Spanish juniors bid adiós to Hong Kong in their World U20s opener
An experienced Hong Kong junior side were beaten 44-8 by European champions Spain on Tuesday in the opening round of the 2016 World Rugby U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe.
Using their driving maul to good effect, Los Leones were on the front foot for the majority of the contest and out-scored Hong Kong six tries to one.
Early tries from wingers Jordi Jorba Jorge and Samual Parry saw Spain race to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. A determined defensive effort led by Hong Kong fullback Liam Owens kept them at bay for the remainder of the half before captain Jon Zabala barged over from close range.
Just three minutes into the second period Parry earned his second, but play slowed as both sides brought on a number of replacements and there was no further scoring until centre Andréa Rabagao strode through a large gap in midfield to make it 34-0 with 20 minutes remaining.Rabagao added a penalty after an infringement at the breakdown, but a Matt Worley try finally put Hong Kong on the scoreboard though there was still time for the Spaniards to add a sixth try with José Lerin supplying the finish.
“We started well and put Spain under early pressure but a couple of defensive errors led to some early tries,” Hong Kong U20s coach Peter Drewett said.
“We worked hard to compete with the large Spanish forwards but found it difficult to secure quality set-piece possession,” he added.
Spain won the eight-team European U19 championships last November to qualify for their first World Rugby U20 Trophy, beating Romania 24-3 in the final after dismissing Germany in the quarter-finals and Russia in the semis.
“The great thing about tournaments like this is that we have a chance to go out and improve upon our performance in three days time against the USA,” Drewett said, referring to Hong Kong’s match against the USA on Saturday.