Skipper Zenovic shines as Tigers thrash Valley

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 February, 2008, 12:00am

As if his white boots weren't enough to make him stand out, Alex Zenovic took it upon himself to score a brace of tries and lead DeA Tigers to a convincing 31-0 victory over Crown Valley at King's Park last night.

The DeA captain led by example as his side overwhelmed a depleted Valley outfit, scoring five tries.

'It was a good win, but they were missing a few players, and we cannot be too complacent. We still have a lot to work on,' warned Zenovic.

The five tries - the brace by Zenovic, and one each by Peter Clough, Nigel Clarke and Graham Manchester - earned DeA a vital bonus point and breathing space in the race to make it into the top four teams who will compete in the Knockout Cup that begins next week.

League winners CBRE Club, Valley and Synovate HKCC are assured of their berths. The last place will be fought between DeA Tigers and inProjects Kowloon. Last night's win gives DeA the edge.

'We also have a game in hand. I think we should be safe and we are looking forward to playing in the Knockout Cup,' Zenovic said.

The absence of regular scrumhalf Fan Shun-kei resulted in DeA pushing Peter Clough to handle operations at the base of the scrum. Clough, who last played in this position in his teen years, came up trumps with a superb performance. He combined superbly with Rocky Ata Matatumua and with the forwards dominating the set pieces, had plenty of possession to work with. They used it well.

DeA were missing key players Nick Hurrell, Rowan Varty and Justin Gregory but Valley were missing even more.

'Injuries have hit us hard. We were struggling for numbers,' said Valley coach Brian Higgins. He was not happy, even though there was not much hinging on the result for Valley, as their place in the Knockout competition is already secure.

'But that is not the point, we still wanted to win,' said Higgins.

He will need players like Matt Phillips, Justin Temara, Andrew Wong Kee - all of whom were missing - if Valley are to challenge Football Club and the others.

Last night, however, DeA Tigers ruled the roost. By half-time they had the match in the bag up 19-0. Zenovic scored with his first touch of the ball after fly-half Matatumua had made a lovely break.

Minutes later, Clough sped down the blindside to score the second try. Clarke scored from a quickly taken tap to increase the lead to 19-0. Zenovic collected his brace when he ran on to an up-and-under from Matatumua and the night's good work ended with lock Manchester crashing over by the right corner flag.