14 Jan 2020

As usual, the 2020 New Year’s Day tournament kick-started the new decade with a bang. The 54th edition of the tournament showcased an array of talented youngster, displaying what Hong Kong has to offer from its junior section. This year saw six high-class and entertaining games played throughout the day, a positive ‘pick-me-up’ for those feeling slightly worse for wear after the previous evening’s activities!

The day commenced with an awesome game from the U14 Girls teams. There were line breaks, big hits and full pitch runs, with the Island Lions finishing victorious 27-17 over the Peninsula Dragons. The Lions retain the trophy this year whilst Dragons’ Lisa Trimingham was awarded ‘Best and Fairest Player.’ The U14 Boys were next onto the turf at Hong Kong Football Club competing in another close contest for the Stuart Leckie Cup. Following a late surge, the Lions got their revenge on last year with a 22-14 win over the Dragons. Congratulations to Dragons Prop Minjun Koo took home the ‘Best and Fairest Player’ award.

The afternoon kicked off with the Girls U16s fighting it out for the Naylor Cup. The Hong Kong Dragons retained the cup this year with a great performance slaying the Lions 31-17. A stand out performance from Hayley Cheuk Yiu Lai saw her take home the ‘Best and Fairest Player’ award. The U16 Boys followed shortly after, the first instance to feature the Overseas Lions. The Lions gave it their all but couldn’t dominate the Hong Kong Dragons who brought it home with a thumping 58-7 win, retaining the George White Trophy. The ‘Best and Fairest Player’ award was granted to Dragons #3, Fergus Condon.

The fantastic day climaxed with both Boys and Ladies U19s showing us what they were made of. This fantastic display of rugby from both sides shows great promise for a strong foundation for our HK National teams in the coming years. Kicking things off with the Ladies, the Overseas Lions pulled away to take the Lassies Quaich Trophy with a 17-7 victory, Lions #2 player Lara Carolan taking home the ‘Best and Fairest Player’ award.

On to the last game of the day, played against the backdrop of a fantastic crowd for the U19 Boys. Both teams showed great ability and brilliant skills. There was a ferocious intensity to the game which made it brilliant to watch. The Overseas Lions came out on top with a 38-7 victory and retained the Wright Naylor Trophy. A standout performance from Lions Hooker Charlie Walsh, who scored a hat-trick, meant that he was the recipient of ‘Best and Fairest Player’ award.

The Larry Abel Trophy, awarded to the ‘Best and Fairest’ from the entire day was a tough choice for the HKRU’s General Manager of Rugby Performance, Leigh Jones. There were plenty of great candidates from the first game to the last, but was eventually awarded to Hayley Cheuk Yiu Lai of the Hong Kong Dragons, from the U16 Girls game. 

Once again, another fantastic way to start to New Year and indeed new decade. A big thanks to HKFC, referees, medical team, HKRU staff, coaches, parents and players for making it such an enjoyable event. We wish everyone a happy and healthy 2020 filled with lots of rugby development and success, see you all 1st January 2021!