Hong Kong destroy Malaysia 91-10 as Parfitt brothers bring the banter, laughs and plenty of impact
The pair of forwards are thriving on being in the same line-up as Leigh Jones’ side close in on victory in the Asia Rugby Championship
They bring banter, plenty of laughs and brothers Jack and Mike Parfitt showed on Saturday they are starting to offer some real impact as Hong Kong ran in 13 tries in a 91-10 shellacking of Malaysia.
The emphatic victory means Hong Kong need only a bonus point next week against South Korea to win the Asia Rugby Championship and progress to the next stage of World Cup 2019 qualifying.
After three years studying in Canada, Mike Parfitt, who plays second and back row, is back on the scene full-time and is loving lining up with his brother consistently.
“We’re used to criticising each other’s game watching from the sideline but it’s good to be playing alongside him again,” he said.
“We have been on and off for the last few years but it’s nice to be back in the mix on a more regular basis.”
Hong Kong assistant Craig Hammond, who also coaches the pair at Scottish, sees the value the pair bring both on and off the field.
“A lot of banter, they’re Hong Kong boys and they’re good to be around, good for the comedy value as well,” he said.
“You saw Mike coming off the bench with really good energy. They’re only kids in terms of the rugby game and they’re growing week in, week out. It’s good to see them slowly getting better.”
Prop Jack is the elder of the two at 25, while Mike is just 23 and is thriving on being in Hong Kong’s professional set-up.
@HongKongRugby maintain 100% record in #ARC2018 Top 3 and return to @rugbyworldcup qualification driving seat in the hunt for their first-ever ARC with a 13-try victory over @MalaysiaRugby pic.twitter.com/digVXlrTpP
— Asia Rugby (@asiarugby) May 26, 2018
“Canada was good fun, good skiing but it’s good to be back into footy,” Mike said. “I was playing for a club team in Vancouver but it’s just not the standard that Hong Kong is at, Hong Kong has created quite a competitive standard now and something that is attractive to come back to.”
Hong Kong didn’t give Malaysia an inch for the full 80 minutes at Hong Kong Football Club despite coach Leigh Jones making 11 changes to his starting 15 and naming four debutants. The Welshman was thrilled with his side’s intensity.
“It was important we tried a few youngsters and we have done that. I challenged the group to be professional all week and they did that,” he said.
“We stuck with it until the end, the fitness levels are great and it speaks volumes for our domestic league when you can bring guys on for their first international and they don’t look out of place.”
The first 30 minutes were a procession, with Hong Kong waltzing over seven times: Conor Hartley twice and Max Denmark, Jamie Pincott, Jamie Lauder and Jamie Tsang once.
There was also a penalty try, five conversions from Ben Rimene and one from Matt Rosslee as Hong Kong opened up a 49-0 lead, before Malaysia got on the board late in the half to make it 49-7 at the break.
Hartley and Lauder crossed again after the break, along with Jack Delaforce, Jack Neville, Robbie Keith and Adam Fullgrabe, with Rimene completing a perfect day from the tee with six more conversions.
Jones praised the depth he now has at his disposal, admitting there will be some tough decisions at the selection table.
“That’s thrown up a few questions actually, hasn’t it? I thought some of the back-row performances were outstanding, Mike Parfitt off the bench, Cris Pierrepont off the bench. I thought young Henry Poon [Yau-him] did a fantastic job, as did Callum McFeat-Smith.”