The Vernon Jackals came out firing against the Penticton Harlequins at McNicoll Park, but the home side exploded for a 41-14 win May 30.
“It was good,” said Daniel Hatch of the Harlequins, who improved to 3-0 in Okanagan Rugby Union play. “They hemmed us in our own end for the first little bit. The first half in total (17-7) was pretty close. We just sort of ran away with it in the second.”
Hatch and Aukuso Savea led the Harlequins attack with two tries, while Scott Naylor, David Bellomo and Ben Gorrod scored one try each.
After feeling the Jackals pressure in the opening 10 minutes, the Harlequins scored two tries within three minutes, both by Hatch. The home side had some problems with their defensive structure that they corrected, then the offence came alive in the final half.
“We just scored a bunch of really nice, long field tries,” said Hatch. “That just kind of turned the game upside down.”
Hatch said the Harlequins also showed composure with the small lead they had. They got sharper with details in their game and the communication was there.
“One of the keys to the second half was our fitness,” said Hatch. “We’ve been working conditioning into everything we do in practice and guys have been really buying into it.”
This weekend the Harlequins will play Trail in an exhibition game in Greenwood, which both teams agreed would be a good neutral location to meet. The following weekend the Harlequins are hosting their Sunfest tournament. Their next league match will be for the ORU championship at the end of June or early July. The Harlequins will play the winner between the Jackals and Salmon Arm Manthers.