Hong Kong lacrosse coach hails ‘valuable’ South Korea trip midway through World Championship programme

Scott Browning’s men’s team lose 9-4 to Australia at Asia-Pacific Championship on Jeju island on Tuesday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 June, 2017, 7:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 12:25pm

Men’s coach Scott Browning hailed Hong Kong’s competitive experience at the Asia-Pacific Championship as “valuable” with the regional lacrosse tournament the midway point in a two-year plan on the road to next year’s World Championship.

Browning’s men suffered a 9-4 defeat by Australia on Tuesday having led 4-3 at half-time in Seogwipo, with the loss following Monday’s 13-3 defeat by Japan and opening 19-2 win over China at the six-team tournament on Jeju island in South Korea.

Hong Kong have to wait until 2018 for their next World Lacrosse Championship, which will be held in Israel, having finished 21st out of the 38 teams in Denver in 2014.

“I am extremely proud of the guys over the last three days with big games against China, then Japan and now Australia. The players left everything on the field and we need to now regroup. This competitive experience at the ASPAC tournament is so valuable to us and we are looking forward to great games in the coming days,” said Browning.

“Overall, we were able to play even with Australia for more than half of the game, but unable to keep it going in the second half.”

Hong Kong continue their campaign against hosts South Korea on Wednesday.

“We had another great performance from our team. We had a very good start to the game controlling possession and momentum early. We scored first and traded goals during the whole first half,” added Browning.

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“The second half continued as a hard battle on every possession both ways, but Australia pulled ahead by one then two and we were unable to regain the momentum in a back and forth game.

“We were unlucky in hitting a couple of goal posts. In the fourth quarter we had to take chances and pressed hard to get the ball, allowing Australia to score a couple of more late in the game.”

Hong Kong’s women, who play their World Cup next month in England, were also back in action on Tuesday and lost 26-3 to regional heavyweights Japan, with coach Travis Taylor using the match as a chance to hand several players their first start at international level.

“We were able to play a lot of our newer players in the game, so a lot of players got their first international experience which means a bright future,” said Taylor, after Hong Kong suffered a third defeat of the tournament following earlier losses to New Zealand and South Korea.

Coach Travis Taylor upbeat despite Hong Kong’s defeat in Asia-Pacific lacrosse opener

“The new players looked like they got a lot of confidence from the game and they learned a lot from it.

“It wasn’t about getting better for the World Cup, it was about giving our younger players into their first games.”