Hong Kong’s women ready to ‘push the boundaries’ at World Cup after securing place in Lacrosse Open final

Travis Taylor’s side secure meeting with China on Sunday after winning group with a 100 per cent record following wins over Japan’s Team Fun and Singapore on Saturday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 April, 2017, 8:42pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 11:08am

Hong Kong will head to July’s Women’s Lacrosse World Cup confident of “pushing the boundary” of their world ranking after Travis Taylor’s side secured a place in Sunday’s Hong Kong Lacrosse Open final with a 100 per cent record.

Taylor’s Hong Kong beat Japan’s Team Fun 18-1 and Singapore 19-3 on Saturday at Stanley Ho Sports Centre having already beaten Hong Kong Women’s Youth Academy and China in the five-team group stage.

And the hosts will face China in Sunday’s final in the latest part of their preparations for July’s tournament in the United Kingdom after Hong Kong finished 18th out of 19 teams at the last edition in 2013.

“I have been very pleased so far. We didn’t know what the level of competition would be like, so we just focused on the basics to get ready for the World Cup and the girls have just come out flying,” said Canadian Taylor, who has been in the position for two-and-a-half years.

“They have dealt with the heat very well with a 100 per cent record against teams who challenged us last year.”

World number 18 Hong Kong beat Sweden twice at the 2013 World Cup to finish above the Scandinavian nation overall, and this year will begin in a group containing indigenous Canadian nation Haudenosaunee, South Korea, Italy and Switzerland.

So far, so good for Hong Kong duo at Lacrosse Open

Hong Kong first head to Japan for a two-day tour at the start of June before taking part in the Asia Pacific Championship in South Korea later that month.

“We are going to be in a batch of teams from seventh in the world to 20th, so we need to find a way to beat them. If you can raise up three or four spots, it is usually a miracle and I want to push that boundary,” added Taylor, who is a former coach of the Netherlands men’s national team and most recently an assistant coach with the Slovakia men’s national team.

“They finished 18 out of 19 teams at the last World Cup, they didn’t have a very enjoyable tournament and they didn’t feel any reward for the effort they put in, and I know this team has worked harder than any other team I have ever coached, so we are looking for a reward.

“We need to compete against the emerging European teams who are putting huge resources into the game, the likes of the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia. We have in our group Italy and Switzerland, so these are the countries that have programmes like ours and we need to find a way to beat them.”

‘High expectations’ for hosts ahead of Hong Kong Lacrosse Open, says association chief

Hong Kong’s men, meanwhile, also progressed to Sunday’s final with a 100 per cent record after beating South Korea 14-3 and Beijing Sports University 12-0 on Saturday.

Scott Browning’s team, who also beat Australia’s Bayswater and Singapore in group B on Friday, will face group A winners Team JJ from Hong Kong in Sunday’s final.