Harlies back in top form

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013

 THE Trukai  Harlequins put their premiership aspirations back on track by nailing Defence 18-8 in a polished performance in the Capital Rugby Union competition at Monier Rugby Park on Saturday.

The reigning premiers held their line well to ward off numerous attempts from the Murray Barracks outfit in a strong defensive display.

Defence had their share of the ball in the first-half but could not break the Harlies sturdy defence.

The Harlies opened scoring with a penalty by stand-in five-eighth Ben Levi before slicing the opposition on the right flank with a sizzling run from national sevens international Monty Diave, who  put through live-wire hooker Freddy Andale to score the opening try.

Defence tried to hit back through their forwards gaining good yardage, but again their backs were found wanting with a reshuffled Harlies midfield with Diave and Kumalau Auru in the centres and Oswald Gela and Chris Kakah on the wing covering well.

Harlies forwards Tommy Ki­vu, Joachim Komoru, James Simet, Mark Pilon, Andale and skipper Avosa Kaipu held their own as they repeatedly denied Defence from making inroads.

Down 8-0 at half-time, Defence coach Sydney Wesley brought in the replacements with Steven Yasang and Consie Bais in the forwards and Dominic Livuana in the backs in a bid to ignite a fight-back.

But that did little to change the tide, with Harlies rangy flanker James Simet punching through feeble defence to extend their lead to 13-0.

Defence centre Kirarock Ngaf­fin landed a penalty for their first points but again allowed the champs to walk back in through Kakah to take a commanding 18-3 lead.

Despite Defence showing some fight, the Harlies held on for the win. 

In other matches, the PNG Ports Wanderers beat Spartans 39-14, Gogo Cola Nova beat Kramer Ausenco Brothers 21-19 with a late penalty and the Kemele University Piggies broke a three match losing streak with a 36-20 win over Juggernauts.