Hong Kong looking to regroup after Kenya A punish ‘rustiness and inaccuracies’
Despite a torrential downpour delaying the start of play and his side succumbing 24-18, Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones was quick to look for positives after Tuesday night’s friendly against Kenya A in Nairobi.
Jones admitted to seeing some rust in his charges, but was pleased with many aspects of the game.
“We controlled the first half,” he said. “We created two or three chances but didn’t finish them off. Liam Owens came on at fly-half and played very well and young Hugo [Stiles] at fullback showed the class he has.
“The experiment of coming here and looking at guys under test pressure, we got a lot from it.”
Hong Kong started well enough to lead 11-10 at the half – with winger Conor Hartley crossing for Hong Kong – but two breakaway tries early in the second half gave the hosts the ascendancy.
“We looked like a team that hadn’t played together, coming off a summer break with the resulting rustiness and inaccuracies,” Jones said.
“It can be understandable but it isn’t acceptable.”
Saturday’s test match against Kenya will present an even tougher task for Hong Kong, one that may be made more difficult by potential injuries to hooker Ben Roberts and captain Nick Hewson.
“Now we'll regroup and look to improve some of our accuracy issues for the test,” Jones said.
“It was pretty much textbook in many ways to what we said pre-tour. If we slip off the tackles these guys have the pace and power to hurt us and that proved to be the case.”
Jack Parfitt scored Hong Kong’s second-half try, while Jason Kjestrup booted two penalties for the match.