Valley crush Kowloon in Premiership
French stars play key roles in five-try romp over the defending champions
C'est magnifique! When French flair, New Zealand structure and local determination come together it makes for a potent mix as WhichWay Valley showed on Saturday as they condemned defending league champions Abacus Kowloon to a morale-crushing 38-5 defeat.
Over the years, Valley have always had a close relationship with everything French, and this season is no different with No 8 Thomas Lamboley, scrum half Khrist Kopetzky and winger Jean-Baptitse Aldige playing key roles as Valley took a commanding step up the Paul Y Engineering Premiership standings with a five-try romp.
"We try to play with French flair but it is difficult because everything is very structured here in the New Zealand fashion. But we are enjoying it, especially when we win like this ," said Lamboley, who scored one of the five tries as Valley kept their unbeaten record.
Winger Salom Yiu Kam-shing also touched down to take his tally this season to five while Aldige Reece Hamon and Nick Hewson also scored in a game that sparked to life for Valley only in the second half after they were held to a 10-0 lead at the break by a spirited Kowloon defence.
"We didn't rock up and lapses in concentration cost us today," said disappointed Kowloon coach James Brooks. "This league is improving and there are no easy games and we have to play 80 minutes of rugby rather than just 40."
But Brooks was perhaps being a tad harsh on his players for it was no easy task trying to stop Gallic flair and New Zealand invention. The sweeping performance brought back sweet memories to veteran Valley supporters Jamie Scott and John Barrett.
"Valley have always had a French connection from the early days, ever since we had a French bank sponsor us soon after we were formed in 1975," Scott said.
Barrett added: "We have had many great French players turning out for us like Didier Lenoir and this new guy [Lamboley] seems to be another in that long line of French stars for Valley."
Lamboley, who played for Toulouse Academy, is playing his first season in Hong Kong and has already made an impact on and off the field. He is one of the organisers behind this coming Saturday's Natixis Cup between French Top 14 sides Toulouse and Metro Racing at Aberdeen Stadium.
In other games, Leighton Asia HKCC defeated Newdege Club 22-8, while Hong Kong Scottish beat Borrelli Walsh Tigers 62-10.