Saturday, 20 May 2017, Aqualink Box Hill
The Harlequins enjoyed the ultimate success on Saturday 20 May, edging out a brave Power House team in the 2017 Protect Wheelchair Rugby Grand Final, winning the epic match 31 to 29. The game was played at frantic pace, with strong defensive pressure from both sides and numerous heavy collisions. Yet again, Harlequins high pointer Matt Lewis was instrumental in his side’s win – scoring a game high 27 goals – and continually weaving through Power House’s defensive structures to cross the goal line. Lewis also displayed great leadership on court instructing his team mates with defensive positioning.
The contribution from the Power House team was very even across the board; they played a high-possession style of wheelchair rugby with fast ball movement and effective passes across the field to catch the Harlequins defence out of position, allowing them to score. Power House demonstrated their variety of scoring options with an even spread of goal scorers during the match. Power House skipper, Andrew Harrison, top scored for his team with 10 goals.
The Harlequins created a mini buffer after creating turnovers in their attacking half leading to goals heading into three quarter time break, as well early in the fourth quarter. Power House worked hard to close the gap, but the Harlequins held on to run out winners by just two goals.
In the bronze medal match, the Unicorns proved too strong for Box Hill. Jayden Warn top-scored for the Unicorns with 21 goals. Warn showed great match awareness, dishing off passes to his team mates to put them into dangerous positions to score goals, as well as scoring heavily himself. The Unicorns held the lead at every change, defeating Box Hill 34- 27 to claim third place.
In front of a strong crowd, Harlequins captain, Jason Ellery, happily accepted the Protect Wheelchair Rugby Cup trophy – a silver rose bowl, and introduced as they collected their medallions. The best first year player award went to Box Hill speedster, Tomas Klien (top). Power House captain, Andrew Harrison (middle), was voted most valuable player for season 1 of the 2017 Victorian Protect Wheelchair Rugby Cup.
By Paul Tesoriero