Harlequins v Bath: RFU apologise for timing mistake over player in sin bin

Harlequins' Irne Herbst
Herbst returned to the field three minutes early as Harlequins held on to beat Bath [Getty Images]

The RFU have apologised for a timing error by officials during Harlequins' Irne Herbst's yellow card against Bath but will not overturn the result.

Lock Herbst was mistakenly allowed to rejoin play after seven minutes instead of 10 after being sent to the sin bin.

Quins survived a stirring Bath comeback to triumph 40-36 at Twickenham Stoop.

"We would like to apologise to both teams for this mistake," said the RFU Professional Game Match Officials Team (PGMOT) in a statement.

"As is the usual process, the PGMOT will review all games to ensure continued improvement and learnings."

Harlequins appeared to be cruising and held a commanding 40-13 advantage when Herbst was yellow-carded in the 64th minute.

But Bath then hit back with two tries in quick succession before the South African returned to the field and made a crucial tackle as the home side clung on for victory.

Bath director of rugby Johan van Graan raised the error with referee Anthony Woodthorpe after the final whistle.

However, the PGMOT statement also confirmed that the result will stand, which leaves second-placed Bath five points behind Premiership leaders Northampton Saints.