PE Harlequins beat Park 10-16 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday to secure their sport in the final of the 2018 EC Super 12 rugby competition.
Harlequins were in control of this match from start to finish. There were moments when their defense lapsed, when their attack misfired, and when their forwards conceded breakdown penalties. Overall, they showed the necessary composure to outlast Park and advance to the tournament decider.
Harlequins took a slender 10-0 lead into the break after bagging two quick tries through outside centre Ryan January. Flyhalf Luan Bosman missed both conversions for a 10-0 lead.
Park came back determined in the second half with a clear plan to play the game at pace but that backfired on several occasions because their big forwards struggled to stay on their feet at breakdown resulting in penalties. They conceeded penalties and two yellow cards for dangerous play and Bosman slooted both of them over to hand his side a healthy 16-0 lead.
But that didnt stop their momentum as they continued to surge forward and their efforts and strong carrying from ther forwards in particular was rewarded when they scored two consolidation tries to captain Quintin Haarsbroek and hard workimg young flanker Wikus Van Rooyen. Unfortunately their flyhalf misses both conversations for a 16-10 finals score.
Harlequins will play winner of the second semifinal between Swallows and Gardens in East London. They may need to produce a more consistent performance, though, if they are going to claim their first title since 2013.