Match Report: Harlequins U17 vs Auckland Div U18

Harlequins U17
Auckland Divisional Under 18
Saturday 15th September 2012, 2pm Kickoff
St Pauls Collegiate School, Hamilton
Result: Harlequins U17: 15
Auckland Divisional Under 18: 26
Brief summary of first half:

Ihaka Mita, Sione Tonga, Reginald Matekohi, Angus Seddon(C),Benjamin Greene , John-Boi Nonoa, Matthew Staijen, Jarrod Gwynne, Liam Robinson, Tipene Toi-Anscombe, Brandon Baillie, Denzil Southy Wilson, Satoshi Filitonga, Justus Riki-Hamana , Brigham Parai.
Marinus Du Preez, Piahana Astle-Harris, Drew Booten, Atunaisa Katoa, Conner Fullerton, Dylan Samson, Isaiah Cooper.

For the second weekend in a row the Harlequins were playing at their home ground, St Pauls Collegiate, against Auckland Division who looked to be one step above anyone else they had played so far this season. During the warm up a few showers passed, over head but most of the game was played in dry/overcast conditions. The Harlequins team kicked off with the wind behind them and straight away both teams got into their work running the ball all over the park. The Harlequins made a break down field and settled on the Auckland line for the next few minutes putting plenty of pressure on as they tried to push their way over. Halfback Liam Robinson added to the pressure with a tricky little kick over the forward pack, but Auckland had it covered. From the 22m tap Auckland made plenty of ground down into the Harlequins half and then managed to retain the ball before sending it wide to their pace. The Harlequins got back well in defence and managed to stop the flow. Then from some outstanding work the Harlequins forward pack got the turnover and Tipene kicked deep into the Auckland half. Harlequin’s hooker Sione Tonga made sure of the throw and the back line was set alight. Centre Satoshi Filitonga smashed his way though a few Auckland tackles before getting pulled down just short of the line. The Harlequins forward pack knew this was their chance and applied more pressure, until Auckland had no answer and Matthew Staijen who has been a rock all season in the number seven jersey got over the line for the first try of the day. Liam Robinson got the conversion. Auckland hit back straight away down the right hand edge using pace and skill to run around the Harlequin boys and score under the posts. They got the conversion and this made it seven all. The kick off didn’t go the distance which put the Harlequins under pressure again. Auckland made the most of it and after retaining the ball for the next five minutes the Harlequins gave away a penalty straight out in front. They got away with it as Auckland missed the penalty. The Harlequins then made some good ground back into the Auckland half but again turned over the ball and Auckland made them pay cutting loose, up the middle of the field then they sent it wide again to cross in the 22 minute. They got the conversion. From the kick off both teams enjoyed some free flowing rugby up and down the field before the Harlequins got a penalty. They kicked deep into the Auckland 22 and from the lineout the boys attacked in numbers before the backs made the most of the ball sending it wide to winger Brandon Baillie who still had some work to do but managed to throw himself into the covering defence and still dot down in the corner. The conversion was missed and the Harlequins went into half time down 12-14.

Halftime Score: 14 - 10 to Auckland Divisional Under 18
Brief summary of second half:

The second half got underway and both teams showed some very good ball skills as they smashed into each other trying to get on top early in the second half. The Harlequins forward pack looked like they were getting on top, as they found some gaps in the Auckland defence around the ruck. This didn’t last long as Auckland got the turnover, from which they made the Harlequins pay again through some sevens like rugby throwing the ball around with plenty of skill and support players. The Harlequins were dropping off tackles and in the 16 minute of the second half this was turned into points as they crossed the Harlequins line again. They got the conversion and were up 21 points to 12. The kick off went deep into Auckland’s 22, where the Harlequins managed to stay on attack. From the next play Auckland found themselves on the wrong side of the ruck and the Harlequins were awarded a penalty out in front. Liam stepped up and nailed it. Again from the kick off the Harlequins dropped off to many tackles and found they had to defend for long periods of time. Time was running out for the Harlequin boys and they tried to push a pass in mid field which was intercepted by Auckland and they set off for the try line only to be pulled down just short. More pressure was applied and they managed to get over for their forth of the day. The conversion was missed. Both teams then went head to head for the last few minutes before the Ref called full time with Auckland ahead 26 points 15.

Fulltime score: 26 - 15 to Auckland Divisional Under 18
Another great game of rugby and a hard fought battle by both sides making some good viewing for the large crowd that turned up. Next week is a must win for the Harlequin boys who travel to North Harbour. Try Scorers/Point Scorers: Tries: Matthew Staijen (1), Brandon Baillie (1) Conversions: Liam Robinson (1) Penalty: Liam Robinson (1)

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