Match Report: Harlequins U17 v NZ Area Schools U18

Harlequins U17
NZ Area Schools
Wednesday 27th August 2014, 5.35pm Kickoff
Waikato Stadium
Result: Harlequins U17: 68
NZ Area Schools: 0
Brief summary of first half:

Tania Nicholas, Curtis Rountree, Mikaere Manuao, Shneil Singh, Josh Reynolds, Ben Brady, Thomas Gordon, Thomas Williams, Sam Warwick, Dominic Clapcott, Liam Foley, Hutana Coffin, Asipeli Mafuataimi, Hone Karaka, Bryce McMullen.
Samisoni Taukeiaho, Maluelue Schaumkel, Alex Mitchell, Liam Fisher, Daniel James, Jack Foster, Ifalemi Finau, Luke Arnold.

The Harlequins opened their 2014 season against the NZ Area Schools at Waikato Stadium. After an outstanding camp back in July a wider skill training squad was selected to train once a week for 3 weeks. They were then given a couple weeks to concentrate on Secondary Schools finals and impress the selection team before final selection post finals.

The team Harlequins team had 4 trainings leading into the game and trained well. Many family and friends of both teams showed up for the opening game of the season.

The Harlequins kicked off and the 2014 season got underway. The boys settled into the game very quickly testing the Area Schools within the first few minutes. The Area Schools made an early mistake and knocked on giving the Harlequins a scrum on their 22. There was some good leg drive from the Harlequins pack before the Captain Thomas Williams opened the scoring with the Harlequins first try. Dominic Clapcott playing at First Five stepped up and slotted the conversion. After the kick off play became a little scrappy before the Area Schools were awarded a penalty on the Harlequins 22. They missed the shot at goal.

The nerves had now settled and the Harlequins went about their business before another strong showing from the Harlequins forward pack. Ben Brady playing at 6 made the most of his start by picking up his first try of this year. Dominic made it two out of two and the Harlequins were up 14-0 after 16 minutes. The Harlequin backs got to show off their skills before Asipeli Mafuataimi playing at Centre made the most of having possession and ran some great lines in midfield before scoring in the corner. The conversion was missed but the Harlequins were on a roll.

Some outstanding defence and good set ball from the boys set the next two tries up. Firsty to Sam Warwick who played at Half back. He showed good foot work and strength to crash over for his first try of the night. Four minutes later and a little sore from some good Area Schools defence Sam made it number two. Dominic gets both conversion and the Harlequins are now out to 33 points to nil.

The control up front from the Harlequins pack was proving difficult at times for the Area Schools and they couldn’t get their hands on the ball. The outstanding loose trio for the Harlequins then found gaps in the Area Schools defence before linking well with the backs and showing their family and friends that had come to watch some great free flowing rugby. The Harlequins got a scrum mid field 25 out from the line and it was time to attack. The Harlequins pack showed their power, making good ground up field before Curtis Rountree playing at Hooker was found in the open and crashed his way over for a good try. Dominic gets number five for the night and the Harlequins go into the break 40 points up.

Halftime Score: 40 - 0 to Harlequins
Brief summary of second half:

Not wanting to make the injury worse Head Coach Logan Asplin and Backs Coach Ray Stowe make one change at half time replacing Sam Warwick at Half Back with Daniel James. The Area Schools get into their work in the second half, making the Harlequins defend for the first five minutes. But this was not to last. The Harlequins again showed off their class, working the ball wide before Hone Karaka found gaps and turned it into points, scoring a great try down the right hand side. Dominic got the conversion.

The Harlequins Forward Coach Paul Nathan goes to the bench bring on Maluelue Schaumkel and Alex Mitchell in the Front row. They got straight too work linking well with the backs finding another gear after kick off and putting together some great passes. More substitutions take place as Luke Arnold, Liam Fisher, Samisoni Taukeiaho and Jack Foster take to the field. Not long after making his way onto the field Samisoni gets in and dots down for his first try. Dominic Clapcott makes it number seven for the night.

The Harlequins empty out the bench bringing on their last sub of the night Ifalemi Finau. The game slows a little but it’s not long before the Forwards start pealing of rucks and using the ball well, turning the Area Schools around with some nice foot work and ball handling skills. The Area Schools kept fighting and never gave up but in the end it’s not enough as the Harlequins pack cuts loose again to send Samisoni over for his second of the night 66 mintues into the second half. Dominic adds number 8.

It’s now become hard work for the Area Schools but they were not about to give up and held the Harlequins out for a while. The Harlequins stepped up again and went on the attack, drilling the ball deep into the Area Schools half. For the next 5 minutes both teams continued to test each other before Alex Mitchell shows his power and crashed over for his first try of the season. Dominic Clapcott who came away with Player of the Day added another 2 points taking his overall total to 18 for the night.

The Area Schools were pinned down in their half as the Harlequins impact players made the most of their opportunities. Minutes later the Ref blew his whistle on the Harlequins first game of the season was over beating the NZ Area Schools by 68 points to nil.

Fulltime score: 68 - 0 to Harlequins
Try Scorers/Point Scorers: Try: Thomas Williams (1) Sam Warwick (2) Asipeli Mafuataimi (1) Curtis Rountree (1) Ben Brady (1) Hone Karaka (1) Samisoni Taukeiaho (2) Alex Mitchell (1) Conversion: Dominic Clapcott (9)

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