Former Super Rugby player Grant Kemp calls for extra burgers after Valley’s stunning comeback
A Ben Rimene conversion on the knocker sees the four-time reigning grand champions overcome a 17-point deficit to defeat Hong Kong Cricket Club
Extra burgers are on the cards for Valley’s forwards after they stood tall in their side’s dramatic come-from-behind 31-29 win over Cricket Club, according to prop Grant Kemp.
At one point trailing by 17 points, Valley fought their way back to snatch victory after the siren courtesy of a Ben Rimene conversion.
“The highlight of the game for us was probably a seven-man scrum on our five-metre line and we kept them out, turned it over and went 90 metres for a try,” Kemp said.
“Obviously that is something that the forwards can celebrate tonight, maybe with an extra burger or something like that.”
28-year-old Kemp is in his second season at Valley and hails from South Africa, where he played Super Rugby with the Southern Kings.
His one year at the Kings was their first ever season of Super Rugby and Kemp labelled his 13 games as a “great experience”.
“I think we were the most successful new team into Super Rugby in history,” he said.
“Obviously we ended up last, had not a lot of time to prepare but a great experience nonetheless.
“The Kings had always been on the fringe of whether they were going to be in or out, so by August (2012) they decided right, they’re in and we had three or so months to prepare a team.’
Kemp is not a fan of the continued expansion of a league that now boasts 18 teams and has been heavily criticised for its unbalanced fixture, among other things.
“Super Rugby for me has lost a bit of its edge,” he said.
“I think it is outgrowing itself. I would prefer the game to go back to Super 12 and have everyone play each other once. Constant new teams dilutes the competition and we see a lot of rugby in one year.”
Tigers youngster Jason Jeyam feeling no pressure despite lavish praise from Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones
Kemp was solid in an entertaining game as Valley picked up their seventh win of the season to jump back to the top of the ladder, with a Liam Slatem charge-down that led to a Robbie MacDonald try setting the tone for HKCC early.
Slatem also found the line himself in the first half, while an Ally Maclay try for Valley dragged the margin back to 12 points at the break.
When Nick Hewson crossed after half-time and Rimene duly converted the margin was back to five points, setting the scene for Tiger Bax to score a last-gasp try and give Rimene the opportunity to snatch the game.
“Obviously last year and now this year again we have won some games we probably shouldn’t have,” Kemp said.
“It’s an incredible bunch of guys, the vibe is great, we don’t have any facilities but what makes the club is a very good bunch of people playing hard rugby for each other.”
Fullback James Love finished with 19 points for HKCC, while Rimene slotted 16 for Valley.
Elsewhere, the match between Kowloon and Bloomberg HK Scottish was also a nail-biter, with Kowloon prevailing 18-17 thanks to a late Jack Neville penalty.
Natixis HKFC found some form against Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers, coasting home 42-17.