Aberdeen in red even before League kick-off

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am

Aberdeen are in a real pickle as the League season gets under way today.

They don't have any front-rowers of repute. And with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union strictly enforcing a ruling where the team requesting a no-push scrum would have to concede the points, even if they beat the opposition, one can sympathise with Aberdeen's plight.

'We are short of front-rowers. We don't have money to bring in players and there is every chance that we might have to concede the points even before we run on to the field,' said club captain Rob Perrin yesterday.

Aberdeen, who are struggling to field a First Division side, face defending champions Football Club at home (4pm) in their opening Super Sixes fixture.

'We are trying to borrow some front-rowers from Kowloon who don't have a game today. But if that does not work out, I would rather go for a no-push scrum than risk injury to the inexperienced players I have,' Perrin said.

Aberdeen have only one regular prop in Pat Donovan. But man-for-all-positions, the evergreen Alistair Broach, has volunteered to step into the breach.

The effervescent Anthony Desir has also stepped forward. With hooker Sean Moore, Aberdeen's rag-tag front row is ready for action.

But the question worrying Perrin is whether to run the risk of injury against Club's heavyweights.

Aberdeen have already been heavily penalised due to their dearth of props.

In the season-opening Try Trophy competition, Aberdeen had to concede the silverware to DeA despite scoring more tries than them in the two-leg tie.

'For a club like us, winning some silverware is important.

'And to find that we had to hand over the trophy was disappointing,' added Perrin.

Aberdeen are hoping that a visa hitch will be sorted out quickly so that their Chinese players from the Beijing Agricultural University, who played last season, will arrive soon. One of these players is a front-rower.

The hassle mainlanders have to go through in getting visas for Hong Kong is also the reason why the PLA will be unable to turn up for the match against Kowloon today. This match will be rescheduled.

'The PLA have still not got visas but we hope the problem will be sorted out soon,' said Allan Payne, HKRFU chairman.

In the only other game in the First Division, DeA take on Valley at Tai Hang Tung (6.15pm).