Asian Five Nations 2014

Hong Kong outclass Sri Lanka in patchy A5N effort

Head coach Leigh Jones remains unconvinced that Saturday’s performance would be good enough to see off the Koreans next week

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 12:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 November, 2014, 3:51pm

Marching bands and dancing girls provided some glitz but Sri Lanka failed to shine where it mattered as Hong Kong overpowered the islanders 41-10 to remain unbeaten and on course for a repêchage spot in the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The half-time show was the only entertainment for the large home crowd in Colombo as Hong Kong dominated set pieces to enjoy plenty of possession.

We need to raise our performance levels in a number of areas
Leigh Jones

Sri Lanka were sterner opposition, yet Hong Kong will be disappointed they could manage only six tries, and this has left plenty of unanswered questions with South Korea looming next week in the Asian Five Nations.

Head coach Leigh Jones remained unconvinced that yesterday's performance would be good enough to see off the Koreans and has called for the team to lift their intensity and cut down the error rate.

"Our set piece won't win us the game next week. It has got us out of trouble the last two weeks, but we need to raise our performance levels in a number of areas," warned Jones.

Hong Kong prepare to host South Korea in a must-win game if they are to keep alive their hopes to claim the repêchage spot in the World Cup qualifiers.

Sri Lanka's plans to field three Fijians came unstuck as they could not quite complete all the paperwork.

Sri Lanka captain Namal Rajapaksa said: "We played our hearts out, but couldn't win the set pieces. Their pack outweighed us by about 100kg and it was hard."

His counterpart Nick Hewson admitted that Hong Kong should have finished better considering the abundance of possession they enjoyed.

"We need to sharpen up on catching and passing and we need to lift the intensity next week," Hewson said.

Hong Kong led 29-0 by half-time with loose-head prop Leon Wei Hon-sum grabbing a brace.

The other try scorers were Tom McColl, Matt Lamming, Hewson and Alex McQueen. Fly-half Chris McAdam kicked 11 points.

A late try by Sri Lankan centre Dhanushka Ranjan brought the biggest cheer from the crowd and it also prevented Hong Kong from finishing with a clean slate.