DAC KOWLOON OPEN DETTOL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP IN STYLE

21 Sep 2021


DAC Kowloon women’s XV opened the Dettol Women’s Premiership season with a statement win, 55-0, over SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay Phoenix at Kings Park. In other Dettol Premiership results, Societe Generale Valley Black Ladies edged Natixis HKHFC Ice by the narrowest of margins, 12-11, in the Valley, while Gai Wu Falcons lost 22-0 to Kroll USRC Tigers at Shek Kip Mei.

Ahead of the match, Kowloon were eager to put their new pieces on display, especially their trio of imported players from New Zealand in 21-year old fly-half Montana Heslop from Hawke’s Bay, and 22- year old prop Braxton Walker and 23-year old No.8, Shaye Whareaorere, both from Bay of Plenty.

The three initially arrived late last year, just as the season was shutting down due to Covid, and have stuck things out since then before making their Premiership debuts tonight at King’s Park. And what debuts they were, the players, who are tactically positioned at the front and back of the pack, and at fly half, did what they were expected to do in helping to unlock the attack.

They also contributed on the scoreboard with Whareaorere scoring a brace and Braxton and Heslop both adding tries. Heslop also added five conversions on the night.

Their teammates responded in kind with wing Gabriella Rivers topping all scorers with a hat trick, while tries also came through Chan Hui-tung and Victoria Wong Ching-hei as Kowloon crossed the whitewash on nine occasions, pushing a 38-0 lead at half-time to 55 by the end of the night.

Kowloon captain and centre Chau Hei-tung was upbeat after tonight’s performance saying, “We performed very well, we were very disciplined and did not give penalties. We had a few handling errors but that is something we can work on for the next match. I was really proud of our defence today, that is something that I think we can build from now.”

Chau is confident that her side is revitalised heading into the Premiership and the sky is the limit: “It’s a new look Kowloon. We have quite a lot of new girls, and they are all talented, quick and energetic, so I think we will have a very good season. I have the utmost confidence in my team,” said Chau.

For their part the antipodean trio of Kowloon Kiwis remained excited about the vibe around Hong Kong rugby and confident that there was more to come from the squad this season.

“I think we set a standard in this game. We built he platform and now we want to keep rising,” interjected Whareaorere.

“The girls really clicked, especially in the first half, we really put onto the park what we where practicing and got what we wanted out of it.

 


“We didn’t expect the score to be what it was and it doesn’t reflect the game. Causeway Bay is such a strong competitor they never give up and that is what we were expecting,” said Heslop.

The players were impressed by the standard of the Premiership as well, “It’s not quite as physical as New Zealand,” said Walker, “But its fast and you have to tackle a lot lower, which is a great challenge for us as well. There are a lot of things that we are not used to, like the humidity, but I’m loving the journey,” she added.

“We love playing at Kowloon, the girls are amazing and they have been like a family to us since we arrived. They encourage us and we are all helping each other. We want to bring some of our New Zealand rugby culture in and break down the barriers between the men’s and women’ teams. We have come along way with that already,” said Whareaorere.

“It is a sisterhood. We want to have each other’s backs in rugby or life,” added Walker.

The three also have ambitions of helping Kowloon shatter the stranglehold of Valley, Gai Wu and Tigers on women’s rugby this season.

“We want to bring the trophy to Kowloon, and to adapt our Kiwi style to the Hong Kong rugby style and make a good mix,” said Heslop who has kept busy in the off-season by taking on the General Manager post at Kowloon, becoming just the second female general manager amongst the six pillar Hong Kong premiership sides playing in both men’ sand women’s competitions.

“We really want to encourage the other girls to be a bit more confident and to open up and play outside of themselves a bit also, they are really good players they just don’t know it yet,” said Walker.

Kowloon’s self-awareness will be tested next week as a pivotal clash shapes up with defending league champion Kroll USRC Tigers at 1800 at King’s Park.

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