Rugby: J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s -- Round 1 at Bath





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Published on Jul 18, 2011

Bath Rugby squeezed into the final of the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series despite winning just one of their three group matches.

A superior points difference saw them edge out Exeter Chiefs, who will feel a sense of grievance after beating their hosts 21-17 in a thrilling finale.

A crowd of 4,020 at The Rec saw Bath scrape into the final, which will take place at The Stoop on August 5. They will join an imperious-looking Harlquins side, who won all three of their matches tonight in style.

Bath's evening began with a heavy loss to Quins, but the host's night was put back on track with a 26-22 bonus-point win over London Irish.

Then came the West Country finale. Exeter's victory tied them on six championship points with Bath, but it was the latter who qualified for the finals by virtue of their points difference.

Harlequins, boasting two England 7s internationals, proved far too strong for their hosts in the night's opening fixture.

There was little in it in the opening exchanges.Wing Miles Mantella opened the scoring for Quins, but that was cancelled out by Tom Heathcote, who provided the finish after muscular work by Ben Mosses.

From then on, however, it was all Quins. Bath's situation was not helped by the sin-binning of replacement Will Skuse, who was shown yellow for a try-preventing shove just seconds after coming on as a replacement.

Quins capitalised on the one-man advantage to take the lead through a try by England 7s ace Ollie Lindsay-Hague, and the hard-running Ross Chisholm then made a superb outside break to scorch past Richard Lane for another score. Argentina fly-half Ben Urdapiletta added the conversion to give the Londoners a 17-5 lead.

Bath's pain was compounded by a last-minute missed tackle by Will Clemesha, which enabled Sam Smith to secure the bonus point for Quins.

But there was no shame in the 24-5 scoreline for Bath, with Harlequins going on to hammer Exeter 43-0 in the next round.

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