18 Sep 2019
Club take care of Tigers in Round 2 of Challenge Trophy
Another glorious day met the Club boys down at Sports Rd as they looked to take on the Tigers. A side who had proven themselves a tough outfit over recent years with physicality and a never say die attitude. Club knew they would have to start well and control the match if they were to get the Win.
And start well they did with one of the first lineouts in the game providing a platform for the Club side to attack off. It was wirily veteran Niall Rowark sniping down the blindside from 40 meters out that created the space for Fionn Carr to scoot over untouched for the first points of the game.
It wasn't long again until the prolific try sneak was back at it. This time it was the forwards showing off their skills with some slick interchanges of passes between Tom Stanley, Ro "Sexton" Donnelly and Hugh McCormick-Houston before Fionn popped up and took the last pass in under the posts. Fionn in 2 games had already equalled last years winger, Niall Rowark, try tally for the season. Not wanting to show Niall up too much Fionn decided it best to injury his shoulder later on in the match. This injury could have him on the sidelines for a bit so Niall can hang on to his record for a bit longer while the rest of HKFC wish Fionn a speedy recovery.
The game was played between the 22's for the next 25 minutes or so as poor discipline and lacklustre skill from both sides saw the match hold steady. It wasn't until the shadows of half time that Club again kicked into gear. The spark for the gear shift was live wire scrum half Jonty Wood who swooped on an over throw by Tigers at line out time to beat a couple of defenders before sending Lock, Rob Lind, streaking down the sideline. Rob showed a clean set of wheels as he bolted 70 meters down the sideline and dived over near Sequins corner.
Then with mere seconds left on the clock until half time Tigers aimlessly kicked to debutant Eremia Tapsell who jinked and jived and put Jack Wilson into his first bit of space in club colours. He ran from 22 to 22 until he passed the ball back inside to Eremia who again jinked and jived before passing to the big horse, Tom Hill, only for him to be brought down meters from the try line. However the team captain was, as always, Camby on the spot and picked up the ball from the Hillman ruck and run in untouched for his first try of the day.
The half time break did nothing to hold the momentum of the Club side who came back out of the break with the same vigour they went into it with. It was that man again Campbell Wakely who showed some good footwork and leg drive to drag the opposition over the try line from 15 meters out.
Club continued to build pressure at the right end of the pitch with Jamie Lauder, making his first appearance for Club this season, giving a masterclass in kicking for territory. As Jamie made his presence felt off the bench it was also great to see fellow finisher Pierce West back on the paddock after a horror run of injuries. It was indeed a Pierce's turnover penalty which lead to a line out about 25 meters out. Off the back of this field position Club forwards rolled the driving maul forward until replacement hooker Johny McCormick-Houton broken free at the back and gave a miracle offload to send Pierce West over for his first try in 3 years.
Niall managed to hit the sideline conversion making it 6 from 6 off the boot for him and a healthy 42-0 scoreline for Club with 10 minutes left to play. It was here that Tigers got some ascendancy back and began to throw wave after wave of attack at the HKFC defensive line. In what was extremely pleasing passage of play for the coaching staff, Club refused to let Tigers across the line. They defended like their lives were at stake and managed to keep the Tigers boys scoreless on this occasion.
While there were strong performances across the board for Club, clear stand out was Hugh McCormick-Houston who was making his debut for the club side and never stopped during his 80 minutes on the park.
Next week sees new challenges for Club with an injury toll that will no doubt have Club looking even deeper into its player stables as they take on much improved Kowloon at Kings Park in Round 3 of the Challenge Trophy.