Match Report: CWB Phoenix 12-5 HKFC Ice @ So Kon Po – 14 January, 2017

Saturday saw a tough, hard fought Women’s Premiership match between HK Football Club Ice and SCAA Causeway Bay Phoenix at So Kon Po, Sarah Shuttleworth reports.

An early injury to Ice’s second row, Angelina Cheung, saw Zuzanna Osinska replace her and she proceeded to make her presence felt in the forward exchanges.

HKFC controlled the early possession in Causeway Bay’s half, causing pressure and displaying impressive scrum and line-out technique. Bobby Wilson made a clean break, after 15 minutes, but a resilient Phoenix defence refused to let Ice score.

Another drive from the HKFC forwards saw full back Jane Cheung sprint clear and run deep into Causeway Bay’s half. A strong try-saving tackle though saw her brought to ground within touching distance of the line.

Causeway Bay Phoenix made their first real scoring opportunity count, as a clean break by their wing Hau Sin Man secured the first try of the match. Hooker Chin Po Po made the conversion, 7-0 at the break.

Causeway Bay started off the second half confidently, looking threatening every time they had the ball. And the pressure paid off, as Hau Sin Man scored her second try extending Phoenix’s lead to 12-0.

Sophie Short came on at number 9 for HKFC, with Royce Chan moved into the front row to replace Denise Chan, and demonstrate some fast game play and exceptional tackles.

The new stringent interpretation of the tackle rules saw both sides have players yellow carded for high tackles.

Persistent foul play close to the line saw Ice awarded a penalty try early in the fourth quarter, a missed conversion left the score at 12-5 and all to play for.

With ten minutes to go, Ice looked dangerous in attack. A great piece of forward play saw Royce Chan drive for the line. Only for the Phoenix defence to hold her up, preventing her from touching down for the equalising score.

The last play of the game saw Ice with one final chance, a scrum 10m from the CWB line, However they couldn’t capitalise on the possession. Final score between two evenly matched teams, 12-5 to CWB Phoenix.

HKFC Ice:
Cheryl Gourley, Shonagh Ryan, Denise Chan, Claire Forster, Angelina Cheung, Claire Hunter, Nina Pirie, Bobby Wilson, Royce Chan, Helen Lee, Emma Shields, Jaime Ho, Jamie Bourk, Maggie Wong, Jane Cheung, Cynthia Luk, Zuzanna Osinska, Sophie Short, Paula Murcia, Rabbit Leung

Causeway Bay Pheonix:
Ho Pui Ki, Tsang Siu Ching, Chin Po Po, Chan Yan Yo, Hau Yan Tina Ho, Kong Yin Ting, Li Man Yi, Tsang Ching Man, Ka Lok Ng, Wong Sze Man, Lam Ka Wai, Kwok Yuk Lin, See Wai June Au, Sin Man Hau, Tsang Yuen Ying, Tze Yan Lam, Ka Ling Martini Ip, Tin Yan Dora Chim, Lau Sin Tung, Siu Man Nga

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Hong Kong Rugby’s Sexual Bias

This week Hong Kong’s women stand on the brink of a stunning achievement, qualification for the rugby World Cup. Not now and perhaps never again will Hong Kong have a better chance in a global team sport to reach a World Cup.

Ardent HongKonger that I am, I’m also a realist and unless the new Messi is a HK resident Hong Kong are sadly never going to make the football World Cup. Nor sadly, however much money is pumped at them, will our men’s rugby team – much as I’d love to see them qualify – with the current format there are simply too many countries ahead of us.

Recognition should be made here of the HK men’s cricket team who qualified for the last two T20 World Cups and with the current crop of super talented youngsters both male and female could well do so again – but cricket is not yet a truly global game.

Rugby is a global game and with the popularity of the Sevens at the recent Olympics growing fast. This is what makes our women’s potential achievement so amazing. Especially as they are playing not only the opposition but also the blatant sexual discrimination and lack of interest within their own male dominated Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU).

