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Home > News > Four yellow cards as HKFC stay top in Hong Kong
Your News Four yellow cards as HKFC stay top in Hong Kong

CBRE HKFC remain top of the G4S First Division after beating DeA Tigers 39-22 in a rousing 8-try battle which earned the home side a crucial bonus point.

Valley slipped to third last week after failing to score 5 points against Kowloon and HKFC assistant coach Rob ‘Junior’ Naylor re-iterated to his players before the match the importance of keeping ahead of their bitter rivals.

The plan seemed to be working as Football Club, playing in a pink strip in honour of a Breast Cancer Research fundraiser, took a commanding 10-0 lead following an Adam Raby penalty and a try from a simple lineout move finished by fly-half James Kibble.

Club’s lock Charles French saw yellow for a late tackle on Keith Robertson after 15 minutes offering DeA a way back into the game and DeA coach Kane Jury would have looked to returning international captain Jon Abel to guide the pack as they tried to gain a foothold in the game.

Moments later however Abel also went to the bin for charging an opponent. HKFC took swift advantage with Pat Foreman finishing a quick attack from a lineout that was kept alive from the second phase for a 17-0 lead.

Jury’s plans went from bad to worse when prop Fraser Smith was also binned for a swinging arm seconds after the restart leaving DeA minus two of their first choice front row. Football Club predictably demolished the scrums and took advantage of the lineout but were wasteful out-wide and guilty of sloppy execution in a ten minute period mostly against 13 men.

After Abel and Smith returned the DeA scrum still didn’t fare much better but an innocuous infringement before half-time allowed Robertson to use the full extent of his boot to find the corner. A simple ball off the top to flanker Simon Porter gave DeA their first points and HKFC were frustrated to lead 17-7 at half-time.

Rory Hussey clearly listened to whatever was said in the break as he had a hand in nearly every phase from the kick-off before stretching over the line for HKFC’s third try.

His knock-on from the next restart allowed Porter to get his second after a devastating run from Robertson split the home side’s defence, 24-14. In a moment of contention, flanker Hussey was sin-binned for a deliberate tackle without the ball when DeA took a quick lineout, but inexplicably the referee disallowed what seemed a fair try.

Minutes later DeA did manage to reduce the deficit through a Robertson penalty, and then, to the consternation of Junior, the visitors ran from under their own posts to score through Robertson’s tireless pace, 24-22.

With 58 minutes gone Rowan Varty could be heard telling his players to “just concentrate”, but within seconds he received a hospital pass from Li Chi Yung and the resulting turnover was converted into a try for Charles French, 29-22.

Pete McKee knocked over a penalty for some breathing space, before no.8 Rob Mills got HKFC’s fifth try seconds before the end to wrap up a laboured victory for the league leaders.

After the game coach Naylor was pleased to still be unbeaten in the league but admitted his players made it hard for themselves, he said, “ I’ve told the players we won the game and got the bonus point and that’s the most important thing. We didn’t stick to our game plan which let them back in and players like Rowan Varty and Keith [Robertson] can hurt you.“

Visiting coach Jury realised the difficulties in competing with the top teams missing two players but was pleased with the character his side had shown, he said, “Yes we are disappointed but I think we’ve shown heart. They got 17 early points and we lost by 17 points so that gives us some indication of what went wrong. That’s what’s been our problem, we’ve got to play rugby for more than 70 minutes.”

He added, “They’ve got a very simple game plan and it was nothing unexpected, but next time we need to be better technically.”

In the days’ other games, Inprojects Kowloon caused an upset at Aberdeen Sports Ground beating pre-season dark horses Synovate HKCC 42-21. Tradition Valley further embarrassed Manulife Causeway Bay Rams, 98-0 at valley. The So Kon Po outfit have now nearly conceded a point for every minute of rugby they’ve played this season whilst not scoring a single point themselves.

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