Valley and Cricketers resume bitter rivalry as HKRU Premiership heats up
HKCC back rower Ben Davey is looking forward to facing his former team-mates for the first time since switching teams
Valley and Hong Kong Cricket Club clash on Saturday in the most anticipated match of the season thus far, and one person who knows plenty about the rivalry between the two powerhouses is back rower Ben Davey.
After a season with Valley in 2014-15, Davey headed home to London to finish his degree in business management with the intention of returning to Hong Kong as soon as possible.
Rather than heading back to Valley on his return, circumstance saw Davey join Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC) this season and he has been one of their best performers in the opening three rounds of the Hong Kong Rugby Union Premiership.
“I had a really good year at Valley then went back to London because I had to get the degree done,” Davey said.
“I definitely wanted to come back and there just happened to be an opportunity at Cricket Club.
“They’re both good teams and there was an opportunity to play back in Hong Kong and I went for the one at Cricket Club.”
Davey knows Valley are the team to beat after four consecutive grand championships and will see the league’s biggest rivalry from the other side of the fence this weekend, although he is not too nervous about meeting his former teammates.
“I’m hoping it will be nice,” Davey said. “I’m looking forward to it to be honest. I still keep in touch with a lot of them and it will just be nice to see the boys again.”
The rematch of last seasons grand championship decider sees an undefeated Valley meet a HKCC side that has had a less than ideal start to the season, with an first-up victory followed by two losses.
HKCC will be desperate not to lose touch with Valley at the top and Davey knows he and his team will have to be on their game, with the likes of Ed Rolston and Matt Rosslee two players they must silence.
“The key for us is that we just have to manage that breakdown,” he said.
“We just have to focus on winning that key area and hopefully from that get some ball to play with.
“I’m sure it will be a good game.”
HKCC coach Kevin West knows his side’s next win is not far away.
“We haven’t been too far off the mark so far and at this early stage of the season we are still focusing on getting our game right,” West said.
“They have started the season well and we are expecting them to be hot around the contact area. They have been moving the ball well.”
The other men’s matches see Natixis HKFC take on the in-form Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers, while Kowloon and Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish lock horns in search of their second win of the season.
In the KPMG Women’s Premiership, CPM Gai Wu Falcons play Comvita City Sparkle, SCAA Causeway Bay Phoenix host Natixis HKFC Ice and Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers tackle Kowloon.
Falcons have had an emphatic start to the season, confirming their status as one of the top contenders for league and grand championship honours.