When the Hong Kong football team played their World Cup qualifiers last year, the HKFA advertised heavily, produced posters, banners creating a buzz and a massive awareness in both traditional media and online. Everyone, whether you were a football fan or not, knew the matches were coming.

The extent of the HKRU’s marketing is one ugly banner, the first published version of which hadn’t even been proof read and had Hong Kong playing Fiji twice. Even the recent men’s rugby Cup of Nations competition was advertised on a tram and accompanied by numerous articles, banners, tweets… There’s one ugly banner for the Women’s World Cup Qualifier.

The first two games of the World Cup Qualifier are being played at King’s Park which is frankly nothing more than a school playing field and a complete pain for fans to get to. Why are the games not being held at Mongkok Stadium – which with even basic marketing could have been a noisy sell-out – or at any of the other LCSD grounds which at least have a grandstand where the crowd can really get behind their team and help lift them to qualification? It’s frankly embarrassing to have such important matches played at such an amateur ground.

It’s frankly disgusting that the HKRU promotes rugby as a game for all – yet as you can see the Women’s World Cup Qualifier isn’t even listed in their upcoming events! There are more articles on the HKRU website about the New Year’s Day Youth Tournament, than the women’s national team being one step from playing at the World Cup.

The sexual bias at the HKRU is sadly not just limited to the national level, where HK’s women professional rugby players are paid far less than their male counterparts (none are willing to comment on the record, such is the petty vindictive nature of the male dominated culture that permeates the HKRU), but extends to club level.

The HKRU made a big deal at the start of the new season about a sponsorship deal for women’s rugby one part of which, as can be seen published on the HKRU website includes a live video stream of the women’s Premiership game of the week. Look online you can find extensive video coverage of the men’s Premiership. There’s video of women’s first games of the season (all the matches were played consecutively  at King’s Park), where are the rest? Will KPMG the sponsor complain? No chance. Many of it’s senior HK management are rugby old boys and it heavily sponsors the mens game.

The HKRU is perhaps the wealthiest sports organisation in HK, it’s 2014 financial returns show assets of around $250million and it extravagantly funds the men’s game. It’s sad that they are so blind to the women’s game where the potential for great things exists.

Let’s hope that the 26 women picked for the squad can take that final step and make the World Cup. Perhaps then the old men running the game will take notice – but then again, probably not as there’s nothing in it for them other than trying to steal the spotlight from the women who made it happen.

Hong Kong’s women need your support, lend you voices and your presence head to Kings Park, 7pm tonight and cheer them on against Fiji!

MAKE SOME NOISE, GO HONG KONG!

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Match Report: Uni-Pirates 5-35 City – 1 October, 2016

A new and as yet unnamed DB Pirates & University combined team for 2016-17
A new and as yet unnamed DB Pirates & University combined team for 2016-17

A new and as yet unnamed team took the field at the weekend as the combined forces of the University Unicorns and the DB Pirates faced their first challenge of the new season on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon at Sandy Bay. The Uni-Pirates squad consists mainly of players from the Summer Elementary Course, many of whom first picked up a rugby ball as recently as June, and a few veterans from the DB pirate enclave.

The home team kicked-off their National League 2 game against an experienced City Ladies team in high spirits and backed by the cheers of home crowd. Stout defence blunted the City attack and and the Uni-Pirates earned their first offensive scrum. And here’s where City’s experience told, you can practice and practice scrums on the training field but a match scrum is a vastly different beast and the Uni-Pirates conceded a penalty. Quickly taken by the visitors who passed it along their back line for the first try of the match.

Buoyed by the score City Ladies took control of the game, enthusiastic defending by the Uni-Pirates however kept them from adding to the scoreboard. The home town ladies though did not learn their lesson from the first try and conceded another as City successfully took advantage of another quickly taken penalty. The Ladies then added two more tries before the half time.

