Western Counties North

Bristol Harlequins 15, Wellington 9

WELLINGTON could only muster a losing bonus-point from their trip to Bristol Harlequins on Saturday, despite dominating large periods of the game.

This was always going to be a tough afternoon for Welly, against a side that have not lost at home this season.

After early Wellington pressure, Quins got into the Welly half after five minutes and worked the ball wide to score in the corner.

The conversion meant an early 7-0 lead for the hosts.

Wellington then exerted all the pressure in broken play but struggled in the scrum and lineout.

Despite this, Matt Parsons was able to slot two long range penalties to bring the score back to 7-6 - the second penalty, the result of a tip tackle, also brought a yellow card.

Wellington didn’t manage to deal with the restart from this penalty and after a couple of phases, Quins scored again to make it 12-6, despite the fact that this was only their second foray into the Wellington half.

The remainder of the half saw Wellington controlling the game but not looking after the ball sufficiently well to put phases together.

The second-half saw Wellington completely dominant in terms of territory and possession but unable to turn that into points, as the Quins showed how streetwise they were with a hand or boot in the ruck at crucial times to spoil Wellington possession.

This also meant that when the backs did get the ball, they lacked a little patience and composure, often going for long miss passes or offloads which weren’t on.

That said, Jamie Hayman and George Hodgson both showed what speed they have when breaking from deep in their own halves to create chaos in the home defence.

Parsons slotted a further penalty to bring Wellington to within three points but still they couldn’t grab that elusive try.

With five minutes to go, Quins converted a penalty to open a six-point gap and Wellington, despite more pressure, couldn’t score again.

A losing bonus point is scant reward for the dominance in possession and territory but Quins showed that it is finishing that matters most.

There is no league game for the first or second XV this weekend - the following week sees top-of-the-table Keynsham visit the Athletic Field.