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The Hawaii Harlequins started the Hawaii men's club season well with a 22-11 defeat of the Titans.
Paced by two tries from James Nakajo and with Rowan Newton Smith adding ten points in a try, a conversion, and a penalty (Thierry Daupin kicked the other conversion), the Harlequins downed a tough Titans squad.
The Titans were physical and very strong in the scrums, but a little slow getting back on defense. Still they did enough to keep the Harlequins from the tryline until a fumble in the backline allowed Nakajo to grab the loose ball and race 40 meters for a try.
The Titans put on some pressure, and earned three kickable penalties, two of which they converted to make it 7-6. But a penalty from Newton Smith, and then hands out to Nakajo put the Harlequins up 15-6. Newton Smith then flummoxed everyone with a dummy and run in under the sticks to make it 22-6.
Led by the hard hitting of centers Semisi Kakau and Sani Taylor, the Harlequins defense held until late. Taylor would also produce a brilliant try-saving tackle, chasing a Titans attacker the length of the field to haul the man down.
The Titans did ultimately score on an eightman pick, but that was it.
"So many great plays from so many players," enthused Harlequins President Alex Stokes. "I saw a cohesive team, making only a few mistakes. Great strength and stamina. Impact tackles from our forwards, and great open field tackles from our backs, made us a formidable force."
Video highlights below