Women’s ARC

Asia Rugby Championship 2016

Hong Kong women outmuscled and outclassed by Japan in regional opener

Top-tier Asian women’s contest kicks off with 39-3 loss for the hosts against a slick Sakura 15

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 May, 2016, 5:04pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 May, 2016, 8:09pm

It’s back to the drawing board for Hong Kong women’s coach Jo Hull after her team were outmuscled and outclassed by a slick Japan outfit in the opening match of the 2016 Women’s Asia Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Hosts Hong Kong entered the game looking to play with freedom and flair but were not allowed to find their groove in a 39-3 loss at Hong Kong Football Club.

“This is our first game in a very long year so we’ll keep working,” Hull said.

“We’ve got to go back now and we’ve got to start putting some substance behind the words that we use.”

There were some positives for Hong Kong and Hull was impressed with the work of her young players, in particular Sharon Tsang Shin-yuen.

The home side kept Japan scoreless for the first 30 minutes of the second half after trailing 22-3 at the break, defending resolutely.

“That second half particularly we started to play some of our patterns,” said Hull. “I’m really proud of these girls, nothing changes.”

Aggie Poon Pak-yan scored Hong Kong’s three points, slotting a penalty late in the first-half, while the Sakura 15s fullback and captain Ai Tasaka impressed with a brace of tries and two conversions.

Five other Japanese players crossed over in the seven-try rout – inside centre Miki Terauchi, wings Honoka Tsutsumi and Eriko Hirano, number eight Misaki Suzuki and lock Ai Hyugaji.