After the break, City remained on the front foot scoring two quick tries with some excellent back line moves. The plucky Uni-Pirates weren’t disheartened and kept plugging away looking for an opening and confidently seized their chance when it appeared. Awarded an offensive scrum on the City ten metre line the pack secured the ball and scrum-half Estelle Barbaroux sneaked through on the blind side, broke a couple of tackles and scored a fine try under the posts. A happy moment for the home crowd and the new team as they celebrated their first try of the season.

Despite the home team try, City were in complete control of the game and scored a seventh try before the final whistle for a final score of 35-5.

The crowd were generous in their applause of the players, congratulating the far more experienced City victors and celebrating the Uni-Pirates first game of 15s and their debut in the league.

Forwards:
Amoy Hugh-Pennie, Kon Chan, Meg McGrath, Monica Ariwi, Chona San Lopez-Aguila Alcantara, Florence Li, Catherine Greg Osburn, Debby Cheung, Jackie Philbrick Douglas, Renee McCreadie, Julie Buddle

Backs:
Sienna Stubbs, Estelle Barbaroux (Captain), Bonbon Jan, Hiuyi Cheng, Karen Shahar Gafni, Celine Malunes, Mandy Smith, Joyce Leung, Lai Ka Yan

Tries:
Estelle Barbaroux

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Match Report: HKCC Ladies 10-19 Valley Reds – 1 October, 2016

hkcc-2016-10-04

The weekend’s fixture was the first match of the season for the HKCC Ladies who entered the new campaign with no pre-season games and a couple of new members playing with the team for the first time. Not the best preparation, but that didn’t prevent HKCC putting up a spirited display against Valley Red.

The match started with HKCC kicking off, and forming a great defence against the Reds causing them to knock the ball out over the sideline. As both teams struggled for meaningful possession a line break from Valley into HKCC’s 20 was stopped by flanker Maddy Witt. In the ensuing maul Valley slipped through a gap in the reforming defence to score the first try of the game.

This early setback energised HKCC who probed deep into Valley’s territory. The pressure told as Valley knocked on. From the resulting scrum the ball reached HKCC’s new fly-half Josie Jolley who, driving at the Valley’s defence gained some hard fought yards. Disaster struck though, a step from the try line as HKCC knocked on… At the resulting scrum HKCC packed away their disappointment, recomposed themselves and won the scrum leading to a nice try from Mandy Witt.

The remainder of the first half saw many big tackles, great attacks and defence from both teams, rolling into half time with the score 5-5.

The intensity increased after the break and Valley scored their second try through a gap in HKCC’s defence. HKCC bounced back with some great gain line attacks which saw the Reds commit numerous fouls, giving HKCC several penalty opportunities. The fierce commitment of both teams saw the referee issue several yellow cards during the half. HKCC got the better hand of that advantage and the ensuing penalties, allowing them to work as a team to attack deep into the Red’s territory and score a try from inside center Carolyn Champion. An unsuccessful conversion, left HKCC trailing 12-10 late in the last quarter.

Valley took advantage of a lack of concentration from HKCC scoring a try from a ruck straight after the kick-off. The conversion soared between the posts, giving Valley a 19-10 lead. HKCC pushed hard looking for a third score to give Valley a nervous last few minutes, but committed a couple of fouls and Valley edged a hard fought match.

Forwards:
Wawa Li, HoiYi Li, Terri Lau, Allison Mak, Kiki Kemp, Nobuko Oda, Lauren Petersen, Kon Chan, Joanna Harvey, Mhairi McLaughlin, Katie Rowbot, Maddy Witt, Josie Jolley

Backs:
Lynda Nazer, Stephanie Zhang, Brenda Chan, Carolyn Champion, Serene Yee, Margaret Chan

Tries:
Maddy Witt, Carolyn Champion

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Natasha Olson-Thorne Captain’s Hong Kong

Natasha Olson-Thorne

Pulling on the shirt, taking a cap to represent your country is a special moment in anyone’s sporting life. Winning tournaments and trophies are regarded as success in sport today, where it’s the winning not the taking part that has become all. But their can be no higher honour in any sport than to Captain your country. To join that elite band of people who can take the hopes, desires and expectations of a nation upon their shoulders at the same time as uniting team-mates to perform better than the sum of their individual skills while still giving their personal all.

