Premiership: Harlequins 22-17 Bristol Bears

Marcus Smith kicks
Marcus Smith kicked 17 of Harlequins' 22 points
Gallagher Premiership
Harlequins (9) 22
Try: Marchant Pens: Smith 5 Con: Smith
Bristol Bears (9) 17
Try: Heenan Pens: Sheedy 4

Harlequins beat Bristol for their first Premiership win of the season in a game dominated by kicking at The Stoop.

Fly-halves Marcus Smith and Callum Sheedy traded three penalties apiece as the sides went in level at 9-9.

Bristol had Nathan Hughes sin-binned but stayed in touch at 15-12 down as both sides struggled to break through.

But Joe Marchant got to Martin Landajo's kick for a try to give Quins a 10-point lead with Jake Heenan's score earning Bristol a losing bonus.

Paul Gustard's Quins were edged out by Exeter on the opening weekend but always seemed to have the edge over a Bears side who were on a high after opening their campaign with a thrashing of rivals Bath.

Hughes had returned to the pitch after his yellow for a dangerous tackle when Argentina scrum-half Landajo judged his kick perfectly for England centre Marchant to touch down.

Three minutes later Jake Heenan finished off a flowing move in the corner for Bristol, but Sheedy's missed conversion meant the visitors needed more than just a penalty to draw level - with a second try eluding them late on as Quins defended strongly.

Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard:

"It was an ugly game, with small margins. It was about who could control territory better, the set-piece and handling the pressure and I'm obviously delighted we've come up on the right side.

"It's a great try and that's what you get with an 84-cap Argentinian (Martin Landajo). But there were some other great performances, and the four guys in the back-row were excellent - Tom Lawday in particular.

"We were guilty of trying to bring a style to our play in the first half and we didn't respect the weather, which is something we talked about before the game.

"We've got five points from a possible 10 (this season), which isn't great but at the same time it isn't too bad."

Bristol head coach Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I'm really pleased with the effort in the sense that we fought right to the end.

"But ultimately these sort of games, with the conditions, really come down to fine margins - we did a lot right, but to give them so many easy points from errors or ill-discipline was disappointing.

"All in all to get one point here is literally a bonus, it's going to be good for us."

Harlequins: Morris; Murley, Marchant, Tapuai, Ibitoye; Smith, Landajo; Garcia Botta, Baldwin, Collier, Lewies, Symons, Robshaw (capt), Evans, Lawday.

Replacements: Elia, Lambert, Kerrod, Young, Dombrandt, Saunders, Herron, Chisholm.

Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor, S Piutau, Protheroe; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Joyce, Vui, Luatua (capt), Thomas, Hughes.

Replacements: Malton, Thomas, Thiede, Holmes, Heenan, Randall, Lloyd, Hurrell.

Sin-bin: Hughes (54 mins).

Referee: Ian Tempest.

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