Double delight as Club seal cup triumph
CBRE Club steamrollered their way to the double - winning the Knockout Cup with a convincing 28-12 victory over Synovate HKCC at King's Park yesterday.
A power-packed performance from the forwards allowed Football Club to emerge comfortable victors, and complete a marvellous season, winning silverware in both the Cup and the League.
'It has been a fantastic season. We have played consistently all season and today the guys turned out another tenacious effort. I knew we had the game wrapped up well before the end,' said a happy Club captain Nigel D'Acre.
Two first-half tries by fly-half James Kibble and prop Nigel Hobler - the latter scoring with all the aplomb of a back when he dived over by the left corner flag - and a penalty and conversion by Mike McKee saw Club lead 15-3 at half-time.
They extended the lead to 21-12 midway through the second half with fullback McKee knocking over two more penalties before flanker Steve Mathews sealed the result with a try five minutes from the end which was converted by substitute Alex Gibbs.
All of HKCC's points came from the boot of flyhalf Glen Dickson, who knocked over four penalties to keep alive his teammates' flagging interest. But any visions HKCC had of pulling off a victory were a mirage as they struggled for possession.
Always chasing the game, HKCC never looked a threat, especially with their scrum a shambles as they caved in to the powerful Club tight five of Peter Spizzirri, Tom Cameron, Hobler, Angus Washington and Tim Griffin.
On numerous occasions, HKCC's pack was pushed off their own scrum ball. The decision to move Pale Touati into the backline and paper over the gaping hole left by the absent Simon Hempel and Colin Bisley backfired badly.
'We just didn't have enough of the ball and when we did have it, we made silly mistakes at the wrong end of the field,' said a disappointed Touati.
Touati hardly had a look in, and the few times he touched the ball, he was double-tagged by Club centres Pat Foreman and D'Acre.
With the Club forwards on the ascendancy, HKCC would have been better off moving Touati back into the pack at half-time, but they stuck to their game plan and it failed miserably.
'They never looked like scoring a try. That was the difference today. Our forwards, especially the front row, were dominating. It was a great effort from the guys,' said D'Acre.
Club revealed their intentions early when, in the fifth minute, Kibble sliced through the defence to score under the posts. McKee converted both the try and a penalty as his side led 10-0. Dickson cut the deficit to 10-3, but there were more bad tidings for HKCC when lock James Wood was sin-binned for apparently having a go at an opponent.
A quick turnover ball resulted in Hobler's try. Standing out wide, the Hong Kong prop must have been a tad surprised to see the ball swing down his way, but he rose to the occasion, dashing towards the left corner flag to plant the try.
Mathews' try, finishing off a lovely break by scrum-half Peter McKee, was the signal for the champagne to be pulled out of the ice box. It must have tasted sweet for the double-champions.