Rugby World Cup Repechage 2019: Hong Kong’s ‘dream is still alive’ heading into Canada match
- Leigh Jones’ men face daunting task against Canada
- Crunch clash in Marseille decides who goes to Tokyo 2019
Hong Kong know exactly what they need to do in their final game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup Repechage in Marseille, France – win big or the dream dies.
The match starts at 4am Hong Kong time on Saturday morning, and can be watched exclusively at the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s live stream below.
With five points, Hong Kong need to score four tries against Canada (10 points), which would earn them a bonus point.
Leigh Jones’ men also have to win by more than seven points to deny Canada a bonus point.
Teams get four points for a win, and if Hong Kong earn five points it would mean, according to the repechage rule book, that the tournament would go down to head-to-head.
Prop Jack Parfitt said the win against Kenya in their second game was “massive” after Hong Kong’s disappointing loss to Germany in their opening test.
“In terms of the camp this week it gave us a bit of purpose, the dream is still alive,” said the 26-year-old, who got his first cap back in 2014. Parfitt said an upset win over Canada would be one for Hong Kong rugby’s history books.
“It would be a tremendous achievement, all that hard work and dedication that we’ve put in over these years,” he said.
Parfitt is joined by his brother Michael, who plays flanker and got his first cap in 2016. The 24-year-old said Canada, who have scored 94 points in two games, are lethal offensively.
The team are led by back DTH van der Merwe, who plays for Glasgow Warriors in the Pro14 league, and the steady hand of veteran Phil Mack, who slots in at scrum half.
“There’s no denying that they’ve got some good set pieces,” Parfitt said. “They’re a very skilful team with a lot of international players who play in leagues overseas.”
Second row Finlay Field said the team are trying to “work out where [Canada’s] weaknesses are and focusing on how we can exploit those weaknesses”.
The winner of the repechage will snag the final spot in next year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan, though will go into a group containing New Zealand and South Africa.
Kenya, who are also eliminated, play Germany before, which starts at 1am Hong Kong time.