the six-point margin three minutes later and added another penalty eight minutes from time.

Related articles

Live Blog Deadline Day Live

 

Latest Stories

51 minutes ago
The potentially lethal pills were sold as impotence, slimming and anti-smoking aids [Photograph by Met Police]

A 62-year-old man from Hackney and a 34-year-old man from Barnet have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering as police try to smash a gang that sells deadly pills across the world.

Read more
Messages being spread on social media about a terror threat on the Tube are a hoax, say police (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Messages claiming a ‘terror threat’ was about to hit London Underground and urging people not to get the Tube this morning are a hoax, say police.

Read more
The Respect Party posted this photograph of Mr Galloway on Twitter after the incident  [Photo from @ukrespectparty/Twitter/PA Wire

]

Controversial MP George Galloway has been beaten up in Notting Hill’s Golborne Road in what police suspect was a religiously-motivated attack.

Read more

Match Reports

TOP STORIES

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.