The Nationl, Monday 3rd September, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
MONIER Harlequins are the inaugural 2012 Capital Rugby Union champions.
Only a year after winning the Metro Cup title, Harlequins pulled all stops on Saturday against an overawed Wanderers side at the Bava Park to take the ‘Cathy’ home 36-20.
“Coming through undefeated throughout the season and then winning the final, it’s a reward for the hard work that the boys put in at training,” coach Laka Nou said.
“You have to be a pretty special team to be able to do it.”
Speedy wing Oswald Gela crossed the line twice and national sevens duo Chris Kakah and Tisa Kautu also added a try each in the first half to set the tone for the romp and domination.
First-five Jonah Kautu Jnr could only manage one conversion of his four attempts.
All the finals hype looked to have gotten to the Wanderers from kick-off on their ‘dream’ day, as they merely held on waiting for something to happen.
“I’d like to think that I definitely turned up to play, but it’s a team game, and every single one of you 15 or 22 players have to turn up to play. Because you’re just there to do your bit and expect the next man to do his,” Wanderers captain Shane Amean said at the end of the match.
“We are a better team than we were.”
Going to the break 0-22, Wanderers returned in the second half early with a successful penalty and then an unconverted try to wing Robert Lamboku to trail 8-22.
Harlies half Kumalau Auru again extended his side’s lead with a try in the 50th minute, but a try to Wanderers reserve scrum half Martin Kambayong quickly put the final result into perspective 15-29 with the potential of a tight finish.
Again the champions hit back with bench back Roland Namo bustling his way over, and it was all ‘over-red-rover’, 36-15 to the Harlies.
Wanderers standout and seasoned campaigner Aloysius Kevin scored towards the end but it was too little too late.
Harlequins prop Shane Koal took out player of the final with a solid showing up front, besides veterans Monty Diave and Avosa Kaipu.
For the Wanderers Amean, Kevin, Lamboku and flanker Tukai Delesan could only do so much.