Hong Kong fade late in disappointing first-up Nations Cup loss to Swaziland

After jumping out of the blocks to lead for much of the first half, Robin Manihera’s side fall away to go down 48-36

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 10:28pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 10:28pm

Hong Kong battled hard but ultimately came up short in their opening game in the Nations Cup in Singapore, falling to Swaziland 48-36 despite a strong start.

Hong Kong looked the more likely side early on, linking up well and keeping the scoreboard ticking over on their way to a 12-8 quarter-time lead.

However, Swaziland got on top in the second term to take a 20-19 advantage into half-time on the back of some impressive footwork and clinical passing.

Hong Kong stuck to the task in the second half and were within four in the last quarter, but faded late.

“Despite what was a disappointing loss, there are plenty of positives we can take away from the game and we have just got to shake it off and get ready for the Cook Islands, who will be physical just like Swaziland,” Hong Kong co-captain Kate Jolly said.

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Wing defence Mandy Tai led the way for Hong Kong with a consistent effort throughout, goalkeeper Natassia Brakenridge was solid in defence and Michelle Arkell had her radar on up front.

Cook Islands will enter Monday’s clash with Hong Kong full of confidence after a comprehensive 69-35 win over Malaysia, while hosts Singapore suffered an agonising 54-53 opening-day loss to Ireland.