Harlequins grind out wins in tight contests with division II debutantes.

Finally a home game! It always feels good to look outside in the morning, see a beautiful day and think ‘what a great day for rugby’. Then you arrive at the pitch and the son of a bitch turns into a rainy cold piece of crap. These are the conditions in which The Harlequins welcomed the Lake County Gladiators to the second division.

I want to thank the Gladiators for making the trip up to Milwaukee. Especially after the previous tough weekend they had at the Midwest Playoffs. For a club less than five years old, they demonstrated on Saturday that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

Our goal for the weekend of developing on our game, tightening up around the ruck and looking to make better tactile decisions came up against two obstacles. The first obstacle was the weather. The cold, wet conditions, led to both teams dropping balls and having issues with their footing.

The Second obstacle was the physical talent and determined defense of the Gladiators. The Gladiators had not made the trip to Milwaukee to just roll over and die for us, they had come to win. The Gladiators took advantage of any errors on our part, this led to the Gladiators having a deserved 11-5 lead two minutes into the second half.

We had had many great scoring opportunities all through the first half and had been unable to capitalize on a dominating performance by the front row and a wealth of possession. Now down by 6 points we saw how far the team has moved forward in our style of play. From the sidelines you could see the confidence of the team. There was no sense of frenzy or desperation as we have seen in the past. The team simply went back to work on controlling the ball and making good decisions on the field. The continued pressure and probing of the Gladiators defense was rewarded 10 minutes later by Danny Kurth going over for his second try to bring the score to 11-10 in favor of the Gladiators. It was not until the last quarter that the Harlequins took the lead with a try by Leon Kendricks. The continued pressure and team play was rewarded again with Kurth in the last 10 minutes of the game going over for a hat trick. Not a bad way to celebrate your 21st birthday.

The game was won by a team that showed great cohesion and displayed a very intelligent brand of rugby. It was a pleasure to watch and more importantly showed that we are moving in the right direction.

That style of play was again displayed by the 2nd side that inherited a badly torn field and a determined gladiator opposition infused with fresh players from Marquette University and also some young and eager players from Brookfield high school. I want to thank all those players for coming out. We as a club look forward to providing you with all the resources we can for you to develop as players and look forward to welcoming you to the club once you graduate.

The first half saw again some opportunities go astray. Most of these can be attributed to the weather and lack of playing time as a unit. Even though we were down by five points, we saw the same confidence the first side had demonstrated. The team listened to the coaches and adjusted the game plan and focus in the second half. We were quickly rewarded with Tom Goetz going over for a well-deserved try. The pressure was maintained and we came out of an extremely brutal ( in a good way) game the winners.

As we said after the matches, everyone can be proud of their performance. It was a great day of Rugby and both clubs were well represented. The men of the matches for the Harlequins displayed what we have been working towards: solid, intelligent, fluid team rugby played with passion and intensity. It feels good to win playing rugby the way we played today.

I want to thank all our supporters who came out and especially big Dave for taking the responsibility for filming the first game and then unfortunately encountering some software issues.

Lets all get out on Tuesday and Thursday and continue the development of the club. You should all be excited with where we are going and what we need to do to get there.

Scoring Summary

  • 1st XV
    • 20 min: 3-0 (LC penalty)
    • 21 min: 3-5 (WSH try, Kurth)
    • 30 min 6-5 (LC penalty)
    • 42 min 11-5 (LC try)
    • 55 min: 11-10 (WSH try, Kurth)
    • 63 min: 11-15 (WSH try, Kendricks)
    • 74 min: 11-20 (WSH try, Kurth)
  • 2nd XV
    • 5-0 (LC try)
    • 5-5 (WSH try, Goetz)
    • 5-12 (WSH try, Tobin; WSH conversion, Kelly)
    • 5-17 (Langston)

Mike Loader
Mike Loader
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