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Harlequins claim “gutsy win” over Brothers

Updated: May 8

Last season’s Capital Rugby Union (CRU) premier runners-up, the Harlequins, have edged out the reigning champions Kramer Ausenco Brothers with a gallant 22-15 win at Bava Park on Saturday, May 4th, 2024 in Port Moresby.

Consisting of ninety percent of players from the 2023 season, the Harlequins showcased a strong performance against their arch-rivals, the Kramer Ausenco-sponsored outfit.  

Harlies Coach Billy Rapilla described it as a ‘gutsy win’ regardless of the pressure of the game.


"Brother bring a lot of pressure and power into the game and that’s why they are the number one team in the competition," said coach Rapilla.


Mr. Rapilla noted that the Brothers were an experienced side, so once his boys gave them space, they knew how to score points.


He also expressed satisfaction, saying that he was really happy with the boys for fighting hard until the end. All the bench players also came in and contributed significantly to the team’s success.


"They were very brave to stand up and took on a big team. They are young and enthusiastic, which is great. They have been training pretty hard for this season, and it paid off,” Rapilla said.


Despite the win, the Harlies have areas to work on and improve before their next weekend’s Round 3 game.


"Just the scrum, line-out, and general play, completing all our sets, because we didn't do well in trying to complete our sets during the game," said Rapilla.


"It’s a lot about executing the play on the day, decision-making, and some of the guys are young and they obviously get a little bit overawed.


“In this case, when the Brothers' experience comes through, they get a bit nervous, and they pass poorly, drop the ball, or don't tackle well."


Some of the Harlequins who were recovering from last year who are recovering from injuries are expected to join the team in mid-season.


"Some of the injured players will be back. It's a long season so hopefully, we get them back somewhere around the middle of the season,” said Rapilla


Rapilla said they were taking one game at a time and focusing on improving their performance every week.


"We were disappointed from last year's grand final, and we just wanted to make sure we do not repeat the same mistakes,” he said.


“We worked pretty hard to get the boys up to a certain fitness and standard to really compete on the field."


People at Bava witnessed an aggressive showdown that ended with some injuries on both sides.


The Brothers experienced an unexpected and disappointing loss. Coach Joe Kautu believed the team’s weakness lies in their fitness level. The determined Harlequins capitalised on Brothers' lack of fitness to secure a well-deserved win. 

“I think we gave the game away. We had them (Harlequins) in the first 20 minutes, and we couldn't hold on for the next 60 minutes,” Kautu said.


"It's good to get a loss now, so we can see where we are and work on our performance and fitness, our weaknesses as usual, and come back stronger next weekend."

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