Campbelltown Harlequins believe this can be their year

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Last year the Campbelltown Harlequins rugby club celebrated its 50th year of existence. This year the club may be needing some extra room in the trophy cabinet at Campbelltown Showground.

That’s because for the first time since 2015 the Harlequins first grade side has qualified for the finals series in the Illawarra District Rugby Union competition.

Coach Adam Choice believes Campbelltown have what it takes to go all the way in 2023.

Even the fact that in the last round of the home and away season Harlequins went down 24-14 to the minor premiers Shoalhaven in an away match doesn’t bother him.

“We were more than competitive against the minor premiers,’’ says Choice.

“Five of our starting players were not available for selection against Shoalhaven last weekend.’’

Harlequins pack into a scrum against Avondale on the weekend and (top) up they go in a lineout.

The first semi final will be against Kiama, who finished third on the ladder, one spot higher than Campbelltown.

It will be played this Sunday afternoon at Shamrocks Ocean Park.

“We are confident we will be at full strength against Kiama,’’ says Choice.

Being an elimination final means the loser drops out for 2023.

The winner, and Choice says he is confident it can be the Harlequins, will take on the team that goes down in the major semi final between Shoalhaven and Avondale on the Saturday.

And he’s not too concerned either that Campbelltown, having finished fourth, need to win two sudden death matches to make the 2023 decider.

“We have been playing sudden death football for four weeks now, so we are ready for another one this Sunday,’’ he said.

“We have been playing some good football and I am proud of where we got so far – but the job is not done,’’ Choice said.

“If we do everything right, I can’t see why we can’t make it.’’

The only downside to Harlequins first grade heading off to the Illawarra for their clash with Kiama is that the club’s senior players will not be able to support their Under 16 side when they play in the 2023 grand final here at Campbelltown Showground on Sunday.

The club were pleasantly surprised when they won the bid to host the junior grand finals, but it just means that it clashes with first grade’s semi final.

The junior grand finals, which feature four Camden teams, will kick off from 9am when Kiama and Bowral clash in the U10s.

In the U11 it will be Camden v Kiama Black at 10am.

U12: Vikings v Camden, 11am

U13: Avondale v Camden, 12:15pm

U14: Avondale v Camden, 13:45pm

U16: Campbelltown v Kiama Black, 15:15pm.

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