Hooray for Harlequins: future looking good now

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Win some, lose some – that’s how Harlequins, the grand old rugby club of Campbelltown, ended the 2023 season.

First grade, who were eliminated after going down to Kiama 39-12, can hold their heads high, says club president Col Packer.

“As I said to them in the sheds after the game, I am so proud of you blokes,’’ Mr Packer told the South West Voice this morning.

“It just wasn’t meant to be, but to go from almost not having a club before the start of the season, and the coach walking out on us, to making the semis for the first time since 2015 is an incredible effort,’’ he said.

Equally upbeat was Harlequins stalwart and under 16s coach Luke Norton, whose side defeated Kiama Black 24-5 to be crowned undefeated premiers on Sunday afternoon.

Norton was also very proud of his charges, who had to work hard to win the grand final in front of a big, boisterous crowd at Campbelltown Showground, which was hosting the juniors grand finals.

He said the game was won in the first half when the Harlequins defence repelled several raids on their line by Kiama, keeping them scoreless.

The local side scored two more tries in the second half, and while Kiama scored one of their own there was always going to be one winner from this contest – to the delight of the locals in the grandstand.

They were especially delighted when the victory was sealed with a Harlequins try seconds from fulltime.

Coach Norton said one thing that stood out throughout the season was how his team had been able to go back to a default position when things got tight during games.

“That was pretty pleasing – I had 25 very good footballers who also turned up for training and did the hard yards there,’’ Mr Norton said.

“I am very, very proud of these boys.’’

Campbelltown aren’t the only local rugby club celebrating this week: Camden picked up two grand final victories at Campbelltown Showground on Sunday, winning in the U12s and U14s.

Photos: IDRU junior president Harvey Cole.

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