There is still little to choose between Leighton Asia HKCC and WhichWay Valley at the top of the Paul Y HKRFU Premiership with just two premiership games remaining before the finals series.
A high scoring win for HKCC over Borrelli Walsh Tigers, and a bonus point for Valley in their low scoring loss to HK Scottish, brings the top two teams back on equal points (49 each).
HKCC’s 51-15 win over the Tigers allowed them to regain their match-points difference lead (they are now 25 points ahead), but they have a harder final two games to face to complete the season’s fixture.
HKCC play Abacus Kowloon this coming Saturday (Feb 15) and then Newedge Club the following week, both at So Kon Po.
Meanwhile, Valley play the Tigers and then Kowloon in their final matches, both at King’s Park.
With Hong Kong Scottish tearing the Broony Quaich trophy away from Valley last Saturday, they will need to defend it again this weekend in their home match against Club. If Scottish can win this match, they have a good chance of winning the Broony Quaish as they play Borrelli Walsh Tigers at home in their last match.
If Club win, however, they will secure the trophy as they will have no further home matches to play in the league this season.
Valley vs HK Scottish
Valley playing to retain their lead at the top of the table and Scottish gunning for the fourth play-off place made for a very competitive match.
Both teams were fully committed and played open rugby, which meant that the game promised to be a good spectacle for the onlookers and they were not disappointed.
But, although there was some end-to-end rugby, both defences held well and scoring was held down to two successful penalty kicks in the first half – kicked by Danny Kroll (Scottish) and Ben Rimine (Valley)—leaving the score at the interval 6-all.
The second half was played in similar fashion and looked like ending 9-all, but a last minute try by HK Scottish skipper Andy Griffiths, which finished off a patch of inspired play by fly-half Danny Kroll, gave them a 16-9 win. This has allowed them to get their hands on the Broony Quaich trophy at a timely moment.
“I had been lining up for a drop-kick, but I got the pass on my wrong side – my left side – which made it difficult and I decided to go for it,” said the delighted 27-year-old Kroll. “Luckily for me a hole opened up and I took my chance.”
Meanwhile, Valley flanker and club coach Nick Hewson was naturally disappointed.
“It is really disappointing,” said Hewson. “This was our last game at home in the league this season and we wanted to put the trophy safely away.
“But we have no excuses. They were just better than us. They won the breakdown and made it hard for us. We just didn’t start well and that continued throughout. We were mediocre and they out-enthused us,” he said.
In the other match, Club had a narrow 14-10 victory over Kowloon.
With the fourth-placed Kowloon having to play the two leading clubs in the final matches, last weekend’s results mean that HK Scottish has a good chance of gaining the fourth play-off place. It will also put added pressure on Kowloon to perform well over the next two matches.
In the penultimate Premiership matches Borrelli Walsh Tigers play WhichWay Valley at King’s Park; Leighton Asia play Abacus Kowloon at So Kon Po; and HK Scotish play Newedge Club at Shek Kip Mei.