23 Nov 2020

DAC Kowloon coach Terry Sibanda’s prediction that a strong defensive effort was key to unlocking his side’s first win of the season came true as the Peninsulars stymied Natixis HKFC Ice at Sports Road in a 12-5 nail-biter. The win lifts the ‘lady Loon’ off the bottom of the KPMG Premiership table and softens the sting of the men’s 20-19 loss to Club before kick-off.

Neither side was able to dent the score line till 33 minutes in when Kowloon skipper Victoria Wong nudged her side out front with Sabay Lynam’s conversion pushing Kowloon out 7-0 at halftime.

The second period was another arm-wrestle with Kowloon scoring shortly after the resumption of play as danger woman Anjalika Ybema claimed the honours.  The conversion was off target but the lead had grown to 12 with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Club made things spicy at the death with a try from Fion Got in the 79th minute before time ran out on any hope for a comeback as Kowloon won out 12-5. 

“We weren’t switched on enough at the start, which let Kowloon get their confidence up. Young players, when they get confidence, are hard to stop,” said HKFC coach Peter Ayres.

“We over-complicated things, which didn’t work, but when we switched back to simple things we had better go forward ball. I’ll be interested to see the stats, because I think they had the ball for 70 minutes.

“Our defence was good but we need to work better together, and realise that when we stick to the plan, we score. There are positives. We have the ability. That doesn’t disappear with one loss. We need to play our game,” Ayres added.

It was an uncomfortable win at King’s Park for the scorers, as Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers racked up a 72-0 run over SCAA Causeway Bay Phoenix.

Tigers’ deep pool of Hong Kong talent kept the turnstiles moving with offseason super signing - Hong Kong winger Chong Ka-yan - settling in to her new digs with an incredible five tries.  Other Hong Kong stars shining included Natasha Olson-Thorne with a hat trick, while Winnie Siu, Nam Ka-man and Bena Yu added tries. Cheung Hoi-ying also collected a brace.

Adding to the Tigers delight was the fact that as the dust settled on round three they were the last undefeated team standing, as Gai Wu Falcons fell in a gritty 10-17 loss to Societe Generale Valley.

Tse Wing-kiu was influential for Valley with scores in both halves, including the game opener. Falcons’ Abigail Chan continued her hot start to the campaign with a levelling try shortly before halftime, leaving the score deadlocked 5-5.

Tse scored again after the break, with the conversion from player coach Bella Milo pushing Valley ahead 12-5, before Rebecca Thompson widened the gap to 17-5 with 25 minutes left.

Falcons dug deep and closed the gap through hard-nosed Hong Kong scrumhalf Sham Wai-sum, who scored her first try of the season at a crucial moment as she clawed to Falcons to within a try at 17-10 to start the final quarter.

The final twenty saw both sides throwing caution to the wind, but it was Valley holding on at the finish, although Sham’s try secured a losing bonus point for Falcons that kept them ahead of Valley in the standings, winning the weekend’s war but not the battle.

After another dramatic round of KPMG Premiership rugby action, Tigers stand alone atop the table with 15 points, followed by Falcons on 11, Valley on nine, HKFC on five and Kowloon chasing on four while Causeway Bay Phoenix looks to rise from the ashes of last place ahead of next Saturday’s thrillers.