CAUSEWAY BAY PIP KOWLOON IN KPMG PREMIERSHIP GAME OF THE WEEK

04 Nov 2019

SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay pipped Kerry Hotel Kowloon 24-15 in the final round of the full KPMG Premiership.  Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers beat Natixis HKFC Ice (41-10); Societe Generale Valley Black bulldozed Gai Wu Falcons 36-5; and Transact24 Tai Po Dragons fell just short of beating Bloomberg HK Scottish Kukris, losing 10-14. This weekend’s action concluded the ranking portion of the Premiership before the split into major and minor KPMG Premierships. 

Undefeated Valley finished the early season at the top of the roost ahead of Tigers and Gai Wu, with all three advancing to the elite Premiership.  Fourth ranked Football Club’s result against Tigers shows that a talented young Sports Road side will be tested week in and week out against the league’s best, but growth is sure to follow.

A Kowloon side looking to build momentum ahead of the minor Premiership suffered a setback in their cause after Causeway Bay produced a 19 point second half – while holding Kowloon scoreless – to erase a 15-5 deficit at the break and steal a step on one of its competitors in the lower tier championship ahead.

Tsang Ching-man was the hero for Phoenix, scoring twice in the second half to level the scores at 15-all before Chim Tim-yan’s conversion gave Causeway Bay its first lead after 72 minutes. Li Man-yi’s try a minute later sealed the impressive comeback win.

Causeway Bay coach Prince Wong credited some improved focus and intensity for the impressive fight back saying, “We were more focused in the second half and executed our game plan much better. We also raised our defensive intensity a lot in the final forty minutes and were able to capitalize on some of our opponent's mistakes.”

Now Wong hopes to build momentum down the homestretch.

“It was a good win and helped lift our confidence and morale. Hopefully, there will be more victories to follow, but we have to maintain our focus game by game and keep working hard together. Given our performance, our goal is to now to finish in the top 2 in the ‘A’ division,” added Wong.

 

Tai Po Dragons will also have been lifted by their performance against Scottish, coming back from 14-0 down in the first half to nearly topple them in the last seconds.  Winger Chui Tung-yan scored twice in the last three minutes as Dragons nearly grabbed their second win of the first half of the season.

Tigers ran away with the game against Football Club, stretching a 12-3 lead at half time to a 41-10 win after six second half tries from six different scorers.

Valley had an equally balanced outing against Gai Wu, also scoring six through six different players, but they put Gai Wu away quickly with a three score first half. 

Valley kept Gai Wu scoreless through the hour marker before conceding a first five-pointer, but circled back to add a final two tries.

The result follows a by now familiar story-line for the historic top two teams, with Gai Wu known to lie in wait in preparation for a late strike at Grand Finals time. But the emergence of defending grand champions Tigers as a force threatens Gai Wu’s customary challengers spot, and provides a warning to the Falcons to not leave their charge too late.

The all-eight Premiership finishes with Valley a perfect 7-0 with maximum bonus points for first place and 35 points on the table, followed by 6-1 Tigers, whose only loss is to Valley, on 25 points, Gai Wu at 5-2 (losses to Valley and Tigers) on 20, and 3-1-3 Football Club in the fourth place spot on 17 points. Those teams advance to the elite Premiership.

Kukris are making themselves at home in their first Premiership season, challenging for a spot in the major Premiership to the bitter end, but more than happy to settle as the top side in the minor competition.

They are 3-4 with 12 points, followed by Causeway Bay at 2-5 with 11 points, Kowloon on four points and Tai Po Dragons chasing up the rear with a 1-6 record.

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