Discipline is key ingredient in Miller's recipe
The orders are out from new captain Lachlin Miller. His priority is for Hong Kong to play as a disciplined unit in the one-off international against Taiwan on the artificial pitch at King's Park this evening.
Aghast after watching Wednesday night's scrappy affair between a Hong Kong Select XV and Taiwan - which the visitors won 23-13 after a spate of sin-bins and red cards - Miller has called for a 100 per cent improvement in terms of discipline from a Hong Kong outfit who have only two survivors from the previous game.
'The key to winning today will be discipline. I want a committed and disciplined effort from our guys. The other game was appalling with both sides guilty of fouls. I don't want that to happen again as far as Hong Kong are concerned and I hope we will have the maturity to come through,' said Miller.
Miller is stepping into the shoes of the absent Paul Dingley and will be captaining Hong Kong for the first time. He will lead a young team, most of who are seeking to stake a permanent claim in the national 15-a-side set up as Hong Kong prepare for the IRB quadrangular tournament next month.
Along with Dingley, a number of other experienced players are missing today's encounter. Among them backs Carl Murray, Warren Warner, Chris Gordon and Jason Going, the latter sitting it out after an operation on his shoulder during the off-season. Their absence will see Hong Kong fielding a young backline who will need to be at their best today to thwart the attacking Taiwanese.
'This game will give a lot of players the chance to step up and make their presence felt. It is good for Hong Kong rugby that we have the depth now and hopefully we won't miss the presence of the established players,' ventured Miller.
On a personal note, today's encounter will be a very welcome return for Miller whose most recent appearance in the Hong Kong jersey was at last year's Asian Championships in Bangkok where he ended the tournament being warded in intensive care after a bad bout of food poisoning.
'It is great to be back again playing for Hong Kong and it is a great honour to be captaining the side. I lost 10kg after the food poisoning bout in Bangkok and this is my first representative game since that bad experience,' said Miller who will be hoping to exorcise all those bad memories in tonight's game.
Meanwhile, this match also marks the Hong Kong 15s debut of Stu Denton - Hong Kong rugby's player of the year last season - and Andrew Wong Kee. Denton, normally a hooker, will feature in the back-row today while Wong Kee will be in his usual position at scrumhalf.
The only survivors from Wednesday's match are centres Chan Fuk-ping and Brett Shields, and lock Jack Wilson.
Hong Kong: Pete Spizzirri, Jon Abel, James Wood, Lachlin Miller (captain), Jack Wilson, Kelvin Yip Kwok-ho, Andy Yuen Kin-ho, Stu Denton, Andrew Wong Kee, Liu Kwok-leung, Peter Clough, Chan Fuk-ping, Brett Shields, Alex Zenovic, Andrew Chambers.