Disappointed Valley in half-baked homecoming
Hong Kong Scottish lift themselves from bottom with dogged performance in first draw of season
It was a less than joyous homecoming for WhichWay Valley on their redone home turf yesterday, with stubborn resistance from Hong Kong Scottish resulting in the first drawn game of the season in the Paul Y Engineering Premiership.
Flyhalf Danny Kroll knocked over six penalties to enable Hong Kong Scottish to win their first points this season and haul themselves away from the bottom of the standings after the hard-fought 18-18 draw at the new artificially turfed Valley venue.
"Everyone thought we would be pushovers after we lost our opening two games, but we showed today what we are capable of," said proud Hong Kong Scottish flanker Craig Hammond. "It was far from our best, not an 80-minute performance, but we will take it."
Valley, returning to their home ground after two seasons of nomadic existence, struggled to find fluency and had to rely on the boots of scrumhalf Khrist Kopetzky, who knocked over four penalties and two conversions from replacement flyhalf Ben Rimene, to escape with a draw.
"It is better than losing, but to be brutally honest, we have to be disappointed with this performance," Valley coach Dean Herewini said. "This result underlines the fact that what matters is how you perform on the day. This competition will be tough for anyone can win on the day, and we were not at our best today."
Abacus Kowloon continued their impressive start to the season, remaining unbeaten after three matches with a gritty 11-6 victory over Newedge Club at Sports Road, while Leighton Asia HKCC knocked out Borrelli Walsh Tigers 52-18 at King's Park.
Hong Kong sevens star Tom McQueen opened the floodgates with two early tries, but after battling to level the scores at 10-10, Tigers were blown away by the visitors. The flyhalf grabbed a personal haul of 17, including a try, as HKCC moved into second place, four points behind Kowloon (14 points).