Natasha Olson-Thorne Captain’s Hong Kong for the first time at this her sixth Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens (HKWRS) and coach Anna Richards is confident the 23-year-old winger will handle the added responsibility with aplomb.

“She works really hard and sets a really good example for the rest of the team,” Richards said. “She’s got a good rugby brain as well, so I think she will be able to handle it very well.”

Olson-Thorne has been a crucial part of the Hong Kong backline in the sevens format for a long time and boasts experience that belies her age. She made her international sevens debut in Hong Kong in 2011 and has filled the vice-captaincy slot on a number of occasions, including during last year’s Asia Rugby Sevens Series and Olympic qualifiers.

Olson-Thorne also skippered a Hong Kong development squad at the Margaret River Sevens early last year and is hopeful that, with a few tweaks to her game, she has what is takes to lead by example.

“I probably have to be a bit more vocal and I need to make sure I keep lifting the team up so we’re in the right spot and in the right frame of mind,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting. I’m excited about it. I’m just hoping I can keep the team on the right track going in to the Sevens.”

Olson-Thorne, who was born in the US but has spent 22 of her 23 years in Hong Kong, is plucky about the chances of the side she will lead and hopes that good early form will give Hong Kong the momentum they need to improve on last year’s semi-final loss. “Obviously our goal is to get into the stadium this year,” she said.

“We’re feeling quite positive going in and we’re excited as well because it’s our first tournament of this year. We want to start strong on day one like we did last year. We are looking forward to going in with all guns blazing and smashing it.”

Ahead of her sixth HKWRS, Olson-Thorne is wary of the challenge that awaits and is ready to embrace the opportunity to play against some quality opposition.

This year’s tournament features ten teams from across the globe. Hong Kong are in Pool B with Asia champions Japan, Argentina, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Pool A sees France, South Africa, Kazakhstan, China and Kenya. Both France and Japan are playing on this season’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

“One thing I really like about the Hong Kong Sevens is that we’ve got France and South Africa coming, we have Argentina coming, we have Kenya coming, so there’s a lot of countries that we usually don’t get a chance to play against that come and play in the Hong Kong Women’s Sevens,” she said.

“It’s just nice to play against someone different, someone with a different style, and that really helps you to learn and develop.”

Olson-Thorne first developed her love for rugby at the age of 15 at Sha Tin College after trying her hand at a number of other sports and quickly progressed from there to club rugby with the Flying Kukris.

The Flying Kukris’ lack of numbers at under 19 level saw her move to Borrelli Walsh URSC Tigers, with her Hong Kong 15s debut coming in 2010.

Throughout the journey, Olson-Thorne has never struggled for motivation: “The reason that I play rugby is that it’s fun and I enjoy it,” she said. “I’ve always had a lot of sports in my family. My teammates motivate me as well. You can’t play for a team that you don’t like.”

With an older sister and an older brother, as well as a younger brother, sport and family have gone hand-in-hand for Olson-Thorne and the HKWRS presents a unique opportunity.

“It’s the one time when we get to play at home in front of a home crowd,” Olson-Thorne said. “It’s awesome being able to play in front of my family and friends.” Outside of being a professional rugby player, Olson-Thorne is a qualified Divemaster and, after completing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health at The University of Hong Kong last year.

“When I’m not doing rugby now, I’m pretty much at home with my family and my cat just relaxing and having fun,” she said. “I do want to pursue further education and try and get a masters degree. I also love scuba diving, so I might try and take that up again when I’ve got a bit more time. I don’t really have a plan at the moment, I’m just kind of seeing how it goes at the moment.”

hk-women's-team2

Hong Kong Women’s Sevens Squad
Natasha Olson-Thorne (captain), Candy Cheng, Tsz Ting (vice-captain), Chong Ka Yan, Adrienne Garvey, Christine Gordon, Colleen Tjosvold, Kwong Sau Yan, Melody Li Nim Yan, Lee Tsz Ting, Nam Ka Man, Poon Pak Yan, Lindsay Varty.

