DAC Kowloon opened the Dettol Women’s Premiership season with a statement 55-0 win over SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay Phoenix at King’s Park on Saturday. Ahead of the match, Kowloon were eager to put their new signings on display, especially their trio of imported players from New Zealand in 21-year old fly-half Montana Heslop, 22-year old prop Braxton Walker and 23-year old No 8, Shaye Whareaorere. The three initially arrived late last year, just as the season was shutting down due to Covid-19, and have stuck things out since then before making their Premiership debuts at King’s Park. And what debuts they were. Tactically positioned at the front and back of the pack, and at fly half, the trio did what they were expected to in helping to unlock the attack. They also contributed on the scoreboard with Whareaorere scoring a brace and Braxton and Heslop both adding tries. Heslop also added five conversions. HKRU Premiership coaches and captains hungry to return to normality Their teammates responded in kind with winger Gabriella Rivers grabbing a hat trick, while tries also came through Chan Hui-tung and Victoria Wong Ching-hei as Kowloon went over on nine occasions, pushing a 38-0 lead at half-time to 55 by the end of the match. Kowloon captain and centre Chau Hei-tung was upbeat after the performance. “We performed very well, we were very disciplined and did not give penalties. We had a few handling errors but that is something we can work on for the next match. I was really proud of our defence today, that is something that I think we can build from now.” For their part the antipodean trio of Kowloon Kiwis remained excited about the vibe around Hong Kong rugby and confident that there was more to come from the squad this season. Time for Hong Kong sport to ‘join the dots’ and build on Tokyo 2020 success “I think we set a standard in this game. We built he platform and now we want to keep rising,” Whareaorere said. “The girls really clicked, especially in the first half, we really put onto the park what we where practicing and got what we wanted out of it. The players were impressed by the standard of the Premiership as well. “It’s not quite as physical as New Zealand,” Walker said, “but its fast and you have to tackle a lot lower, which is a great challenge for us as well. There are a lot of things that we are not used to, like the humidity, but I’m loving the journey,” she added. “We love playing at Kowloon, the girls are amazing and they have been like a family to us since we arrived. They encourage us and we are all helping each other. We want to bring some of our New Zealand rugby culture in and break down the barriers between the men’s and women’ teams. We have come along way with that already,” Whareaorere said. Hong Kong coach assesses national team amid World Cup postponement uncertainty “It is a sisterhood. We want to have each other’s backs in rugby or life,” Walker added. The three also have ambitions of helping Kowloon shatter the stranglehold of Valley, Gai Wu and Tigers on women’s rugby this season. “We want to bring the trophy to Kowloon, and to adapt our Kiwi style to the Hong Kong rugby style and make a good mix,” said Heslop who has kept busy in the off-season by taking on the general manager post at Kowloon, becoming just the second female general manager amongst the six pillar Hong Kong Premiership sides playing in both men’s and women’s competitions. “We really want to encourage the other girls to be a bit more confident and to open up and play outside of themselves a bit also, they are really good players they just don’t know it yet,” Walker said. Kowloon will be tested next week as a pivotal clash shapes up with defending league champion USRC Tigers at 6pm at King’s Park. Elsewhere on Saturday, Societe Generale Valley Black Ladies edged Natixis HKFC Ice by the narrowest of margins 12-11 and Kroll USRC Tigers downed Gai Wu Falcons 22-0.