Match Report 2017: Harlequins U17 vs King Country U18

Harlequins U17
King Country U18
Saturday 2nd September 2017
Owen Delany Stadium, Taupo
Result: Harlequins U17: 28
King Country U18: 15
Brief summary of first half:

Last weekend the Harlequins U17 travelled to Taupo to play King Country U18.

Initially the team were to play on the No1 field at Owen Delaney Stadium; however, due to recent rain the game was transferred to the No2 field as a precaution due to next weekends National U19 Tournament being played at the Stadium.

From the kick-off King Country used their size advantage to rumble up the paddock and test the Harlequin defence. The early pressure was rewarded when King Counrty were awarded a penalty which was kicked giving them the early lead.

From the kick off King Country attempted to run the ball from deep within their half however a drop ball was picked up by Harlequins winger, Jacob Farrell, who ran through and scored a try between the posts. Centre, Max Wilson, added the two points with the conversion.

Harlequins then played to their strengths by spinning the ball wide and stretching the King Country defence. Harelquins gained territory which soon resulted in hooker, Brad Burkhart, driving over for a try. The conversion was again successful by Max Wilson. Harlequins continued to spin the ball wide, mounting further pressure on their King Country opponents. This was rewarded when No8, Kimi Finau, scored from a driving mall close to the line which was again converted by Max Wilson.

The expansive game plan seemed to be paying off for the Harlequins when hooker, Brad Baurkhart received a ball on the wing and made break down the sideline. Brad showed some excellent pace, stepping inside the full back to score his second try of the game. The conversion was once again successful by Max Wilson.

Halftime Score: 28 - 3 to Harlequins
Brief summary of second half:

In the second half the wind come up giving King Country a significant advantage. King Country came out far more determined and began playing to their strengths using their size to drive the ball up centre of the field. Emotions ran high with the game turning into a “niggly” affair.

Strong running by King Country was rewarded when they scored a converted try and appeared to be taking control of the game.

Foul play started to creap into the game resulting in two yellow cards being given out when Harlequins captain, Liam Allen, reacted to a head roll from the King Country captain. With both captains off the field, King County scored a second try from driving play which was unconverted.

The heated encounter continued throughout the second half with a tip tackle by a King Country player on a Harlequins player resulted in a red card.

The game ended with Harlequins securing their first competition win of the season.

Fulltime score: 28 - 15 to Harlequins
The game was an improvement for the Harleqiuins team; however once again the coaches wanted more control in the second half with scoring opportunites going begging.

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