Through tears and laughter, fuelled by beer and memories, the Hong Kong Football Club yesterday turned out in force to do what members lost in the Bali bomb blast would have wanted - play rugby. The ranks of the teams that lost members were swollen by dozens of retired players who pulled on their boots and jerseys for the first time in years to take to the field. Hundreds of supporters brought their children to watch the day's games, cheering the club's teams with standing ovations as they left the field, regardless of the scores. The scene at the club, packed with life both on and off the field, was a world away from the bombed-out devastation of what was once the Sari Club in Bali. But before every game yesterday, the crowds stood still for a minute's silence, marked either end by a referee's whistle, to remember the players who could not be there. Clive Walton's widow, Ariane, took her husband's place in the line-up for the Select team - for which he played fly half - alongside other bereaved family members. A child's voice rang out to ask why everything was so quiet. No one could give her a real answer. Nine people associated with either Hong Kong or the touring side are missing, and two have been confirmed dead. Five of these were serving or former members of the Select team. One of the referees of the match was Barrie King, who was in the Sari Club when the bomb exploded but who escaped with cuts and burst eardrums. Earlier, another team, the Sequins, held a tearful ceremony in honour of engineer Tom 'Tommy' Holmes, 39, whose No 15 jersey they have retired. Holmes, described as an avid sportsman with '200 per cent confidence', will not only be missed by the Sequins - one rugby team could not satisfy his appetite for the game so he played for several. The full back was one of the first to sign up for the Vandals' tour to Bali. 'He never shied away from life. He played one, two, three games in a day. He epitomised life. He was everything,' tearful team-mate Michael Lamb said. Sequins captain Keith Nicolle also wept as he asked team members to sign two No 15 jerseys, which the players plan to frame and send to Holmes' family. Players said there had been some debate during the week about whether to go ahead with the matches, but they decided that was what those who lost their lives in the tragedy would have wanted. 'It has been a very difficult time. There's been a lot of emotion. There's been a lot of anger, but the guys genuinely wanted to get on with the job of playing rugby,' said Donough Foley, a club member co-ordinating communications. One of the players, Aiden Whiteman, said playing had been difficult: 'It wasn't like a normal game. It was hard to concentrate knowing what the occasion was, but, to a certain extent, it made me more focused.' An e-mail from another player which was stuck to a wall in the clubhouse - an impromptu shrine to those who died - expressed mixed feelings about playing. 'On the one hand, I'm finding it difficult to build any enthusiasm for the game at the moment. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to allow . . . terrorism of this nature to achieve any flicker of achievement by disrupting normal life,' it read.