Women’s Rugby

Spain’s size and pace prove too much for Hong Kong women in first overseas test match

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 December, 2015, 6:09am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2015, 9:07pm

Spain’s women’s national 15s team beat Hong Kong 57-0 in Madrid Saturday to sweep the visiting team’s first-ever overseas series after the European hosts had clinched a friendly warm-up match 59-12 on Tuesday.

Despite a far-from-flattering score-line in Saturday’s official World Rugby test match, Hong Kong’s women delivered a much-improved performance but found themselves outplayed as they conceded nine unanswered tries.

Spain entertained their home support with 80 minutes of frenzied physicality in a game that was played at admirable pace by both sides. And while Hong Kong’s attack was stymied, the whole team committed to the defensive effort.

Spain have been a huge learning and development opportunity for the team and we will use this as a starting point for the 2016 Asian championships
Coach Jo Hull

Spain ultimately proved too big, too fast and too skilful – underscoring the gap between the two teams with the 10th-ranked Europeans having played in several Women’s Rugby World Cup competitions and more than 120 tests matches.

They brought all their size, physicality and speed into the match against Hong Kong, who prior to the kick-off were ranked 21st in World Rugby’s global rankings .

Spain’s unrelenting onslaught made Hong Kong’s determined defensive display that much more impressive on the day with prime offensive threat Aggie Poon Pak-yan sidelined by injury.

Captain Chow Mei-nam led from the front but her inspirational effort was cut short by injury in the first half as some of the team’s more recognisable stars had relatively quiet afternoons.“We improved both individually and collectively from the first game to [Saturday], in particular our defence in the tighter channels as well as our overall game structure,” said head coach Jo Hull.

“Spain have been a huge learning and development opportunity for the team and we will use this as a starting point for the 2016 Asian championships and build from there.

“I’m proud of the players. They showed great character and a real understanding of what is required to play at this level. While we did show some improvement match to match, this week has been useful to highlight what is needed in the longer-term for us to play at this level,” Hull added.