Hong Kong Rugby Union

Samoan-born Taumafi Komiti looks at home at third Hong Kong club as Valley sneak home on Super Saturday

The 29-year-old scores a try in his first start for the club’s Premiership side as the season gets underway with a bang

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 8:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 11:38pm

It’s no secret Societe Generale Valley have a knack of getting the best out of their players and it looks like dashing winger Taumafi Komiti may have found his niche at his third Hong Kong club.

The 29-year-old was lively as Valley’s will to win was again on display in their 24-21 victory over the Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers on the Old Mutual International Men’s Premiership’s season-opening Super Saturday.

Komiti, who was born in Samoa but grew up in Melbourne, spent two years at Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC before joining Bloomberg HK Scottish.

“First I was at Cricket Club when Deacon [Manu] was coach, I’ve got huge respect for Deacon,” he said. “I’m also part Fijian and Deacon was Fijian captain at one point, he helped bring me over.

“I was there for two seasons and then I thought I’d try something new. I started last season with Scottish and made the mid-season switch [to Valley].

“Scottish have got a solid midfield, I was on the wing for a bit but struggled for a bit of game time.

“If I was looking for game time this was probably the wrong club to come to, I knew it was going to be tough but Ned [Valley coach Andrew Kelly] showed me some faith so I just wanted to reward that and give it everything.”

It was Komiti’s first start in Valley’s Premiership side after spending last season playing with the club’s Knights team in the second division and he’s enjoying being involved with the club’s throng of stars.

“I have got some good heads around me, obviously Ross [Matt Rosslee] is a solid player and we have got a lot of Hong Kong guys in the squad,” Komiti said. “We ground it out, it was a tough start. Tigers were solid and they really pushed us.

Kelly praised Komiti’s contribution, saying the club prides itself on giving every player the chance to shine.

“Because we have had a few guys leave he stepped up and he has been really good for us, he was brilliant,” Kelly said.”

“I think we just give everyone a shot, we don’t put people in a bracket at all. We just let people have a crack and see how they go. All of the guys buy into that and when people do well they keep their place.”

Former Connacht prop Brett Wilkinson looking to impart knowledge gained from Irish rugby legends in HKCC role

Valley were forced to work hard for victory after the Tigers had the upper hand in the first half and led 11-9 at the break, with second-half tries to Komiti and scrum half Ruan Duplooy seeing them home.

“We knew we had some pace and fitness to come off the bench and we just stuck with it,” Kelly said.

“I think they put us under a lot of pressure and they will probably feel like they could have had that game, which is fair enough.”

New Tigers’ coach Sam Hocking got his first look at things from the sideline after playing for the club for the past three seasons and is keen for his charges to limit the penalties they concede going forward.

Hong Kong Premiership adopts more meaningful structure in preparation for World Rugby’s new residency rules

“It was a good first half, I thought we probably left a few points out there to be honest and they lived of our mistakes in that first half and we gave them nine easy points,” he said.

Later in the afternoon, Scottish edged HKCC 43-35 in a free-flowing encounter and Natixis HKFC shocked Kowloon 19-10, while the KPMG Women’s Premiership saw the Tai Po Dragons knock off Kowloon 12-10 and Gai Wu romp home 32-5 against HKFC.