Valley’s perfect run ended by Club as HKCC edge Tigers in 12-try thriller
Societe Generale Valley’s perfect Premiership record was brought to a grinding halt by arch-rivals Natixis HKFC on Saturday after Matt Onesemo twice got over the line for the home side at Sports Road.
The reserve prop’s second-half brace, scored in the space of just six minutes, sealed a 20-17 win for Club who moved into a tie for second place in the standings with Leighton Asia HKCC.
HKCC finished on top Saturday – but only just – winning 42-41 after a 12-try thriller against Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers at Sandy Bay.
On a weekend of surprises, Sabre Kowloon clawed back into HKRU Premiership with a 29-0 victory over Bloomberg HK Scottish, including a 26-point second half romp to seal the King’s Park clash.
HKFC delighted their supporters as they held on for a late win over Valley.
Club struck first through the reliable boot of scrum-half Jamie Hood who slotted a penalty in the fifth minute and added a second in the 38th to keep his side within striking distance of the league champions.
Valley’s first-half points came from a try to hooker Dayne Jans with fly-half Nick Holton’s conversion and penalty giving the visitors a 10-6 lead at the break.
A tense third quarter saw no change in the scoring until “super sub” Onesemo power over twice for HKFC and Hood coolly slotted both conversions for a 20-10 lead with just 10 minutes remaining.
Valley’s band of internationals nearly came through late in the match after Hong Kong winger Salom Yiu Kam-shing scored with three minutes left and scrum-half Ben Rimene added the extras, but the HKFC defence held strong, handing Valley their first loss of the current campaign.
“Ending Valley’s streak didn’t play any part in what we were after today,” said HKFC coach Phil Bailey. “Our goal was purely three wins on the trot and they just happened to be the team in front of us.”
Valley coach Jack Isaac acknowledged his players were beaten by the better team on the day.
“They outmuscled us and we made a thousand errors,” he said. “We played pretty ordinary footy today.
“It may be a kick in the bum for us, but in any case it’s a reflection of where the teams are at now. There isn’t much difference between the teams now. I think it shows the boys that if you make mistakes like we did, you’re not going to win the tight matches.”
HKFC’s win keeps them in the thick of the race for that vital second place in the final standings – and an automatic quarter-finals bye in the Grand Championship.
Meanwhile, at least one Valley side maintained their winning run Saturday – Valley Black Ladies romped to a 71-0 win over Kowloon Ladies to stay top of the table with a 10-0 record and 48 points.
Second-placed CPM Gai Wu Falcons beat HKFC Ice 17-0, with second-half tries from Hong Kong stars Sham Wai-sum and Candy Cheng Tsz-ting keeping them in the hunt.
Teenager Lucy Ross, 17, added the icing on the cake for Falcons by scoring the first try in her HKRU Women’s Premiership debut season.
In the late women’s match on Saturday, USRC Tigers romped to a 45-0 triumph over Transact 24 Tai Po Dragon.