match report  

21st January 2017

HKRFU National League 5-B

SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay Contenders

29

University HKU Freshmen

22
Contenders Tryscorers: Andrew Fung, Julian Buck, Lok Lau, Francis

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Umesh Desai (umesh.desai@tr.com)

21st January 2017

Sandy Bay

Mid-table rivals Contenders and University clashed on the picturesque grounds of Sandy Bay in what seemed to be a lop-sided contest at start. Injuries and non-availablity meant that the Contenders could only field 13 players, including coach Thomas Leung, at the start of the match. The consequence was swiftly dealt with the University team scoring two quick tries in the first quarter.

Far from daunting the Contenders, those early setbacks stoked them to play some combative rugby with repeated breaches of the University defence. Andrew Fung crashed through the now porous University defence finding a gap to make a 30 meter run to score, the second time this season the speedy winger has crossed the try line.

It was only midway through the second quarter that the Contenders had a full squad - but still an empty bench. The arrival of J. Alexander Buck and Pun Wong bulked up the team's confidence and soon champagne rugby was flowing as Contenders attacked relentlessly. This produced results immediately with a try from Bucky pulling the squad within one score of University at half time.

The momentum continued to build into the second half with the appearance of Pun Wong in the backrow produced line-breaks with greater frequency. A very strong ball carrier, Pun's sizzling run was brought to a halt just around the opposition 5 metre. The recycling was quick and an offload to winger Francis, running a perfect line, resulted in his debut try for the club.

However, some complacency set in midway into the third quarter, allowing University back into the match with a try.

Down but not out, the hard working Contenders worked themselves back into reckoning as scrum half Lok Lau scored an opportunistic try to level the score, ten minutes from the end. That try injected new life into the Contenders and self belief was strong going into the dying minutes.

After dominating both ball possession and territory for most of the last quarter, Francis went over the line for the second time in the match.

In the last play, Keith Leung slotted the ball between the sticks to make it 29-22 for the boys in pink. True grit and determination allowed the Contenders to turn around a seemingly hopeless situation into a well deserved victory.