Women's Rugby World Cup 2017

Gutsy Hong Kong fall 98-0 to relentless Canada in Women’s Rugby World Cup opener

Jo Hull’s side show fight throughout but are no match for the world’s third-ranked side

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 5:07am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:43pm

Hong Kong were gutsy and determined until the end but it counted for little on the scoreboard as their Women’s Rugby World Cup opener ended in a 98-0 loss to Canada.

There was nothing Hong Kong could do to stop the might of the world’s third-ranked side, who ran in tries at will and controlled the game from the outset.

Whether in the scrum or in general play, Canada rumbled forward and used their muscle to deprive Hong Kong of territory.

“They were just relentless, but I think we fought all the way through,” Hong Kong coach Jo Hull said.

“That’s the reality, we are 98 points behind the third best team in the world. We made some silly mistakes, which we will obviously look at, and it’s hard to play when you don’t have the ball, but we fought for the entire game.”

While Hong Kong were willing, it quickly became clear it was going to be one-way traffic and the score was 19-0 after just 14 minutes, with Canada dominating the scrum and ensuring Hull’s side were starved of front-foot ball.

Winger Magali Harvey was in everything for Canada and racked up three first-half tries – on her way to five for the match – as her side coasted to a 46-0 half-time lead.

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Canada hit the ground running after the break as Hong Kong seemed to tire, with the scoreline rocketing to 65-0 after 50 minutes.

Hull’s side refused to lie down, however, and managed to slow the scoring at times in the last half hour.

“I think our subs came on and made a difference and I think it’s a testament to our character today,” Hull said.

“It’s the reality of where we are, we’re at a World Cup, we’re trying our hardest and I’m proud of them.”

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There were some positives for Hong Kong – the line-out worked well in patches and they battled hard at the breakdown.

“There were periods where we turned them over, we turned them over at the breakdown a couple of times and we forced some mistakes,” Hull said.

“They’re wins for us and I think we did match them in some areas, but it is difficult to play with your scrum going backwards.

“Fair play to Canada, they were excellent, they were clinical, they’ve got very athletic ball carriers and they deserved that win today.”

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Natasha Olson-Thorne and Amelie Seure threatened the Canada defence at times, while winger Chong Ka-yan copped a number of heavy hits but kept on fighting.

Experienced winger Aggie Poon Pak-yan felt the force of the onslaught as much as anyone, limping off at half time and not returning after the break, leaving her in some doubt for Sunday’s clash with New Zealand.