Former Australia rugby league international Phil Bailey makes his mark as HKFC win again in Hong Kong Premiership
A 20-15 win over Tigers sees Football Club make it three wins from as many starts this season
He has represented Australia in rugby league and was the United States’ defence coach at the last rugby union World Cup and now Phil Bailey is starting to really make his mark at Natixis HKFC.
Into his third season in charge, Football Club are off to their best start of Bailey’s tenure after improving their record in the Old Mutual International Men’s Premiership to 3-0 with Saturday’s 20-15 win over the Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers.
HKFC are the only undefeated side after three rounds and look to be on track to challenge for both league and grand championship honours after a number of lean years.
“It’s massive, we set ourselves a goal and we didn’t look any farther forward than these three rounds and we have achieved that little goal,” said Bailey about his side’s unbeaten start to the season.
“Same thing now, we will just keep working in little blocks.”
The win over the Tigers was by no means easy, with Tigers working their way back into the contest after trailing 20-3.
“We made it very hard on ourselves, at 20-3 that was a game that we needed to close out,” Bailey said.
Centre Gavin Hadley and scrum half Henry Poon impressed for HKFC, with Poon and Nathan de Thierry the try scorers, while Casey Stone scored the try that brought Tigers within five points late in proceedings.
Elsewhere, Societe Generale Valley edged Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC 29-26, while Bloomberg HK Scottish dug deep to defeat Kowloon 20-16 on the back of a late try to prop Jamie Pincott.
“It was a bit of a get-out-of-jail card but its good to get the win, probably last year we would have lost that sort of game,” Scottish coach Craig Hammond said.
Phil Bailey excited by Australian Barbarian Will Munro’s impact as Football Club progress in HK Premiership
“We are trying to put a bit more emphasis on the players to control what is going on at training and make those decisions out on the pitch.”
In the KPMG Women’s Premiership, Tigers thumped Kowloon 27-0, Gai Wu were too strong for City Sparkle in a 27-10 win, HKFC cruised past Tai Po 29-5 and Valley ran riot in their 58-0 romp over CWB Phoenix.