Tradition Valley Red’s 29—12 victory over Altus Kowloon on Saturday night in Hong Kong’s G4S Domestic League was at times messy and error-marred.
While Kowloon had a good running game going in the first 20-30 minutes yet was unable to capitalise with play mostly in their own half. They squandered their opportunities with many mistakes, fumbles and knock-ons.
Take nothing away from Valley, they were phenomenal; they out-muscled, out-scrummed and out-ran Kowloon. Even when they were down to 13 players in the second half after receiving two yellow cards for using the feet in the ruck and for not rolling away in the tackle, Valley were able to control the play with their backline stopping their opponents from scoring. When they got the ball and moved forward they were on-fire.
Brian Higgins, Coach of Valley and forwards coach of the Hong Kong National team, spoke exclusively to The Epoch Times after the match.
“I thought we controlled it for most of the time. We were a little bit unlucky because I thought we made most of the play the first half, but they defended and when they scored it could of easily have been a try the other way and we just dropped the ball,” said the New Zealand-born coach of Tradition Valley for the past four years.
Despite being short two players, Valley won most of their own line-outs, stole a few others and ran circles around Kowloon in the backline.
“They had to work hard our guys. We knew there was going to be some space out wide and our guys used that.
“Both teams had a bit of a go,” said Higgins. “They got a try from a tighthead [prop]. But, we came through at the end and it’s a good victory for us.”
In a game of two distinct halves of running in the first and mostly kicking in the second, it was as much Valley’s dominance on display as it was Kowloon’s inability to play their natural game that saw them win their first two matches in the season.
After going down to Newedge Club (HKFC) last week, Valley played the kind of rugby that fans have come to expect of one of the league’s traditional powerhouse clubs.
Rams Return To Form
Traditions Valley’s other team in Division 1, Valley Black, meanwhile went down to the Amadeus Causeway Bay Rams 49—14. It was a return to form for the Rams who lost to the undefeated DeA Tigers last week.
According to a report from the Rams, they began with some positive, direct rugby and soon found gaps in the Valley Black defence, scoring a barrage of first half tries. With a healthy lead at the halfway point, though, the Rams’ game became more hurried and less structured as the team looked to rack up a big score. Some unforced errors and ill-advised passes allowed Valley’s second team to compete more effectively in the second half, when they scored two converted tries.
The Rams look forward to a tough encounter this weekend against Newedge Club at Hong Kong Football Club.
“A solid win against Valley Black was good preparation for this weekend’s game,” said Head Coach Sam Pinder. “We still need to work hard on maintaining our shape and patterns of play, but I’m confident we have the right players and tactics to beat anyone in this division. Playing [Newedge] Club will be a great test of our progress.”
Newedge Club defeated Leighton Asia Hong Kong Cricket Club 32—13, while Newedge Dragons (HKFC’s 2 nd XV) were defeated by Dea Tigers 10—16.
This Week's Matches
DeA Tigers host Tradition Valley Red on Friday night starting at 7.30 pm.
On Saturday; Valley Black host Altus Kowloon 6.00 pm; Newedge Dragons host Leighton Asia HKCC at 3.00 pm; and Newedge Club host Amadeus Causeway Bay Rams at 6.00 pm.