Dave Bellomo, captain of the Penticton Harlequins Rugby Club, runs fiercely towards the Salmon Arm Manthers zone during Okanagan Rugby Union action at McNicoll Park Oval on April 29. The Harlequins lost the match 38-26 and are now 0-2 on the season. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Harlequins eyeing league title and Saratoga Cup

Winning the Okanagan Rugby Union and playing for the Saratoga Cup are in the Penticton Harlequins Rugby Club sights.

The Harlequins are off to a tough start in acheiving that with two close losses, the most recent on April 29, 38-26 against the Salmon Arm Manthers at McNicoll Parl Oval. Harlequins captain Dave Bellomo said their start will make it hard to get the top seed.

“If we continue to improve and add a few more players during the season we still have a real chance,” said Bellomo. “That being said, player development and recruitment are a focus right now and we understand that if we go through a rebuilding season it will be good for the long run.”

Related: Harlequins rugby club falls short of third place finish

The Harlequins have a commited core at practice that Bellomo likes how they are working, but with new faces, they are still coming together as a group. He said their biggest challenge at the moment is having enough players. The league allows eight player substitutions and players are allowed to come back in after being subbed out. They haven’t had eight players on the sidelines for their two games.

“We are always looking for new players and they can show up any Tuesday or Thursday at the McNicoll Oval for practice if interested,” said Bellomo.

Practices are at 5:30 p.m. Anyone interested in joining the team can contact them through their Facebook page or their website. The Harlequins have two games left in their season before semifinal action is played in mid June.

The Saratoga Cup will be played in July as it was moved up from September. There has been no confirmation as to which team will host it.

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