Coach: Anna Richards, Asst. Coach: Mark Komar, Manager: Dannii Cheung

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Valley v Gai Wu Highlights Regular Season Final Weekend

valley-womens-rugby-28-nov-2015

A women’s Premiership triple-header at King’s Park will feature an end-of-season clash between league champions Valley Black and their longstanding rivals, second-placed Gai Wu Falcons (18.00). Valley, currently on the longest unbeaten streak in Hong Kong rugby, will put their run of 25 matches without loss on the line on Saturday. A win over the Falcons will complete two full league seasons without a defeat and position Valley to defend their Grand Championship title from last year.

The competitiveness of the two sides is such that Valley’s last reverse came at the hands of Gai Wu in the 2013-14 Grand Championship, a match decided by a single try. In a hard-fought contest between the two sides earlier this season, Valley muscled their way to a 15-3 victory – its smallest margin of victory this year – with a defining second-half performance. On Saturday, they will look to again keep the action focused in the centre of the field.

Valley coach Chris Garvey commented “Gai Wu are extremely quick on the wing and have probably the best front row in the Premiership but we should have an edge in midfield. Our forwards continue to do an admirable job, while our back line has become extremely competitive, having previously struggled to get the ball over the line enough to make bonus points. Now we have girls on the bench who can come on and perform. There are no passengers in this side.”

Valley and Hong Kong veteran Colleen Tjosvold echoed Garvey: “We’ll be looking to exploit our contact area skills and stop their wide attack. We play a good territory game and can inch our way up the field if necessary. It will be a good game, but more about attrition than blinding long runs. They go for discipline and running down the flanks. We look to our contact strength to keep up unrelenting pressure.”

“The success we’ve had gives you confidence but also a lot of pressure,” adds Tjosvold. “You’re expected to keep it up. The pressure is always on – every team wants to beat us. You can’t win every game. I’m always confident, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

gai wu

Gai Wu coach Lai Yiu Pang is keen to topple the league winners, with an eye on staking an early claim on the Grand Championship, as the two sides are the leading contenders to advance to the season’s finale match. He expects his side to maintain possession and build phases in attack, capitalising on their superior fitness. “Conditioning is our strength, and we need to make it count,” he says.

He can draw on almost a full squad against Valley, as a number of players have returned from injury ahead of the play-offs, but the team will miss Tang Wai Kwan, a “key asset” according to Lai, who is grounded after receiving a red card last time out.

Vice-captain Melody Li chimes with her coach:“Valley are physically stronger, so we need to put up a solid defence which has been our training focus. We have to apply pressure to contain them and we have been working harder on our defence patterns.”

With both teams boasting numerous Hong Kong internationals there is much respect shared between the sides. “Gai Wu are a great club, with a lot of talented individuals,” says Garvey. “They’ve had a bit of a rough season with injuries, but some of their girls have been together for 8, 9, 10 years. They are a tight unit.” Lai admires the strength of Valley’s scrum, “which allows them more time and space to build their attack, and their captain Bella Milo, a former captain of Samoa, is a big weapon.”

There is little doubt that the two teams represent the cream of Hong Kong’s Women’s Rugby. Gai Wu boast around ten Hong Kong internationals, while Valley could field an entire side of national representatives, with 16 Hong Kong internationals across both fifteens and sevens, along with the totemic Milo and fullback Olivia Coady, who has represented New Zealand.

While the favourites for the Grand Championship final are Valley and Falcons, both coaches cautioned that they are not counting third-ranked USRC Tigers out of the hunt. The Tigers are coming into form, including a recent win over Gai Wu – just its second loss on the season – a key result that deprived the Falcons of the opportunity to capture the league title and the automatic bye to the Grand Championship semi final that accompanies it.

