Hong Kong head coach Chris Roden got off to a victorious start in his first international in charge as the SAR defeated Taiwan 23-13 in a friendly at So Kun Po last night. A Hong Kong select side had lost to a Taiwan select team last Sunday 37-14, but the SAR's national lineup hit form to dominate their counterparts and enjoyed a well-deserved victory in the season's first Test. 'I am delighted. We were feeling a bit down after Sunday's match, but we showed a lot of character and dominated the first half,' said New Zealander Roden, who was appointed head coach last month. 'We were 23-3 up early in the second half, but they came back with a penalty and a try but we held on. They are a fast side.' Hong Kong scored three tries through Mark Solomon, skipper Paul Dingley and speed merchant Ricky Cheuk Ming-yin. Rob Naylor converted one try, while Hong Kong kicked two penalties. Jarrad Gallagher's sending-off for an off-the-ball offence in his first international call-up just before the final whistle was the only blemish in what was a professional victory for the local side. 'We're going to be in the 15s maintenance phase as we prepare for the World Cup qualifiers in April. We have a Test in February against Singapore in Hong Kong,' said Roden. Hong Kong will play their first World Cup match against Thailand away before playing the Arabian Gulf at home. Hong Kong may play Taiwan again in the next phase of the World Cup depending on the outcome of the matches. Last Sunday, Hong Kong were 27-0 down before they replied midway through the second half. But last night, the Taiwanese visitors were held at bay for much of the match. The visitors finally made inroads in Hong Kong's defence early in the second period, but Hong Kong held on for victory despite a late onslaught by the visitors. Last night's victory gave Roden renewed confidence going into next year's World Cup qualifiers even though he admitted his side would still have to work on their discipline. 'We had one guy sin-binned and that put some pressure on us. We should work on our discipline as well, but overall I am happy with this performance and it was a good way to start. I am delighted that we won having lost on Sunday,' said Roden, who is also in charge of the national seven-a-side squad.