For the first home game in 2015, the Bowral Blacks hosted Campbelltown Harlequins at the revamped facilities at Eridge Park on Saturday.
The match was a real arm-wrestle. Bowral dominated the first 20 minutes and were awarded four penalties within goal kicking range through the pressure of their structures. For the first three, Bowral decided to run the ball and each time were brought up just short. On two occasions John Dobson and Tim Lewis were held up over the line. Full credit to Harlequins for their gritty defence. Bowral eventually settled for a penalty kick settling for a 3 to nil lead at the 20 minute mark.
Harlequins then rallied and were able to run in 2 tries and kick a penalty just before half-time. Going into the half, coach Paul Frean felt that Bowral could still win the game if they took their chances. The instructions were to be patient and stick to their structures. Bowral did this and after a sustained period of pressure, Bowral were able to score, only to have the try disallowed. For the remainder of the half, Bowral dominated scrums and line-outs, but were not able to convert this wealth of possession into points. The result was a nil all draw for the second half and Harlequins running out eventual winners 15 to 3.
Bowral coaches were pleased with their performance as Harlequins are a quality team and Bowral has shown massive improvements since last season. Excitingly, Bowral can still improve significantly over the coming weeks which should mean an interesting season for the Black’s players and supporters.