16th Nov 2020

Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers halted Societe Generale Valley’s winning streak - extending back to all of last season - at 15 games, with a potentially balance of power altering 41-5 win in the KPMG Premiership. In other results from today’s second of ten rounds, Natixis HKFC Ice put SCAA Causeway Bay Phoenix in the deep freeze with a 48-21 win at Sports Road, while Gai Wu Falcons beat DAC Kowloon, 31-5. 

The weekend’s scores see Tigers and Falcons share the Premiership lead with 10 points each, followed by Valley and HKFC in tied-third on five points, and Kowloon and Causeway Bay hunting first wins.

A trio of Tigers’ Hong Kong talent came to the fore early, with the scoring opened by the always dependable 15s and sevens international Nam Ka-man after just five minutes. Fellow sevens athlete Cindy Au Yeung Sin-yi followed Nam in the scorer’s list, before Winnie Siu collected her second try in as many weeks in the 25th minute. Nam finished the blitz in the 39th minute with a second try, and a perfect four from four conversions from Charlotte Myrans handed Tigers a healthy 28-0 lead and an offensive bonus point at the break.

It was a performance reminiscent of Tigers last win against the big red machine in the 2018/19 grand final two seasons ago. Captain Lindsay Varty who was a part of that team believes that the rate of return against Valley may now increase for a Tigers side growing in self-confidence.

“That win sends a strong message to the Premiership that the Tigers are coming in hot this year, and that we are working well as a team and have bonded well in the pre-season.

“The key tonight was that we worked incredibly hard for each other as a team. We worked all week on our line-speed and rush defence and it clicked tonight; we supported each other really well and all of the tries we scored were team tries, which was fantastic.

“A win like that gives us the confidence that we can win the league and the grand championship if we continue to play like we did tonight. We are confident, but we know that we need that same energy and effort in every game to get the results we expect,” Varty added.

More Hong Kong stars were prominent in the Falcons-Kowloon tie with fly half Stephanie Chan influential in scoring the opening try and converted Hong Kong sevens squad captain Melody Li’s try as Gai Wu took a 14-5 lead after forty. Hong Kong back row Amber Tsang split the Gai Wu tallies to keep Kowloon in contention early on.

Kowloon fought the Falcons tooth and nail across a competitive third quarter before Hong Kong back rower Chow Mei-nam scored to push the lead to 19-5 with 22 minutes left.  Kowloon couldn’t close the gap any further instead allowing two tries late, including the final score to Hong Kong prop Tammy Lau for a 31-5 win.

A double brace of first half tries from HKFC’s new arrivals Georgina Cutt and Caitlin Morrell put them out to a comfortable 26-7 margin, and a bonus point, by half time.  Causeway Bay’s Tsang Siu-ching put her team on the board after 30 minutes with Chu Ting-ting converting. Club ran the lead to 36-7 in the third quarter with Fion Got scoring to open the second half and Cheryl Gourley adding a try after 55 minutes.

Causeway Bay’s Leung Siu-man had the perfect riposte four minutes later with Phoenix’s second five-pointer of the game trimming the lead to 36-14 after Chin Po-po’s conversion. Chin scored and converted her own try in the 71st minute to close the gap further to 36-21, but Gourley collected Club’s third brace of the match almost instantly thereafter, while Naomi Palis closed out a fecund afternoon with a 48-21 win.

HKFC coach Peter Ayres was pleased with the win but expects even more from his young team, saying, “I think we only played 20 minutes of the first half and then took our foot off the peddle. That let them back in the game quickly, luckily we had some wiggle room getting up the score up that quick.

“The second half was much like the first, we played 20 minutes and then switched off for a while. When we switched off it quickly became a bit of a battle in the middle of the field. Ahead of the game we asked the ladies to enjoy the defence, and it seemed that we finally switched on in that respect. As soon as we got the ball back we went for it.

“Causeway Bay always plays for the whole 80 minutes, so despite the score we had to fight right to the end - it was a good battle,” added Ayres.