Match Report 2014: Harlequins U17 v BOP U18

Harlequins U17
Saturday 13th September 2014, 10.45am Kickoff
Rotorua Boys High School
Result: Harlequins U17: 21
BOP U18: 10
Brief summary of first half:

Alex Mithell, Curtis Rountree, Maluelue Schamkel, Micah Gillard, Josh Reynolds, Liam Fisher, Thomas Gordon, Thomas Williams, Sam Warwick, Dominic Clapcott, Liam Foley, Hutana Coffin, Asipeli Mafuataimi, Bryce McMullen, Spencer Jones.
Ifalemi Finau, Daniel Thornton, Ben Brady, Daniel James, Jack Foster, Mikaere Manuao, Lisiate Sole.

This week the boys headed to Rotorua for their annual trip away. This year it was against BOP U18 at Boys High in Rotorua. The Harlequins headed down on Friday to prepare for an early game the following day. BOP had put plenty of points on Thames Valley the week before, so the Harlequins were not about to take them lightly and prepped themselves for a tough game. The Harlequin boys knew that BOP had plenty of skill all across the paddock and trained hard all week knowing they were in for a great battle.

BOP kicked off on a wet overcast day and straight away got into their work applying plenty of pressure in the first few minutes dominating possession and territory.

The Harlequins boys were slow to start as attack after attack from the BOP side seemed to have the boy rattled. The Harlequins were trapped in their half and it only seemed like a matter of time before the BOP team would cross their line. Five minutes later that’s what happened as BOP scored down the left hand side of the field. They missed the kick but were up 5 nil after five minutes.

The Harlequins seemed like they were still half asleep. They just couldn’t get their hands on the ball. Needing to get themselves into the game the boys kept it close up front for a while making sure they looked after the ball. This paid off as the Harlequins begun to string a few moves together attacking out wide on the right hand side.

A handy kick was put through for Bryce McMullen playing at wing this week to run onto and he managed to work his magic before going over in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed but the Harlequins were now in the game.

Both teams were not giving an inch and the forward packs went head to head in the middle of the park. Both sides were playing some great rugby linking well between all players and getting both forward packs and back lines into the game.

Minutes later after a set move in mid field Asipeli Mafuataimi playing at centre went straight through a gap in the BOP backline and then managed to link well with Liam Foley on the left wing. Liam turned the ball back inside to Spencer Jones who went over for his first of the season and the Harlequins second try of the day. The conversion was missed.

Ten minutes later the Harlequins were rewarded with a penalty 35 metres out in front. Dominic Clapcott successfully slotted the penalty.

Both teams were still showing plenty of skill across the park as the first half came to an end. The Harlequins up 13 points to 5.

Halftime Score: 13 - 5 to Harlequins
Brief summary of second half:

The Harlequin boys started well in the second half spinning the ball wide and giving the backs plenty of ball. They didn’t disappoint showing plenty of speed out wide as they cut loose.

Both teams went to the bench looking for their impact players to make a difference. Play was a little unsettled until they worked their way into the game.

BOP were starting to string pass after pass together and looking good at set play. The players of the bench were linking well and 5 minutes later they went over again for try number two. The conversion was missed after Bryce McMullen from the Harlequins charged it down.

The Harlequins seemed to be pinned down as BOP were making the most of their opportunities. But as they have so far this season the Harlequin boys stepped up again and 5 minutes later they cut loose through the middle of the field breaking tackle after tackle and turning the BOP boys around.

BOP then gave away a penalty when some players were found offside. Dominic Clapcott playing at first five made it 16-10 after as he slotted a 35 meter kick straight out in front.

The Harlequins front row that was lead well this week by man of the match Alex Mitchell dug deep setting a good platform for the backs to make sure they were playing the game at the right end off the park.

Minutes later the Harlequins sent the ball wide to their flying centre Asipeli Mafuataimi who put on the after burners beating tackles and running away to score a well-deserved try. The conversion was un-successful.

With only minutes to go BOP pushed the Harlequins boys all the way but just couldn’t finish off. The boys showed plenty of guts holding BOP out before the Ref blew the whistle on another great game. The NZ Harlequins winning 21 points to 10.

Fulltime score: 21 - 10 to Harlequins
Try Scorers/Point Scorers: Try: Asipeli Mafuataimi (1) Bryce McMullen (1) Spencer Jones (1) Conversion: Penalty: Dominic Clapcott (2)

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