Narrow victory by Japan in Asia Sevens

Rugby Union—Premier League/Rugby Sevens
By Bill Cox, Epoch Times
September 25, 2013 8:58 am Last Updated: September 25, 2013 8:58 am

Hong Kong Dragons narrowly missed out to Japan in the Cup Final of the second leg Asia Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Bangkok, Thailand last weekend (Sept 21 and 22).

A sudden-death extra time score by Japan’s Lomano Lemeki pushed Japan to the winners podium.

Hong Kong were 12 points up at half time through tries by both Tom and Alex McQueen, but were brought back to 12-12 just before full time with tries by Takashi Suzuki and Dai Ozawa.

The winning score came just one minute into extra time, when Lemeki picked up a turnover ball to score.

Premier warm-up

Meanwhile, rugby clubs in Hong Kong are now playing “friendly” matches in preparation for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union Premier Championship League, which starts on Saturday Oct 5.

This week’s friendly was between Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) and Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC) at the Football Club ground last Saturday Sept 21. It was heartening to see HKCC playing some good quality rugby following on from their narrow defeat by ONEwork’s Valley in the 2012-13 Grand Championship Final last March.

For most of this match HKCC were faster and sharper to create and take advantage of chances. They looked more dangerous than HKFC. Cricket Club had a penalty and two tries on the board before HKFC got started. But as the match wore on, the home side started to apply themselves better tightening up their defence and picking up some points.

A penalty in front of the posts for HKCC after only a few minutes, a try after 12 minutes and another try after 26 minutes made the score 0-17 to the visitors.

The boisterous HKCC supporters were happy to see their side moving ahead so easily cheering on their side and making plenty of sideways comments asking: “Where are your supporters” of the home side, but some began to have doubts as to whether they could hold on as the scores got closer as the game progressed.

Football Club forced a try and conversion after 33 minutes making the score 7-17. They produced another converted try after 18 minutes of the second half to make the score 14-17. But although both sides got close to scoring in the final quarter the defences held out and HKCC won the match 14-17.