Harlequin looking to add to Dewar dynasty

by Staff Writer

Two Dewar Shield heavyweights will be looking for ultimate supremacy this weekend, as Harlequin take on the Unicorns in the grand final.

Harlequin will be looking to win a fourth Dewar Shield in five years, as they attempt to complete a perfect 18-0 season, while the Unicorns are looking to defend their title.

The two sides have shared seven of the last eight premierships, with Harlequin's three just one shy of the Unicorns' four

If they want to come home with the chocolates, Unicorns coach Tumai Edwards says their first point of call is a perfect start.

“Our precision needs to be right, we need to take every opportunity," he said.

"We never start well, and we had to play catchup last time we played ‘Quins, and we finished strong, so we need to stop them from getting the momentum."

Edwards said they had to take control early, and not let their undefeated rivals onto the front foot.

“They’ve been dominant all year, but there’s no point playing them at their game," he said.

"We just need to stick to our game plan, control the battle up front, dominate with our pack and use our pace out wide. We’re two very well-structured teams.”

The Rebels linked to each club. Photo: SuppliedHarlequin have won all three encounters between the teams this year but they've been far from one-sided, with a 33-25, 38-24 in the regular season and a 31-24 victory over their close rivals in the first week of finals.

Harlequin coach Pom Simona, who will take the reins of the Melbourne rising this season in the NRC, said the added intensity of finals had done his team wonders.

“We’re confident with our form, we needed a few hard games to get used to the intensity of finals rugby," he said.

"There’s a lot more pressure, not as many opportunities, and a young team needs to get used to it."

One thing they won't be counting on is history this weekend, Simona said.

“We’ll be throwing our previous performances against Melbourne in the bin, it’s a totally different game, the other three this season are irrelevant," he said.

"They’ll be on a high after their semi-final win, but it’s just about turning up and playing your best rugby.”

Harlequin takes on Melbourne in the Dewar Shield grand  final on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm AEST.

TEAMS

Harlequin

1. Darren Dean

2. Mahe Vailanu

3. Angus Arundel

4. Jason Havea

5. Angus Hamilton

6. Mitchell Thwaites

7. Sione Taufa

8. Simei Kolio

9. Anointe van Zyl

10. Lloyd Johansson

11. Angelo Leaupepe

12. Eli Vole

13. Oliva Sialua

14. Hunter Paisami

15. Taylor Acheson

Melbourne

1. Alesana Matiasi

2. Jerome Trail

3. Mark Higginson

4. Shaun Mortensen

5. Aaron Kelly

6. Poloie Schwalger

7. Ikapote Tupai

8. Joe Maiava

9. Thomas Donaldson

10. Paul McConnochie

11. Mataiasi Nairavu

12. David Massey

13. Telea-Afa Faatau

14. David Benson

 15. Deina Morete

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