01 Oct 2017

SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay Phoenix ultimately proved too hot to handle for Natixis HKFC Ice as they recorded a 19-15 win in round two of the HKRU KPMG Women’s Premiership tonight at Sports Road.

Ice put in the cooler performance scoring three tries in the final moments to nearly pull off an improbable comeback.

A slow start derailed HKFC’s hopes early on after Causeway Bay took a 12-0 lead into the break with tries from Phoenix flanker Tsang Ching-man ad winger Lam Ka-wai. Both tries came off of good work by the forwards who generated quick ball from the ruck to put Tsang and Lam across cleanly from close in.

Causeway Bay extended their lead after centre Au See-wai recovered a nicely weighted chip kick to cross over for a third try, with the conversion bringing the score to 19-0.

HKFC fought back with some fireworks of their own across a frenetic few final minutes.

Vice captain Rachel Fong, getting experience at fly half this season, flashed over for Football Club’s first try, followed quickly by HKFC’s new import centre Rachel Crothers. Crothers finished off acrash ball with a run right through the middle of the Phoenixdefence to touch down beneath the posts. Despite the perfect set-up, the conversion was missed, leaving Ice nine points adrift with seconds remaining.

Amazingly, Football Club marched back down from the re-start to score a third try in the waning secondsthrough U20s sevens rep Jamie Bourke. But the final whistle blew almost immediately after Bourke touched down, leaving Ice agonizingly adrift of an incredible comeback victory, 19-15.

Football Club coach Royce Chan was disappointed with what could have been tonight saying, “We only played well in the final 15 minutes. Until then we were playing as individuals, not as a team. We spent a lot of time in their half but couldn’t control possession and gave away too many turnovers,” Chan said.

Causeway Bay coach Chris Lin was delighted with his side’s effort saying, “That win came because we kept our discipline. We focused on stopping their two or three key ball carriers, who we identified as threats, and we did that.

“We had a good fast start with two early tries and were able to keep our discipline and structure in defence for most of the game. It was an outstanding performance, but we obviously lost steam in the last quarter and nearly let them come back at the end.

“We need to keep working on our fitness and tackling. At the end we weren’t executing our tackles, which meant we couldn’t stop their offloads, and we paid for that,” Lin added.

In tonight’s other KPMG Premiership fixtures, league powerhouses Societe Generale Valley Ladies pushed their record to 44 straight victories with a 53-0 win over Transact 24 Tai Po Dragons.

The whitewashes continued at King’s Park with Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers blanking City Sparkle 40-0, while Kowloon mounted a good defensive effort to hold last year’s runners-ups Eco Gai Wu Falcons to a slim 17-0 margin.