Match Report: Harlequins U17 vs New Zealand Area Schools

Harlequins U17
New Zealand Area Schools
Saturday 21st September 2011, 1pm Kickoff
Mercury Bay Rugby Club, Whitianga
Result: Harlequins U17: 54
New Zealand Area Schools: 12
Brief summary of first half:

Peter Simeon, Mitchell Hansen, Wade McLean-Te Huia, Lui Finau, Brodi McCurran, George Forster, Nathan Sunde (c), Isaac Van der Valk, Dylan Bower, Josh O’Flaherty, Luke Masirewa, Gary-Jack Gibb, Josh Gascoigne, Keagen Faria, Josh Fawcett
Jack Munce, Mark Tyrell, Kereti Tonga, Mason Nestor, Kaleb Foote, Jared Newing, Latrell Tither, Jono Feast, Chad Bracey.

On a superb Coromandel day in Whitianga the Harlequin side started superbly in dry sunny conditions. In the 6th minute from a Luke Masirewa break up the field, lock Brodi McCurran was excellent in support feeding winger Keagen Faria to run clear and dot down next to the posts. Josh O’Flaherty stepped up to kick the extras. Two minutes later the Harlequins from good front foot ball by the forward pack spread the ball wide with centre Josh Gascoigne breaking the defence and off loading to Masirewa to score in the corner, the try went unconverted.

Further tries followed in the 13th and 16th minutes to the Harlequins as they begun to show their dominance over the Area schools team. Masirewa crossed over for his second and second five Gary-Jack Gibb scored an outstanding solo effort off a kick and regather to put the visitors up 24-0. The Area Schools team were then let back in the game by the Harlequins as they dropped their intensity in the later stages of the first half. The Area schools side scored two tries in the last few minutes of the half through applied pressure to make the score 24-12 heading into the break.

Halftime Score: 24 - 12 to Harlequins
Brief summary of second half:

Playing with the wind for the second half the Harlequins side started well once again, building phases and playing to their structure well. After 5 minutes of the half a break from the backs was well finished by fullback Josh Fawcett, giving the Harlequins the important first points of the second spell.

At the 49th minute mark the flood gates began to open, firstly with a dart from the ruck by impressive halfback Dylan Bower to score after sustained pressure. Further tries to No8 Isaac Van der Valk (50th minute) and first five Josh O’Flaherty (53rd minute) put the game beyond doubt for the Harlequins.

To finish the game the Harlequins scrum began to dominate, winning two crucial tight heads with both resulting in points. Impressive No8 Van der Valk was the catalyst for both, displaying his speed off the back of the scrum to firstly feed winder Chad Bracey and secondly cross over himself.

Fulltime score: 54 - 12 to Harlequins
Outstanding Players/Moments in the Match: Number 8 Isaac Van der Valk was outstanding supporting well and scoring two tries. Prop Peter Simeon and Hooker Mitchell Hansen both had strong games at set piece and around the field. Lock Brodi McCurran was another to impress particularly at lineout time but also with some crucial link play on attack. Backs Gary-Jack Gibb and Luke Masirewa had strong games making valuable metres and always looking dangerous on attack. Try Scorers/Point Scorers: Tries: Isaac Van der Valk (2), Dylan Bower, Josh O’Flaherty, Luke Masirewa (2), Gary-Jack Gibb, Keagen Faria, Josh Fawcett, Chad Bracey Conversions: Josh O’Flaherty (2)

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