2019 Rugby World Cup Repechage: Hong Kong must-win against Kenya and get help from Germany and Canada
- Hong Kong men’s rugby team head into their second game of the repechage tomorrow in Marseille in a win or go home scenario
- Although not yet eliminated, their chances of advancing are slim
Losing to Germany in the first game of the repechage was definitely not part of the game plan for Hong Kong’s men’s 15s side, and now the team needs Lady Luck to help them advance to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Their second game against Kenya who are ranked 29th, starts at 8pm Saturday (Hong Kong time) is a must-win for the team, and will be streamed live at the Hong Kong Rugby Union link below.
Hong Kong are now ranked 24th (they dropped three spots after losing to Germany, who gained three spots and now sit at 26th). Canada jumped two spots to 21st after their 65-19 defeat of Kenya, who dropped one spot after the loss.
Hong Kong currently have zero points heading into their match against Kenya, who also have zero points. Germany, who beat Hong Kong in the first game 26-9, have four points, and Canada have five points (they got a bonus point for scoring four or more tries).
There’s countless scenarios that could play out given teams also get one point for losing by seven or less and two for a tie. Hong Kong would benefit most from a tie in the Germany versus Canada game, and a win over Kenya by four or more tries to nab a bonus point.
Hong Kong’s fate, if not yet sealed after this weekend, will still rest on them beating Canada on November 23 in the final game of the repechage.
Coach Andrew Hall noted in a post-match video they did not step up at the right times against Germany.
“The key learnings from the last match: first of all we’ve got to take our chances. We had three or four clear opportunities to score, and we didn’t take them, so that was the first key learning.
“Upfront, our set pieces faulted more than we’re used to, so just pressing the importance of getting our foundation right.”
Hall added Kenya are a much different team than the European side who came into the repechage as relatives unknowns.
“There’s a bit of contrast from our preparation from Germany to Kenya, the Germans were a bit more structured in how they play, a driving element to their play where as the Kenyans, they love the broken field, they love when the game goes to chaos.”
“So we’ve got to be weary of that and we’ve got to try and reduce that threat, knowing from one to 15 that they can score from anywhere at anytime, but not forgetting that they can also drive as well. They’re big strong men, so we’ve got to be on our metal in that area of the game.”
Kick-off for Germany versus Canada goes after at 11pm (Hong Kong time).
Where can I watch the game in Hong Kong?
The game will be screened at McSorley’s Brewhouse & Grills in Elements and TST; McSorley’s Ale Houses in Soho, Central and Discovery Bay; The Jockey in Happy Valley and Studio 31 in Central.