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Angus Hamilton to the fore

AUG 05, 2014

We review the Semi Finals of the 2014 Dewar Shield, Victoria's premier Club Rugby competition

Harlequin vs. Box Hill

2013 Dewar Shield champions Harlequin have given themselves the best possible chance of going back to back in 2014, after securing the first spot in the Grand Final with victory over Box Hill in the Major Semi Final at home on Saturday.

‘Quins were able to turn on their defensive structures, keeping the Broncos to less than 20 points for just the second time this season, and nullifying the threats posed by their talented bevy of backs. Furthermore, Quins were slick with the ball in hand and were able to score three first half tries to have the tie all but sewn up at the break.

Harlequin Head Coach Craig McGrath was pleased with the result, and with the chance to now enjoy a break before the Grand Final.

“We are obviously very happy with the result on Saturday, and look forward to playing again in two weeks,” McGrath said. “We had another good team performance but Landre Te Kahu, Dale Stevenson and Gus Hamilton piled through a mountain of work.”

For Broncos’ Head Coach Andrew Slyfield, the result was a fair reflection of their performance, however the opportunity to have another crack next week means he wasn’t completely downhearted.

“On the day Harlequin deserved the win, as they played better than us and that was reflected on the scoreboard,” Slyfield admitted. “They showed us how to play finals Rugby and we learn a lot from it.

“In the first half we were our own worst enemy, giving them too much ball, territory and easy metres. That meant we also gave them a sizable lead going into half time.

“In the second half we showed a lot more promise, which was helped by the inclusion of some players off the bench. We got ourselves right back into the game and at 19 – 7; we felt if we could just get another score we could catch them but in the end we made too many poor decisions at vital times.

“Fortunately for us we have earnt ourselves a second chance this season and we will be making the most of it. We will be much better after our first experience of Semi Final action.”

Harlequin Tries: Taylor Acheson, Lloyd Johansson, Justin Marsters, Pom Simona

Conversions: Lloyd Johansson (2), Kemu Valetini

Box Hill Tries: Greg Bauer

Conversions: Sefanaia Naivalu

Melbourne vs. Moorabbin

The Moorabbin Rams have been eliminated from the Dewar Shield, after indiscipline cost them points against a determined Melbourne outfit on Saturday.

The early front-runners this season, Moorabbin struggled for momentum during the second half of the year and although the deficit was just four points on the weekend, heading into the game it seemed inevitable that 2013 runners-up Melbourne would keep their hopes alive. Moorabbin made a mockery of that illusion, pushing Melbourne hard all game but falling just short despite scoring two tries to one.

Unicorns’ Director of Rugby Ellis Meachen was relieved with the win, and the opportunity to face off against Box Hill next week for a spot in the final.

“The outcome wasn't looking as sunny as the weather early on for the Unicorns, with the visitors scoring an early try,” Meachen said. “However we countered this with a pick and go converted try by the dynamic duo of Daniel Corcoran and Chris Slade, followed by two penalty goals. It was an exciting first half of big hits, tested defence and brilliant teamwork from both sides.

“The second half proved equally as thrilling to watch, with a series of tit for tat penalty goals unfolding. The tension mounted and Unicorn Albert Aiolupotea was sent to the sin-bin. The Unicorns' woes continued with poor communication resulting in a try scored off of a charge down after a kick-off.

“It was looking dire for the Unicorns with classy fullback Neil Walsh taken off the field with a knee injury, and prop Ata Manu also took a knock, and all the while the Rams impressed with their structured attack. The Unicorns rallied in the dying minutes, putting pressure on the Rams' try line and capitalising on an offside call with a penalty goal by Chris Slade to secure a narrow win.”

Moorabbin Tries: Tui Tuiatua, Frank Va’ava

Conversions: Neli Sasulu

Penalties: Neli Sasulu

Melbourne Tries: Dan Corcoran

Conversions: Chris Slade

Penalties: Chris Slade (5)

This article was posted on 11-Aug-2014, 10:41 by Hugh Barrow.

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