Over last weekend the Nanjing Rockets hosted their own 10’s tournament for the Sino 10’s League. Unfortunately, the sky was bleak and grey and the ground soaked from the heavy storms the night before., nontheless the Harlequins were ready for a big day of rugby. With two Shanghai teams being late arrivals, the games were set up differently with two Nanjing teams, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Wuhan vying for the top spot.
Hangzhou started the day slow with a poor showing against a ready and willing Wuhan side. With new players filling in experimental postions, Hangzhou didn’t get themselves into the game and eventually lost 21-0.
The second game was against Nanjing Rockets B, a team with many new players hoping to experience rugby. The Rockets were committed but against a more experienced and athletic Hangzhou side, the results spoke for itself with the Quin’s running in 6 tries to 0.
Following this was against the other host side, Nanjing Rockets A, a team very familiar to the Hangzhou Harlequins. The first half was well fought, intense rugby with both sides refusing to give ground and no points being conceded. The Quin’s came out the blocks for the second half and took the fight to the Rockets which led to space opening up and the first points on the board. The wet conditions may suit forward rugby but it was the pace of the Harlequins back line that saw gaps opening up and points building up. The game finished with Hangzhou scoring three tries and not conceding a point.
The last game for the Harlequins was against Suzhou RFC, another side Hangzhou are very familiar with. Being a game late in the day, many players were tired and had been picking up injuries throughout the tournament. The game proved to be very physical with huge hits going in from both sides. The wet pitch surface slowed the game even more, resulting in another nil-nil draw at half time. During the second half, fatigue finally proved to be too much and Suzhou broke through from a missed tackle leading to the only try of the game and sealing their win.
At the end of the day, the Harlequins finished second place of the tournament, putting pressure for a big win at their next tournament in order to have a chance for the finals next year. Man of the Tournament was given to Paul Baratte for a brilliant and energetic first appearance for the Harlequins.