Salom Yiu spearheads Valley’s victory at The Rock
Sevens winger scores two spectacular tries as his team of marauders overwhelm Hong Kong Scottish
Forget Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery in the Hollywood version of The Rock, for yesterday at Shek Kip Mei, the namesake bastion of Hong Kong Scottish was stormed by Salom Yiu Kam-shing and his fellow marauders from WhichWay Valley.
The Hong Kong sevens star showed his lethal skills with a couple of superbly taken tries either side of halftime to lead Valley to a resounding 36-23 bonus-point win over Hong Kong Scottish, who also conceded the Broony Quaich after holding it for just one week.
Yiu proved he is probably the best finisher in the Paul Y Premiership as he twice dismantled the defence with consummate ease, zig-zagging his way past clutching would-be tacklers to help Valley grab five crucial points and stay close on the heels of leaders Leighton Asia HKCC.
The Hong Kong winger's first try saw him handle twice after a nice interchange of passes with Paddy Kirkland. His second effort was more solo as he breezed past three defenders in a 40-metre burst. Then Yiu added the icing on the cake, creating Valley's fifth try late in the match for substitute Ryan Meacheam.
The brace took Yiu's total this season to seven and right to the top of the try-scoring stakes. Two of Valley's other tries were also scored by the backs, Max Woodward opening the scoring in the fifth minute and fullback Meacheam's try. The only try scored by the forwards came from substitute Tony Wong, who stuck his hand up from a drive over the line.
"Our aim was to control the ball and control the game," said Valley coach Mike Diamond. "We chose to play an expansive game but the hard yards were done upfront, and it was the forwards who laid down the foundation."
It was a special night for Diamond. He was a close friend of the late Iain "Broony" Brown, in whose name Hong Kong's version of the Ranfurly Shield had been donated, and it was a poignant moment as he was handed the silverware which Valley won for the first time this season.
"We played golf together and we were close. This means a lot to me," Diamond said. "I will go back tonight and put it on Facebook that the Broony Quaich is in our hands."
The way Valley dominated the park, it seems as if the silverware will remain with them for a long time. "Everything seemed to come together," said a pleased Kirk Munro, scrumhalf and captain for the day.
That was hardly the case for their opponents who struggled to string together any sustained periods of pressure owing to their inability to secure possession, turning it over time and again. It was a huge disappointment for a side who only last week recorded a solid win over Abacus Kowloon.
"We couldn't back it up and it is frustrating," said Hong Kong Scottish fullback Dave Whiteford. "We should have kept it tight but they scored every time they got into our half. We did well to come back after conceding two early tries but they were too good."
John Aikman and Adrian Griffiths touched down for Scottish to level the scores at 14-14 at the break. Danny Kroll kept his side in the game briefly with his kicking, but Valley enterprise and Ben Rimene's boot meant The Rock was breached.
The victory keeps Valley in second place in the standings, two points behind leaders Leighton Asia HKCC who scored a 45-17 bonus-point victory over Borrelli Walsh Tigers at Aberdeen Sports Ground.
It was a rampant display from Hong Kong Cricket Club who ran in seven tries. Brothers Josh and Joe Li were in the thick of the action scoring one each, with Angus Cameron, Moses Bailey, Bill Brant, Alex McQueen and Brad Raper also getting in on the scoresheet. Cameron added four conversions to take his tally to 13.
HKCC led 33-0 at the break, with all of the Tigers points coming in the second half through tries from Rob Cleary, Nathan Watts and Dennis Chang.
In the final Premiership game of the day, Newedge Club won 27-17 to hand Abacus Kowloon their second consecutive defeat.
Club’s victory lifts them to the third in the league table with 23 points, six off league leaders HKCC and four points behind Valley. Kowloon drop to fourth on 19 points, followed by Hong Kong Scottish on 11. Borrelli Walsh Tigers are in sixth place overall with one point.