Societe Generale Valley Dominate Leighton Asia HKCC

Hong Kong─Premiership Rugby
By Grahame Carder
Grahame Carder
Grahame Carder
October 21, 2015 Updated: October 21, 2015

Societe Generale Valley maintained their winning start to the Hong Kong Premiership season?, with a comfortable 25-0 victory over Leighton Asia HKCC, and remain top of the league. Despite the score line, it was a tightly contested match. HKCC had enough possession and territory to warrant a closer score, but the tenacious Valley defense, coupled with some poor finishing by HKCC, meant HKCC did not get momentum on the scoreboard at any point in the match.

The first half belonged to Valley. They led 13-0 at the break. Two penalties by flyhalf Reece Hamon?, plus a converted penalty try, again by Hamon, awarded after the Valley pack had repeatedly pressured HKCC scrum, gave Valley the half time edge.

At the start of the second half Valley began strongly, with direct running and sharp passing, dominating both possession and territory. But HKCC gradually clawed their way back into the game, and began to exert pressure on the Valley pack.

Territory and possession was starting to shift in favour of HKCC, and on 55minutes, with Valley still leading 13-0, Tom Broughton, the Valley lock was sin-binned. HKCC could not make their numerical superiority count against a feisty Valley pack.

With fewer players, it galvanized the Valley attack. Such was their confidence, Valley ran the ball 60metres at HKCC from behind their try-line, winning a penalty (missed), but set up a platform for attack. Valley centre, Ally Maclay, burst through the HKCC line, and after some excellent passing, substitute, Khrist Kopetzy went over in the right hand corner, for Reece Hamon to convert. 20-0 to Valley, despite being a player down.

HKCC fought back, and with less than 20minutes to go, again pressured the Valley line. Yet again, Valley broke out. At 65minutes they gave another masterclass in passing and support play, with excellent interplay between the wingers, Adrien Lonchant and Khrist Kopetzy, for Kopetzy to score again in the same corner. This time Hamon’s conversion was unsuccessful. 25-0 to Valley…victory assured, with a bonus point beckoning if they could score one more try.

The final ten minutes of the match, saw Valley reduced to 13men, with both flanker Toby Fenn and try scorer Khrist Kopetzy sin-binned. It gave HKCC a chance to get on the scoreboard, but their attack could not penetrate a resolute, well-drilled Valley defense. For Valley, the lack of two players, meant it was a struggle to score the bonus point fourth try, and the final score was a comfortable victory for Valley 25-0.

Valley will be disappointed not to get the bonus point but pleased with their defense to keep HKCC scoreless.

The scoreline did not do justice to the hardwork, possession and territory HKCC commanded. Sadly their finishing and decision-making let them down, despite playing more than quarter of the match with more players than Valley. Possibly HKCC was carrying one too many injuries, with key players sidelined and others off-selection in preparation for the Central Coast Sevens in Australia this weekend.

Credit to Valley for excellent defense. They turned defense into attack on two key occasions in the second half, with good running, skilful passing and clinical finishing, that was pleasing to watch. Valley is deservedly undefeated.

In other matches in the Premiership, Borelli Walsh Tigers continued their encouraging start to the season, beating Sabre Kowloon 24-16; and Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish ran in seven tries against Natixis Hong Kong Football Club, impressively winning, 46-19.

Currently Valley, undefeated, lead the Premiership on 12-points, followed by Scottish on 10-points, Tigers on 8-points, Club on 5points, HKCC on 4points, with Kowloon propping up the table still in search of their first win.

Grahame Carder is a sports enthusiast and former player from representative Schoolboy level, through University and most corners where he has lived, Currently works as Consultant on Strategy and Marketing.