HONG KONG WOMEN SHINE IN SEVEN-TRY SINKING OF SINGAPORE

14 May 2016

Hong Kong unleashed seven tries today in a 40-7 away win over Singapore at the National Stadium in a warm-up match for the final leg of the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship series with Japan on 28 May.

A hot start saw Hong Kong score in the opening minute through sevens captain Natasha Olson-Thorne, playing at outside centre. The visitors’ second try came through prop Tammy Lau Nga Wun in the ninth minute. Aggie Poon Pak Yan converted Olson-Thorne’s tally but missed on Lau’s, before adding a penalty in the 14th minute.

One of Asia’s premier finishers, Poon scored Hong Kong’s next ten points with a try in the 26th minute and a second ten minutes later for a first-half brace, giving Hong Kong a commanding 25-7 lead at the break. Poon finished with 15 points from the outing from two tries, a penalty and a conversion.

In the second half, Hong Kong exploded out of the blocks once again with a try in the 43rd minute as Lau, the HKRU Women’s Premiership player of the season, collected her brace.

Captain Chow Mei Nam added to the forwards’ contribution with her first try for Hong Kong in the 60th minute. Candy Cheng scoring Hong Kong’s seventh try of the match twelve minutes later to give Hong Kong the 40-7 win.

Hong Kong coach Jo Hull credited her forwards for a “dominant” display against an imposing Singapore pack as a key part of the victory. “Our set piece performed very well and we were able to set up a dominant platform at the scrum and line-out which led to the pack tries,” said Hull.

She also credited Lai Pou Fan, who came in at fly-half this week. “She really controlled the game and the combination with Colleen Tjosvold at scrumhalf worked really well,” said Hull, adding that, “We used our full bench today to have a look at some new combinations and the girls are creating some real selection dilemmas now. There is a lot of positive competition, not just to stay in the match-day 23 but to crack the starting XV which shows the growing confidence in the side.”

After calling for action and not words, particularly from the senior players in the squad, after last week’s 39-3 loss to Japan, Hull was pleased with the performance and her first win with Hong Kong.

“We played with a lot of confidence today, which was great to see. We generated a lot more go-forward ball and were much more accurate under pressure then last week,” Hull said.

Today’s performance will be a good warm-up for the away leg against Japan but Hong Kong know they still have work to do, according to Hull.

“We can take a lot of confidence and some good lessons away from this match, particularly about what kind of shape we want to be in in our attack, but we’re under no illusions about what this result means for Japan.

“We didn’t talk about the result after the game, we were purely focused on our own performance goals which is another positive indicator of what we are building. It was my first win with the team in four outings so far, so I’m obviously happy to get that under my belt, But the win is more important as a building block now and I’m just really pleased with the way the team responded after last week.”

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