Hong Kong move to Belfast for ‘two most important games’ of Women’s Rugby World Cup
Jo Hull’s side take on Spain on Tuesday and the coach is targeting nothing less than a win during the last week of the tournament
Hong Kong have moved from Dublin to Belfast and are preparing for what coach Jo Hull has called “the two most important games” of their Women’s World Cup campaign.
With losses to heavyweights New Zealand (121-0), Canada (98-0) and Wales (39-15) in Dublin behind them, Hong Kong are in the bottom third of the draw and are playing-off for ninth spot with Spain, Japan and Italy.
Hull’s target is nothing less than a victory in the last week of the tournament, starting with eighth-ranked Spain on Tuesday.
“These next two games are the most important games,” Hull said. “They are hugely important to show that we do belong at the World Cup and that we want to continue our involvement.
“In these next two games we have got to target a win and we have got to target getting some more momentum in attack and some more points.”
Spain notched one win in pool play, defeating Italy 22-8 after going down to England (56-5) and the USA (43-0), and Hull knows it is not going to get much easier as the tournament’s lesser teams look to stake their claim for a top-10 finish.
“We’re expecting it to now become more and more physical,” she said. “All three teams are very fast teams.
“We don’t talk too much about the wins and the losses because that’s my job, the players’ job is just to get the pieces of the jigsaw right and just keep doing their job.”
Hong Kong will take confidence from their attacking efforts in the loss to Wales, in which Natasha Olson-Thorne and Chong Ka-yan scored tries.
Olson-Thorne teams up with Adrienne Garvey in the centre in a combination that will be crucial to Hong Kong’s chances against the powerful Spanish in the absence of Kelsie Bouttle.
Persistent Hong Kong finally on the board at the Women’s Rugby World Cup with two tries in 39-15 loss to Wales
Amelie Seure slots into the No 8 spot among six changes to Hong Kong’s starting 15, with Colleen Tjosvold back in the side at full back and Karen So Hoi-ting coming in at hooker.
Laurel Chor Lik-fung joins Chong on the wings and Wong Yuen-shan replaces Lau Nga-wun at loosehead prop, while Winnie Siu Wing-ni has been named on the bench after missing the clash with Wales.