Valley win top of table clash in Hong Kong Rugby

Rugby Union—Hong Kong Premiership
By Bill Cox, Epoch Times
January 29, 2014 Updated: January 29, 2014

WhichWay Valley came away 21-8 winners in the HKRU Premiership top of the table match against Leighton Asia HKCC in their last head-to-head for league honours in the season held on Tuesday night (Jan 28) at Aberdeen Sports Ground.

Fairly even open running rugby in the first half ended with HKCC one point in front of Valley with the score at 8-7.

But Valley came out stronger and more organised in the second half scoring two unanswered trys and two conversions to win.

They were faster to the tackle and generally played a better game.

It was significant that they consistently won the important line-outs, which helped them to set up several telling plays. Meanwhile Ben Remene’s kicking was good enabling and them to capitalise on each of the limited number or conversion opportunities—of which he scored three.

Alex Baddeley, Nick Hewson and Ryan Meachem each scored a try for Valley; while Tom McQueen was the sole try scorer for HKCC, his teammate Angus Cameron kicked a penalty to open the scoring in the match.

In their final three games, both of the top teams still have to play bottom-placed Borrelli Walsh Tigers and the tougher Abacus Kowloon. Meanwhile, HKCC also have to play third-placed Newedge Club; Valley have to contend with a spirited HK Scottish side, who are pushing for fourth-place.

Significantly, Valley’s Tuesday win gives them a 4-point buffer going into the final games.

Club vs Tigers
Although Borrelli Walsh Tigers looked like scoring on several occasions in their match against Newedge Club on Saturday Jan 25 it was nearly on-way traffic at Sports Road.

Club showed their domination in the scrums and pushed hard in a five yard scrum for Dan Favey to force his way over the line to open the scoring.

But it was the two break-away tries the first by Adam Raby and the second by Kenzo Pannell that got Club firing on all cylinders after what for them has been a poor season so far. An additional penalty took Club to a dominating 24-nil score line at half time.

The second half progressed in similar fashion allowing Club to run in a total of eight tries in their 52-7 win.

HK Scottish vs Kowloon

In the match at Shek Kip Mei between HK Scottish and Abacus Kowloon, tries by Lex Kaleca and Adrian Griffith got Scottish into an early 12-nil lead before Kowloon got into their stride with tries by Leon Wei, Duncan Pollock.

Chris McAdam’s try, two conversions and a penalty added to the Kowloon total to take them into a handsome 22-12 lead at half time.

But a determined HK Scottish fought back early in second half securing a confidence boosting try by Charles Cheung and a second try by Dave Whitefield to put them on their way to a bonus point victory (35-31) to close the standings’ point gap with their opponents to just four.

This gives Scottish a real chance of grabbing fourth place in the table with three matches remaining. Although Scottish still have to play Valley and Club, their final game is against Borrelli Walsh Tigers.

Meanwhile, Scottish’s rival for fourth-place, Kowloon still have to play the three teams ahead of them in the table.

Next Matches
There is a one-week break for Chinese New Year. The next matches are on Saturday Feb 8 when: WhichWay Valley play Hong Kong Scottish at Valley-8; Newedge Club play Abacus Kowloon at So Kon Po; and Borelli Walsh Tigers play Leighton Asia HKCC at King’s Park.