Saturday, 16 August 2014

Harlequin takes second title in a row with an easy 33-12 victory in the Victorian Rugby competition.

In a cold afternoon at Sparks Reserve, home of the Box Hill Rugby Club, the fairytale season of the Broncos ended with a comprehensive loss in the Gran Final. The much improved team wasn't able to contest the win to the defending champions in a one sided match where the only highlight was the hattrick for Bill Seveti.
From the very beginning the defending champions set the pace of the game and they could have scored a try at the 4' minute with an intercepted pass, but impeccable referee Matt Hall disallowed the try because the Harlequin's players weren't 10 meter back from the scrum.
Five minutes afterwards the Quins' forwards delivered the first of team's four tries of the match. The drive after a 5 meter line out was just too powerful for the Box Hill defence and Pom Simona had the honour to touch down over the line. After another 5 it was fullback Justin Martens time to score after a quick pass in the centre field.
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Gus Hamilton's try - photo @22metri

The Broncos looked unable to contain the opponents and were forced to several fouls, at the twenty-second minute referee's Matt Hall patience exhausted and flyhalf Pava Makoni was sin binned. Lloyd Johansson punished immediately
the Broncos with a penalty kick. Just before the end of the sin bin period for Makoni Harlequin scored again, this time with flanker Gus Hamilton at the end of a series of phases where the Quins scored a perfect team work.
Twenty points ahead and with the game well in control the Harlequins relaxed a bit and Box Hill finally found the combinations that made them one of the most dangerous teams the whole season.In the dying moments of the first half was Harlequin's Pom Simona to be sent for ten minutes after several team fouls.
The numeric advantage gave the Broncos the platform to launch their quick backs and Bill Seveti got two each side of the had time rest to reopen the game: 20 -12.
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Bill Seveti's second try - photo @22metri
Box Hill resurgence was although short lived and as soon as the Harlequin regained parity in players' numbers, the game reverted back to the screenplay of the first half. Quins midfield shut down every Bronco's opportunity waiting for any opportunity to strike back.
Majokah Schuster's try at the eleventh minute not only stopped Box Hill's comeback but was a psychological blow for the Broncos. Kemu Valetini took over from Lloyd Johansson from the tee and scored two penalties to put the game even further from Box Hill's reach.
With one minute to play Seveti scored his third try surprising yet again the opponent's defence with his speed. But there was no more time for the Broncos to endanger Harlequin's lead.
At the end the better team won, without any doubt. Box Hill have to be proud of his season, but the champions were clearly superior in every aspect of the game.MVP of the final was rightly so elected Harlequin's hooker Kolo Mahe, a prize that was also a recognition of the great work done by whole first row.
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Harlequin's players celebrating at the end of the game - photo @22metri
At the end of the game along the Dewar Shield the season's MVP, Harlequin's OJ Noa and the season's best scorer, Box Hill Sefanaia Naivalu were awarded.

Scoreboard:
Harlequin 33 (20):
Tries: Simona 9', Martens 15', Schuster 51'
Conversions: Johansson 2/4
Penalties: Johansson 1/1; Valetini 2/2
Drop Gaols: Johansson 0/1

Box Hill 19 (5):
Tries: Seveti 40', 46' and 79'
Conversions: Naivalu 1/3
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