TRU Round 4 Wrap: Penguins pip Bulls in thriller as Harlequins end 20-game losing streak

Tue, May 23, 2023, 12:00 AM
TAS Rugby
by TAS Rugby
DROUGHT BREAKER: Hobart Harlequins ended a 20-game losing streak in Round 4 of the TRU Premiership. Picture: Hobart Harlequins Facebook
DROUGHT BREAKER: Hobart Harlequins ended a 20-game losing streak in Round 4 of the TRU Premiership. Picture: Hobart Harlequins Facebook

Hobart Harlequins player-president Jeff Altmann joked his side might need a refresher on the club song after ending their 20-game losing streak in thrilling fashion against Glenorchy.

After losing their final three games of 2021, Quins went winless through 2022 and entered Saturday's Round 4 fixture staring down 21 consecutive losses.

Things looked dire as Glenorchy shot out of the blocks but a resurgent second-half showing led by two-try centre Josh Dawai saw the Quins home 36-30 at Rugby Park.

"It's the first win for a lot of these young boys at the club and we'll need to practice the club song for sure," Altmann said.

"I think there was a little angst around the second half as to whether we could do it but we resettled, played good territorial footy and our new centre pairing of Josh Dawai and Jonah Albert really stood up.

"It's always a good feeling beating Glenorchy and I think now the guys will have a bit of faith that we can keep going and really push for wins against teams like Glenorchy, Lions and Uni - then who knows where we could end up?"


Posted by Hobart Harlequins Rugby Union Club on Friday, May 19, 2023

The Stags nevertheless picked up two losing bonus points to retain fifth on the Premiership ladder with Christopher Vasqeuz's brace a standout.

Meanwhile fourth-placed Devonport were left to rue a missed conversion at the death in their 19-20 loss to title favourites Taroona.

Tries to Eliki Bativudi, Samuel Arthur Tabua and Luke Bryan kept the Bulls within striking distance of the undefeated Penguins, who scored through Leon Andresen Tuivasa, Scott Eaves and George Chaperon-Tucker to retain hold top spot.

Taroona co-coach Christo Le Grange was relieved to secure their fourth win but paid tribute to their northern rivals.

“Devonport are a side that just keeps coming at you and keeps on toiling, they’re a strong side and it was great for us to get through a tough game like that," Le Grange said.

Kick off here at the Don against Taroona! The game is also been live streamed the link is on a previous post! 💚🖤

Posted by Devonport Bulls Rugby Union Club on Friday, May 19, 2023

"It felt like we were in control for most of that game, especially the first half, but we really had to scrap through that second half.

"It's been a great start to the year - we're probably a little further along than we expected with our new combinations but being able to get past Launceston, Burnie and Devonport in our first month has been massive for us."

Meanwhile Burnie’s premiership campaign rolled on with a 46-6 drubbing of University at Emu Park to retain the Guiler Sleeve.

Player-coach Brett Bentley and Talanda Alofi both scored doubles in a lop-sided affair that kept Burnie in second place on the TRU Premiership ladder while the Emus’ championship side also claimed five competition points after Taroona forfeited their earlier fixture.

Launceston's Royal Park also proved a happy hunting ground for the Burnie women, who continued their unbeaten start to 2023 with another three victories in the sevens competition.

❤️💙 WOMEN REMAIN UNDEFEATED 💙❤️ Ana's kicking was the difference in today's final! Uni put the pressure on today, but we stood firm!

Posted by Burnie Emus Rugby Union Club on Friday, May 19, 2023

After snatching bonus point wins over the Tigers and Penguins, Brett Kershaw’s side faced their toughest challenge of the year in a 26-22 thriller against University.

Ella Gair scored four tries for the reigning premiers but Burnie goalkicker Anamanu Vaka proved the difference, nailing three from four to steer the Emus home and stretch their winning streak to nine games.

Launceston's home fans had plenty to cheer about on Saturday with the club picking up wins across the women's and Premiership divisions.

Alice Reid's try saw the Tigers women sneak home 5-0 against Eastern Suburbs in their final match of the day before the reigning Premiership holders piled 11 tries on Hobart Lions in a 67-0 thumping.

Halfback TJ Pieters bagged two tries and five conversions for a 20-point haul while winger Kyle Lombard scored a hat-trick to go with his sole conversion as the Tigers extended their winning streak to three games heading into the bye.