Harlequins score big win against Vernon

Penticton Harlequins rugby club opens season with confidence building victory

Dan Eyles of the Vernon Jackals reaches for the end zone as Callum Lloyd (left) and Chris Hanon of the Penticton Harlequin tackle him in men’s rugby action at Grahame Park Saturday.

Dan Eyles of the Vernon Jackals reaches for the end zone as Callum Lloyd (left) and Chris Hanon of the Penticton Harlequin tackle him in men’s rugby action at Grahame Park Saturday.

Their first win against Vernon in four years has given the Penticton Harlequins confidence.

The visiting team earned a 32-19 decision in Vernon on Saturday thanks to four scores.

Mike Scheller of Vernon acknowledged that the Harlequins were simply the better team.

Brandon Messier of the Harlequins said their performance was outstanding.

“For a new team with13 new players, not all new to the game, we did very well against the hardest team in the league,” said Messier. “We bested them for sure.”

While the match was close, the Harlequins held the majority of play and controlled it territorially. They were able to take advantage of Vernon’s tackling problems. Messier said their backline’s big improvement was a key reason for the win.

“Our forwards are good, but we have some improvements,” he said. “We did a good job with the ball handling. Three tries we scored were from back line.”

Scheller said that Vernon did not ruck or maul as well as they would have liked. They played high in contact and that needs to improve.

“We just did not play that well, and we will get better,” he said.

The two teams will play one more time and Messier is sure Vernon will be ready. However, the Harlequins plan to be ready and are hungry for a successful season.

Scheller said part of the reason Vernon struggled is that they had several players playing out of position. He noted that the game is played with eight forwards and seven backs, but Vernon played with 12 forwards and three true backs.

“Some guys had to step up and play out of position, and they have to be commended for that,” he said.

 

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