Harlequins off to the championship

The Penticton Harlequins defeated the Salmon Arm Manthers to earn a berth in the Okanagan Rugby Union championship game

Harlequins off to the championship

The Penticton Harlequins Rugby Club are playing for the Okanagan Rugby Union championship.

The Harlequins advanced to the ORU championship with a 40-17 win over the Salmon Arm Manthers June 11 at McNicoll Park. Harlequins captain Brad Martin liked how the team played and credited their work on defence in helping them beat the Manthers.

“I think that’s what gave us an edge,” he said.

Harlequins coach Ken Simpson said it was a hard, head-to-head game and they sealed it with a couple of late tries. Scoring for the Harlequins were Brendan Ferreira, Justin Gabriel, Masui Fine, Jesse Conibear, Martin and Spencer Dunstan-Adams, who also hit kicked four conversions.

“The guys played well in the wet, soggy conditions,” said Simpson.

Martin laughed when asked what it was like playing in the rain.

“I enjoyed it,” said Martin. “It was a nice change from the blazing heat, which we often get. It was fun, it definitely made for a slippery ball and handling it a bit more challenging. The passes weren’t quite as long or as sharp.”

What Simpson liked about the win was support players gave each other, it was something they had talked about over the weeks. Backs were tackling hard and the things they have discussed are coming together slowly.

“We had some really good plays by individuals,” said Simpson. “A good team victory.”

This weekend the Harlequins travel to Vernon to take on the Jackals on Saturday. Simpson said that will be a tough game even with the Jackals losing some players.

The winner of the ORU will advance to the Saratoga Cup championship hosted by Penticton this September.