Focused Lincoln Park side break 13-match Harlequins winning streak.

The Harlequins suffered a hard 35-41 loss to Lincoln Park on Saturday. Lincoln Park were the most cohesive side the Harlequins has faced in the fall schedule, with a hard and fast defense and good attacking strength in the centers. Their forwards along with an inadequately prepared referee were able to strongly contest and win a majority of ball in the loss. This loss drops the Harlequins to 2nd place in the Northern League behind archrivals Milwaukee whom they play this Saturday, October 11th, at Nagawaukee Park.

The first half was all Lincoln Park. They controlled loose play and were able to make the advantage line at a high percentage. The Harlequins were simply out of sorts and struggled to display any of our teams’ strengths. Frustration was building but never displayed itself as negative comments to each other or dirty play on the field. By the end of the first half Lincoln Park had a commanding lead, the second half began with a Harlequins team still struggling to find its way back into the game. Communication that was all but absent in the first half began to be seen. The last 20 minutes showed the maturity of the Harlequins team who finally began to put plays together and claw their way back into the game. Unfortunately, the efforts in the last quarter were a little too late to overcome the sizeable lead of Lincoln Park. However, the team demonstrated the skills and mental mindset the club will need for the remainder of the season.

In addition, I wish to acknowledge the manner in which the match was officiated. I spoke with the referee afterwards and voiced my displeasure as to how he failed to control the game and keep players safe. As a coach I am not heartened by the fact a ref acknowledged he should have carded a player in the first 10 minutes and then failed to act the entire game to the point of allowing flagrant penalties without admonishment. This was perhaps most obvious in the management of the scrum engagement. For the record, it is impossible for a loose head prop to come in on an angle unless the tight head is boring in on a hooker; something the official failed to comprehend throughout the match.

As a final note, I and the players on the sidelines need to follow the example set by the players on the field during the last quarter of the match. We need to focus in what we can change and be positive in our communication if we hope to win our last 2 games…we need that focus and intensity from everyone.

Let’s have another good practice on Thursday and a great, fun game against Milwaukee on Saturday. I encourage everyone to come out. There will be more talented players on the field Saturday than you will find on a super league roster.

Mike Loader
Mike Loader
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