Hear from the Kowloon Rugby Club Premier Head Coaches after the Dettol Hong Kong Premiership round one clean sweep.
Round one of the Dettol Premiership Rugby Competition was predicted to be physical and full of exciting rugby, and on Saturday 18th September the Kowloon Premier sides did not disappoint. Under hot and humid conditions at Kings Park the Kowloon Premier Men, Premier A Men and Premier Women all put out classy, controlled and clinical performances to each secure a much deserved win. Hear from each of the Premier side coaches as they reflect on round one of the Dettol Hong Kong Premiership Competition.
Joe Barker - Premier Men's Head Coach
First of all I would just like to say what a great day Saturday was, with all 3 teams winning and making it a fantastic atmosphere to be around. Finished off with awards and everyone joining together at our new sponsors bar Taboo with some celebrations as one club.
The Mens Premiership game started well with us playing the game we wanted to against a big Sandy Bay side. Throughout we challenged their defence and during 80minutes forced them to give penalties away with our constant pressure. Harry Johnston capitalised on their ill discipline and kicked extremely well. With 20 minutes left we unfortunately lost our winger Fong Kit to a red card which has now been expunged and is available to play this Saturday. From that point onwards the loon showed fantastic grit to keep Sandy Bay out and finish the game 18-12.
The lads showed the behaviours and standards they have been enforcing on themselves throughout pre season and it was good to see them pull through at the end the way they did. We will start again on Tuesday night looking ahead at the game this weekend against URSC Tigers.
Ed Styles - Premier A Men's Head Coach
The Kowloon Prem A’s kicked their season off against Sandy Bay A’s at the weekend. Without having a pre-season game, there were always going to be errors but it wasn’t long however, before debutant, Oli Hobman, went over from a well worked scrum move for Kowloon’s first try. Tighthead Ken Adrian Encarnacion’s powerful display at the set piece, resulted in uncontested scrums for the remainder of the match, taking away a huge advantage for the Loon. Throughout the first half, the forward pack asserted their dominance, led by Co-Captain Sam Hobbins, who crossed for Kowloon’s second score of the game. With Sandy Bay down to 13 men, the Claymore’s continued to control territory and possession, and it was Kowloon ’s Prem Coach, Joe Barker, who stroked a cross field kick into the arms of another debutant, Ethan Somerville, to take the score to 21-5 at the break. Resuming where they left off, the Prem A’s upped their physicality and remained in command for the duration of the second half. With the changes made, it was Kelvin Chan, on debut, who profited from several offloads & great ball movement to score in the corner, and it was Will Morris, also on debut, who took the final tally to 33-5. An impressive first outing; 9 players on debut, 5 tries, a great win and post match celebrations but more importantly a performance that can be built on for the next fixture against close rivals USRC Tigers. UP THE LOON!
Terry Sibanda - Premier Women's Head Coach
After a long pre-season it was finally time to get the boots on and play some scintillating rugby and that is what Kowloon Ladies did from the get-go against Causeway Bay. Opting to kick-off first Kowloon immediately put Causeway Bay under pressure with impressive line speed and thumping tackles resulting in turn-over possession to Kowloon very early on. Kowloon Ladies wasted no time in charging for the try-line straight away with what looked like Chan, Hiutung’s first premiership try but it was deemed held up by the referee. However Kowloon were not to be denied and within 2 minutes executed a great passage of handling skills to put Chan Hiutung in the corner for Kowloon’s first try.
Kowloon then went on a 20-minute stanza of a well-executed game plan to which Causeway Bay had no answer to. Off a well timed line-out Kowloon put together a string of phases, stretching Causeway Bay out wide and sucking them in middle to eventually put Shaye Whareaorere over for her first league try for Kowloon. Monty Heslop added points with an excellent conversion making the score 12-0. A few moments later Kowloon were back in CWB’s half from the restart and managed to win themselves a scrum. A solid effort from Kowloon lead to Gabby Rivers breaking through the CWB defensive line and adding her name to the scoresheet. After Monty’s conversion the score was pushed up to 19-0. The next 5 minutes were a whirlwind as Causeway Bay’s poor defensive effort was punished heavily by Kowloon. Firstly Kowloon won the ball off a line-out and Monty sliced through the Causeway Bay defence like a hot knife through butter dotting down for her first try of the game and pushed the lead up to 26-0 after converting her own try. There was no rest for Causeway Bay as Kowloon came rolling down the middle from the restart. Kowloon forwards made headway before Shaye broke through poor tackles in a tired defence, 31-0. Kowloon re-assembled and launched attack after attack with Gabby notching up her second try of the day. Monty stepped up once more to add the extras sending Kowloon to the break with a massive lead of 38-0.
Causeway Bay stepped up their game in the second half. Entering the Kowloon half and pressing forward. However, Kowloon defended stoutly and nullified Causeway Bay’s attack for much of the second half. Both sides increased handling errors which slowed down the pace of the game. Kowloon brought on some fresh players from the bench, and this added a big impact in the scrum. Kowloon found their second wind in the last 10 minutes of the second half with Gabby and Shaye crossing the line to both claim their hat tricks. Victoria Wong also bagged herself a try, with Monty converting, leaving the final score at 55-0 to Kowloon.
It was a well-earned victory and a fantastic way to start the season. Credit to Causeway Bay for pushing all the way to the end and highlighting areas that Kowloon need to work on for the upcoming games.
Join us this weekend, Saturday 25th September, as all the Kowloon Premier sides return to Kings Park to take on USRC Tigers in what is set to be another weekend of exciting matches. Kicking off from 3:00pm, you won't want to miss this one.
If you're unable to make it in person, keep an eye out on our social media channels for a live stream link.