Here was the proverbial ‘game o’ two halves’. A rude awakening awaited those expecting the might of the city club to overcome a visiting Harlequin FC with ease and pomp. The first thirty minutes saw the visitors pounce four times for beautifully taken tries and, with the stylish young back Strettle seemingly cantering through a troubled defence at will, an embarrassing and shocking defeat seemed on the cards. A well-taken reply from the volcanic behemoth, Vainikolo and a brace of penalties from the assured Paterson took the Cherries in for the half-time orange segments, a flattering 25-13 down.
The second half proved an emotional event. A key substitution brought the abrasive Azam on for Titterrell and the rugged Frenchman, not for the first time, brought steel, passion and go-forward fervour to his beloved team. Terrific tidal waves of surging forward attacks brought
This was not a lucky win but a few newish players were assimilated into the fifteen which produced a fairly disjointed and messy first forty minutes. If this was a gamble, it was a gamble that worked. The likes of Delve, Cooper and