Valley make it seven in a row as Kowloon grab their first Premiership win this season
HKCC’s narrow loss to Valley compounded by injuries to winger Tom McQueen and fly-half Gus Cameron
A hard season for Leighton Asia Hong Kong Cricket Club got even tougher on Saturday after a nail-biting 21-16 loss to unbeaten Societe Generale Valley, while bottom-placed Sabre Kowloon got their first win this term with a surprise 33-19 romp over Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers.
HKCC's narrow defeat at King's Park was compounded by injuries to key playmakers – including winger Tom McQueen (shoulder) and fly-half Gus Cameron (ankle fracture) – though they did earn a bonus point for keeping the losing margin below seven points.
Valley jumped out to a 15-3 lead by half-time after an early try from fullback Ryan Meachem was converted by Ben Rimene. Winger Dominic Jacobson crossed over for their second try.
Tempers started to flare in the second half, with the sin-bin chair kept warm by Valley flanker Tom Broughton, followed by team-mates Adam Campbell and Toby Fenn.
Fullback Jason Kjestrup converted the penalty after Fenn's sin-binning to pull HKCC to within two points at 15-13, but they were unable to add points with a two-man advantage.
Campbell's return coincided with a Valley penalty struck by reserve back Nicholas Holton, extending Valley's lead to 18-13 with 12 minutes remaining.
Valley's defence held strong despite working hard to cover for the players in the bin. Ultimately, Valley conceded another late penalty to HKCC with Kjestrup's successful kick bringing the score to 18-16 with HKCC pressing for the comeback win.
But with the pressure came an error and a penalty for Valley in the 75th minute allowed them to escape with a 21-16 victory and extend their run of victories to seven matches.
In the late game at King's Park, Kowloon romped home against USRC Tigers, with fly-half Dan Fleming accounting for 18 of his team's points in a 33-19 win. Fleming's opposite number Liam Gallagher kicked all of Tigers points.As the Kowloon players celebrated their first win of the season, a win which unseated Tigers from second spot in the HKRU Premiership standings, coach James Scaysbrook spoke of the club's performance on the night and their growing self-belief.
"Physically we worked well as a group and did very well around the contact area, the best we have done this season. Everyone played their part and worked together well as a unit and we defended and scrimmaged well," he said.
“We’ve felt the potential in the group for a few weeks now. We have been creating opportunities it was just that tonight we were able to put a couple of them away.”
At Sports Road, Natixis HKFC pulled off an impressive 25-20 win over Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish to move into second spot in the table on 17 points, 13 behind runaway leaders Valley and one point in front of Scottish and Tigers who are tied third.