Hong Kong defeat UAE in Emirates Airline Cup

Captain McColl says his team far from perfect despite scoring 51 points against UAE

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 3:02am

Hong Kong stayed unbeaten and will meet Belgium in a winners-take-all clash on Friday after dispatching hosts United Arab Emirates 51-6 in the Emirates Airline Cup of Nations yesterday.

Centre Stewart Megaw touched down twice as Hong Kong ran in eight tries to ease through to a comfortable win against the minnows in the four-nation rugby tournament. But despite the try glut, skipper Tom McColl was unsatisfied, saying Hong Kong had not fired on all cylinders.

"It's good to get a win, but we didn't execute everything we wanted to," said McColl.

"We did string a few phases together, but at times we couldn't hold on to our ball due to lapses in concentration."

Despite starting with a number of key players on the bench, Hong Kong got quickly into stride when scrumhalf Kenneth Hsieh, the smallest man on the field, spotted a gap and ran 20 metres untouched to score by the post.

Hong Kong led 32-6 at the break with further tries to Sebastian Alfonsi, Ian Ridgeway, Megaw and Nick Hewson. Megaw completed his double, and tries to Salom Yiu Kam-shing and Alex Baddeley with flyhalf Mike Glancy adding four conversions and a penalty saw Hong Kong cross the half-century mark. But at least half a dozen chances were lost.

"We need to work on our composure. We were too eager to score tries and it cost us," McColl said.

It has been a harsh entry for UAE into the realms of world rugby. Having served an apprenticeship of one season after being divorced from the former Arabian Gulf, a collection of all the seven emirates, the UAE were handed full membership on the International Rugby Board only a fortnight ago.

Three days ago, they were thrashed 94-3 by Belgium in their first international game since getting an official world ranking - 96 - and things did not get any better against Hong Kong.

"If someone had asked me if I would settle for a 50-something scoreline before the game, I would have said yes. It is certainly better than getting 90 points posted on us. We saw a marked improvement out there tonight," said UAE coach Duncan Hall.

Meanwhile Belgium, the top-ranked team in the tournament, also remained unbeaten with an unconvincing 28-11 victory over Zimbabwe in a scrappy game.