Hong Kong women target Japan after giving Kazakhs a big fright
Hong Kong have targeted a victory over Japan after giving top seeds Kazakhstan a big fright on the opening day of the Asian Women’s Rugby Championships at Aberdeen Sports Ground on Sunday.
Hong Kong lost 13-10 to Asia’s number one side after failing to take advantage of their numerical superiority in the opening half when the visitors had three players sin-binned.
“We did better in the first half than the second, unfortunately. I think we surprised them by how much we have improved since playing them last,” Hong Kong captain Christy Cheng Ka-chi said.
“We knew we had an advantage in our fitness and made good use of it, but we made too many mistakes in the second half.
“But it was a good result. We pushed them hard and we can now look ahead to the Japan game with confidence to beat them, given that we came so close edging the top team in Asia,” Cheng said.
Aggie Poon Pak-yan scored all of Hong Kong’s points, with a converted try and a penalty.
Hong Kong will now play Japan, who beat Singapore 37-5 in the other game.
Despite the convincing scoreline, Japan coach Goshi Aramizu is expecting improvement from his charges.
“Conditions were tough but we made too many unforced errors. We will need to eliminate those and get back to playing the expansive game we want to be successful this week,” Aramizu said.
Singapore coach Danny Tauroa said: “We struggled with the intensity of the game against Japan, but I can’t fault the spirit of the girls. We never gave up, despite being called on to defend a lot.
“We need to be prepared for more of the same versus Kazakhstan, who will be even bigger than Japan. But these are the kind of games we need. We need to learn how to compete in matches like that; to take advantage of our opportunities and play the game more in our opponents’ half.
“But it was a good experience for us and it will hold us in good stead for what is likely be a crucial game against Hong Kong on Saturday,” said Tauroa.
The second round of games is on Wednesday (May 21).