With Newedge Club just one point ahead of Abacus Kowloon both sides still have to play matches against bottom of the table SCAA Causeway Bay Rams. Club also plays fourth-placed Verizon HK Scottish; while, Kowloon will play ONEwork’s Valley, currently in fifth position. Abacus Kowloon may have a slight edge as they play both of their last two matches at home; Newedge Club, on the other hand, travel to Shek Kip Mei for their match next week against HK Scottish.
Leighton Asia HKCC (Hong Kong Cricket Club), with only one game left to play, are now virtually out of the running for the top spot after losing their match against Abacus Kowloon last Saturday (Jan 26). The top two teams would have to lose both of their matches for HKCC to take top honours. However, finishing in third place should make little difference in the Quarter Finals although on paper the Semi-final match might be a little more difficult.
HKCC vs Kowloon
HKCC against Kowloon match, played at Aberdeen Sports Ground, was the star match of the day as the two teams were equal-second in the Premiership on 33-points at kick-off – five points behind leaders Newedge Club who had no game.
Ian Wilson, coach for HKCC, talking with The Epoch Times before the match set out his feelings for the game.
“Yes, a big game today against Kowloon and I hope we can put up a good performance after narrowly losing out to them last time,” Wilson said.
“Obviously they have quite a strong pack up front, but hopefully we can match that. We have some exciting backs as well and we hope we can get those into the game through the mid-field and out wide and score a few tries today,” he explained.
Asked about the condition of the team, he explained how the team is preparing for the finals.
“Everyone is fit and looking sharp,” Wilson said. “A few of the guys in the Sevens Squads have been training hard and the other guys around the club have been building up towards the Championships as well just trying to build some momentum going into that”.
HKCC were certainly diligent in their warm-up going through a lot of different routines
“Just really lifting the intensity before the game” Wilson explained. “The guys know what they are doing at this time in the season and hopefully putting into practice what we hope to carry through into the game,” he added.
But, when the game started, HKCC had an early setback.
Abacus Kowloon came storming out of the blocks and Tom Bury burst through two HKCC players to score. The try was converted by Chris McAdam and Kowloon were seven points up after the first two minutes of the match – far from the assessment that Wilson had hoped for in his pre-match plan.
A penalty to Kowloon from near the half way line was successfully slotted over by Elliott O’Brien making the score 10-0.
But HKCC weren’t done with yet. A try near the corner flag by HKCC’s No. 2 Jamie Tsang pulled the score back to 10-5, but the conversion was missed. However, Jamie Tsang scored again near the corner flag for HKCC near the half hour mark, to make the score level at 10-10.
Another penalty conversion by Elliott O’Brien on 36 minutes took Kowloon into the break at 13-10.
Still, with all to play for in the second half, Kowloon were looking the stronger and went on to win the match 28-13 with two more tries, one conversion and a penalty.
Valley vs HK Scottish
In the ONEworks’ Valley vs Verizon Hong Kong Scottish match, played at So Kon Po Recreation Ground, it was very even until ten minutes into the second half when Valley were just ahead by one point on 7-6.
Valley then scored two tries in quick succession – the first on 11 minutes into the half by Jean-Baptiste Aldigé and the second two minutes later by Alistair Maclay, both were converted by Ben Rimene widening the gap to 21-6.
HK Scottish responded to the wailing of the lone piper and came close to scoring twice but could not make the final yards.
Valley continued to press and scored a push-over try on 37 minutes, and with the conversion by Rimene, making the score 28-6. HK Scottish forced a consolation try under the posts by Will Tuffly right on the whistle to make the final score 28-13.
Walsh Tigers vs CWB Rams
The Borrelli Walsh Tigers match against SCAA Standard Life Causeway Bay Rams was a closely-fought bottom of the table clash played at King’s park produced an edge-of-the-seat finish with Rams just coming off winners at 24-21
There are five games remaining in the Premiership fixtures, which take place on Saturday Feb 2, and on the evenings of Tuesday Feb 5 and Thursday Feb 7.
Feb 2: ONEworks’ Valley play Leighton Asia HKCC at So Kon Po Recreation Ground; Abacus Kowloon play SCAA Standard Life CWB Rams at Kings Park; and Verizon HK Scottish play Newedge Club at Shek Kip Mei.
Feb 5: Abacus Kowloon play ONEworks’ Valley at King’s Park.
Feb 7: SCAA Standard Life CWB Rams play Newedge Club at HKFC.
These matches will be followed by Grand Championship Quarter Finals, Semis-finals and Final.
As explained on www.hkrugby.com the first placed team will get a bye into the Semi-finals. The remaining six teams will play Quarter Finals: 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th, 4th vs 5th. The line up for the Semi-finals will be, 1st vs (winner of 4th vs 5th), (winner of 2nd vs 7th) vs (winner of 3rd vs 6th). The higher ranked teams will enjoy home advantage where feasible. The Final will take place at King’s Park.
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