By virtue of their successful league defence Valley will advance directly to the Grand Championship semi-finals, while the six remaining teams will contest knockout matches for the remaining three slots. The semi-finals and final are “a whole new game,” says Tjosvold. “Even with everything we’ve done, it’s a new scrap. We’re excited.”

As the on-pitch action moves toward its climax, both coaches reflected on the growth and success of the women’s game this season. In particular, both welcomed the introduction of the Super Series, which saw the best players from across the Premiership redistributed to create three teams for a round robin series. Garvey, who is also the Assistant National Women’s XVs coach, says “The Super Series has been wonderful. As a result of availability problems for some of the lower sides, the Premiership has almost turned into two levels. The lower levels have some excellent players but they lack the chance to play enough competitive games. So the Super Series has been excellent and should be repeated.”

Lai, who is also HKRU National Performance Coach (Development), agrees that the Super Series is boosting development and notes that the Premiership is getting stronger, “HKFC and Tai Po Dragons were close at the beginning of the season before injuries cost them and National League One also has more clubs now, indicating that the women’s rugby population is growing. More resources for coaching and training will definitely help close the gaps between clubs.”

Garvey agrees saying, “Kowloon and Tai Po are very young clubs, and if they can get two or three seasons under their belt, they will develop. It’s not a short-term project but with the individuals they’ve got, and maybe some recruitment from overseas, we can have a really competitive Premiership.”

Find the full list of women’s fixtures for the 20 February, 2016 here

Source: HKRU

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Women’s 15s Match Report: HKCC 5-48 USRC Tigers – 21 November, 2015

hkcc-v-usrc-21-november-2015-2

The weekend’s fixture saw the HKCC Ladies squad travel to King’s Park to play a USRC Tigers side sitting one place above them in the league.

HKCC had learned some valuable lessons from the previous weekend and had put that into practice in the training sessions leading up to the game. It showed from the off with HKCC putting pressure on the Tigers keeping them at bay, however fortune was not on HKCC’s side and a momentarily lapse in concentration led to Tigers taking a 5-0 lead with a break down the blindside wing.

The opening 25 minutes saw a tense battle between the two squads with HKCC playing some of the best rugby of their season so far, putting together phase after phase, gaining yard after yard ending in a superb team try finished off by Scrum Half Ashley Brooks.

The hard working start took it’s toll and as HKCC began to tire the Tigers were all too happy to take advantage, adding 2 unanswered tries and going in at half time 15-5 up.

hkcc-v-usrc-21-november-2015---1HKCC tried to regroup at the break as injuries and players looked burnt out after the explosive beginning to the first half.

The second half continued in the same vain as the latter minutes of the first half with the Tigers showing no signs of slowing down adding three more early tries to take the lead to 34-5.

hkcc-v-usrc-21-november-2015-3HKCC showed a lot of spirit, courage and determination trying not to be disheartened as they attempted to penetrate the Tigers defence but the fierce opposition had other ideas. The Tigers showed more clinical finishing to end the game 48-5.

Again this week saw some great phases of play for HKCC to take heart from particularly in the opening 25 minutes. What is needed is to play at that level for the full game. The Tigers showed they will compete with most teams will surely be amongst it at the end of the season.

Women of the match for HKCC:
Back – Angie Ng
Forward – Carolyn Champion

HKCC Ladies: Joan Yip, Wawa Li, Jo Harvey, Izzy Rivers, Nobuko Oda, Carolyn Champion, Zoe Wong, Lynda Nazer, Ashley Brooks, Tinley Wong, Brenda Chan, Emma Chung, Tissia Polycarpe, Serene Yee, Diana Li
Substitutes: Mhairi McLaughlin, Charlotte Berry, Hoi Yi Li, Elane Lau, Angie Ng, Kassie Chapel, Margaret Chan.
Try: Ashley Brooks

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Women’s 15s Match Report: HKCC 5-18 CWB Pheasants – 14 November, 2015

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A week’s break allowed the cuts, bruises and bumps of the previous matches to heal and made the HKCC Ladies even keener to play at their home ground Aberdeen against the Causeway Bay Pheasants in the 6th Round of the League.

