HONG KONG—Hong Kong Rugby Union started its 62 season with a Super Saturday event featuring all six Premiership teams at a hot and humid King’s Park on Saturday Sept 27. With temperatures in the upper 20s players were eager to replenish liquid at the frequent water breaks.
With many players away at the Asian Games in Incheon, squads looked a little different from the norm, but good energetic displays were still order-of-the-day although teamwork and handling were not generally at their greatest.
Abacus Kowloon showed determination and a good range of abilities to indicate that they intend to get back towards the top of the standings as they stomped their mark on the game and overran Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers with a 41-13 scoreline in the opening match of the season. Gaining an extra point for their 4-Tries they finished top of the table after the week-one encounter.
HK Scottish vs HKFC
In arguably the best match of the afternoon, the newly labelled Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish started off the second match of proceedings with such a surge that Natixis Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC), also newly labelled, could not get their hands on the ball for the first several minutes of the match. With lightning fast running and superb handling Scottish immediately surged to attack near the HKFC try line, but the experienced defence held out and reversed the pleasure with a breakaway try by Dan Falvey to open the scoring and a successful conversion by Niall Rowark made the score 7-0. HKFC added a second try also by Falvey, which was converted by the accurate boot of Rowark to give Club a 14-0 lead.
A penalty kick by both sides took the score onto 17-3, before the HK Scottish No.7 Austin Smith ran in for a try close to half time, and another good conversion kick, this time by David Bird narrowed the gap to 10-17.
HKFC scored another try to make the score 22-10 midway through the second half, and all looked to be going well for the Sports Road contingent, but HK Scottish kept plugging away. Their speed and handling was quite superb and this paid off with a second try to take them to 17-22, and followed with a penalty mid way through the second half to close the gap to 20-22. A further penalty with 38 minutes on the clock took HK Scottish into the lead 23-22. Although HKFC had scoring opportunities they could not convert and another penalty awarded to HK Scottish sealed the match at 26-22 to HK Scottish.
Valley vs HKCC
The star billed match of the day was last year’s Grand Championship winners Valley (now labelled Societe Generale) and last year’s Championship League winners Leighton Asia Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC), but was not the spectacle expected. Both teams had notable players away at the Asian Games and Valley was also short of Frenchman Thomas Lamboley who is awaiting VISA clearance before being eligible. Certainly the game was fast, but co-ordinated attacks seemed lacking with many individual efforts to break through failed in front of an equally fast defence. Some good individual performances kept the game moving, but the teams were evenly matched and both found it difficult to break the deadlock.
In a game relying on the boot, seven penalties were successfully converted, many from lengthy distances with HKCC just coming out on top at 12-9, to get revenge for their defeat at the hands of Valley in the Grand Championship Final in March 2014.
Matches to be played this coming Saturday Oct 4 are: Valley entertain Kowloon at Happy Valley 8, HKCC play HKFC at Aberdeen Sports Ground, and USRC Tigers take on HK Scottish at King’s.