Women's Rugby World Cup 2017

No respite for Hong Kong after Canada World Cup thrashing as ‘10 per cent tougher’ match against New Zealand looms

Bruised and battered tournament debutants have only three days to prepare for their next match in Ireland after 98-0 defeat in Dublin opener

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 10:45pm

Still licking their wounds from a ruthless 98-0 whipping at the hands of Canada at the Women’s Rugby World Cup, Hong Kong must brush themselves off quickly ahead of Sunday’s clash with New Zealand in Ireland.

With only three days between games following Wednesday’s opening defeat in Dublin by the 2014 runners-up, Jo Hull’s bruised and battered tournament debutants don’t have long to prepare to face a New Zealand side who opened their pool A campaign with a 44-12 win over Wales.

“New Zealand are the second best team in the world, so I expect it to be another 10 per cent tougher,” said Hull.

“They’ve got a tough game against Wales under their belt and I expect them to come out and be very clinical.”

While Hull’s side showed plenty of fight in their encounter with Canada, they were no match for their bigger and stronger opponents and Hong Kong conceded 16 tries, while struggling to create scoring opportunities of their own.

“It’s about trying to stop their momentum at the source, we let Canada gather momentum and as soon as you let teams like this gather momentum you’re in trouble,” Hull added.

“It will be about trying to stop them earlier and putting them on the ground and stopping them being able to play. We can’t afford to give teams like this space.”

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

Hong Kong are making their World Cup debut in Ireland, while Canada lost the 2014 final to England and New Zealand finished fifth in France.

“I think we will take a lot from it,” said Hull. “They showed me how tough and resilient they can be and I think that will prepare us for what is to come on Sunday.”

Hull has an ally in Canada coach Francois Ratier, who feels Hong Kong are capable of improvement as the tournament progresses.

“Hong Kong are well coached so I’m sure they are going to learn a lot from this,” he said. “They are going to improve if they continue to play with this heart.

Hong Kong enlist help of Ireland legend Gordon D’Arcy as coach Jo Hull says they won’t be overawed by World Cup occasion

“Hong Kong were very courageous, to be honest, they were always in our face and always trying to tackle and trying to fight.”

Watch: Canada 98-0 Hong Kong highlights