The whistle blew and HKCC kicked off giving possession to the waiting Pheasants who immediately began to pound their way up the pitch. HKCC scrapped for the ball but the Pheasants furiously rucked maintaining possession and skillfully controlling the course of play. During the first ten minutes HKCC only handled the ball once and this was to kick off again after the Pheasants broke round the side of the defence and scored the first try of the match, 5-0.

Determined to take ownership of the game HKCC kicked off and instantly pressured the Pheasant’s defence. The two teams collided up and down the pitch but neither side looked set to score a try until a close opportunity came for HKCC’s number 8, Lynda Nazer. Awarded a scrum in the Pheasants’ 22 Nazer picked the ball up and pummeled her way up the pitch. But much to HKCC’s frustrations, Nazer, a footstep from the try line was barged into touch. Gaining the ball back the Pheasants kicked to clear their lines, putting HKCC’s fullback and winger under pressure, who only just managed to keep the Pheasant’s attack at bay.

The match continued with the two teams fighting for possession and precious ground. Foul play from HKCC led to a penalty that helped the Pheasants creep further up the pitch. Within minutes HKCC gave away another penalty this time in a threatening position, 5m from the try line. The Pheasants opted for a kick at goal, the ball sailed through the posts, padding CWB’s lead; 8-0.

The first half was drawing to a close but not before HKCC had one more stab at the Pheasant’s defence. Dominated by the HKCC forwards a maul formed and with gaining momentum they thundered towards the try line. With a few metres to go, quick as a flash HKCC’s Carolyn Champion broke from the maul with ball in hand. Once again HKCC were a footstep from the try line, but this time it was Champion who was mercilessly tackled into touch by a strong Pheasant defence. The score remained 8-0 to Pheasants and the whistle blew for half time.

12240829_10153447569883005_1307758831617052329_oAfter some rallying words from coach Alex Tarleton the whistle blew for the start of the second half. The Pheasants booted the ball straight into the arms of HKCC scrumhalf Emma Chung, who charged up the pitch. After some clashes in the center of the field a quick Pheasant turn over saw their attack bursting through HKCC defence. Weaving around the HKCC fullback the Pheasants looked close to scoring until Chung made a last ditch tackle, halting the attack. The Pheasants reset to strike again and this time succeeded, as their winger zipped round the side of the HKCC defence, 13-0.

HKCC kicked off and again the two sides fought to control the game. A great breakthrough came from HKCC’s centre Lucy Thomson, who hurtled through the Pheasant defence. But foul play by HKCC at the ruck gave the Pheasants a penalty and they wasted no time in using it to their advantage. HKCC were pushed back to their own try line fighting off another Pheasant attack. Nothing could stop the two Pheasant forwards who crashed over the try line for their third try of the match.

HKCC knew time was running out and they were determined to get some well-deserved points on the board. The HKCC forwards moved up together recycling the ball well until they were only meters from the try line. The Pheasants absorbed the hits well but they were unable to stop outside centre Tissia Polycarpe thundering over the try line, scoring the first and last HKCC points of the match.

After what seemed like a long and tiresome second half the whistle blew to end the match. Although a loss for the HKCC Ladies they are improving every week and look forward to their next match against Tigers this Saturday.

HKCC Woman of the Match: Emma Chung

HKCC 5-18 CWB Pheasants
HKCC Ladies: Joan Yip, Wawa Li, Jo Harvey, Lauren Petersen, Nobuko Oda, Brenda Chan, Cheryl Gourley, Lynda Nazer, Emma Chung, Tinley Wong, Serene Yee, Carolyn Champion, Tissia Polycarpe, Angie Ng, Steph Zhang
Substitutes: Lucy Thomson, Kassie Chapel, Charlotte Berry, Hoi Yi Li, Elane Lau, Mhairi McLoughlin.
Try: Tissia Polycarpe

Photo: Phoebe Leung

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