Kowloon up in arms over front-row fiasco

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 November, 1999, 12:00am

Kowloon have sent a letter of protest to the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union over a terrible mix-up on the field which led to their match against Valley over the weekend being reduced to a no-contest in the scrums.

Valley beat Kowloon 16-13 thanks to a last-gasp drop goal from Carl Murray. But Kowloon feel they were robbed of victory as a result of their powerful scrum being neutralised after referee Brian Allan brought in the no-push rule 15 minutes into the game.

This happened when Valley prop Matt Deayton was injured.

'When he left the field, his replacement came on and suddenly there was a no-push scrum. This is completely against the rules of the First Division which state that a team should have a front-rower as a replacement on the bench,' explained Kowloon chairman Adrian Shambler.

Shambler went on: 'When the no-push rule came in, we substituted one of our front-rowers and put on a backrower as we wanted more mobility around the field.

'Then suddenly the Valley player who went off came back on the field and they asked for the push-scrum again. But we had already taken off our front-rower and we had no option but to continue with a no-push scrum.

'We are appealing to the Union,'said Shambler.

Valley front-rower Dean Herewini dismissed the suggestion that his team had tactically neutralised Kowloon. He said his team had five front-rowers on call that day.

'How can Kowloon say they had the stronger pack when we were the team going for two pushover tries early in the game,' Herewini said.