On what was an emotional weekend of rugby at Club, the results largely took second place as all of the HKFC teams honoured Richard Elms.
The day at HKFC began with the Natixis HKFC Bulls who Elmo captained to such distinction played against the USRC Legends. With both teams vying for second place in NL3 it was sure to be a fully charges match. The Bulls came out on top in a great match by 17 points to 12, with tried form Sias Potgieter and Guy Payne. The Bulls now sit in second place and can secure that spot with a win against Kowloon next week whereby they will then get a bye to the semi-final of the Grand Champs. The Bulls have become expert at timing their season to come away with the Grand Championship title, but this season seems to be their toughest challenge yet as the young Trimex Typhoons have been unbeaten all season and will be heavily backed to win the double.
The next fixture saw Elmo’s current team the Natixis HKFC Expendables play against league leaders HKCC Raiders. The Expendables produced their best performance of the season against an excellent Raiders team and if it wasn’t for a lack of goal kicker they would have claimed an inspired victory, the final score was 15-16. Tries came from the big men, two for Freddie Guede and one for Paul Skurr with no conversions. The Expendables will finish the season in third place and will focus on the Grand Championships in a very competitive league.
The Natixis HKFC Select had a routine win against Comvita City 62-5 and will finish up in second position in NL2 behind the Hong Kong Scottish second team. This has been an excellent season for Select as they’ve benefited from being the only HKFC team in NL2. As Scottish Nomads have been the only team to have been allowed to play Premiership players in NL2 it was always going to be a challenge to finish above them. While the rule will also apply during the Grand Champs the Mighty Select will be sure to be challenging for honours.
Natixis HKFC Club put in a demoralising performance against Kowloon in the Premiership. Having fought to put themselves in the league title conversation a month ago, three losses on the bounce now mean they will finish fourth in the league and what looks like the toughest route through the GC’s. Saturday’s game against Kowloon was a straight shoot out for third place in the league and while it was tight at half time, Kowloon came out winners by 37-20. Tries for Club came through replacement prop Leon Wai and centre Tom Isaacs.
HKFC Head Coach, Phil Bailey, reflected on the game ‘With so much to play for in terms of league position versus Kowloon it was disappointing that we came up well short. We were patchy early on but showed some good signs, going into the break 10-6 down. Then there was a 20min period were we capitulated and Kowloon piled on the points.
Marcus Slade and Benny Willis worked tirelessly and I was impressed with the intent and energy off our bench. Substitutes Mike Coverdale and Callum McFeat-Smith in particular really added value.’
Club now play bottom placed Tigers in the final league game of the season where they will be looking to get some winning momentum before heading into the GC’s.
Natixis HKFC Ice welcomed back some of their injured players which brought about an excellent win against Kowloon by 10 points to nil. Amongst the returning players were prop Megan Richardson, number eight Bobby Wilson and half back Rose Hopewell-Fong. But the star of the show was winger Crystal Wray who helped herself to two tries in what has been an excellent rise through the ranks this season at HKFC ladies rugby. Ice are in fourth place and play Tigers next week who are a place above them.
In NL1 there were two excellent results as Natixis HKFC Dragons defeated Cricket Club 53-19 and Natixis HKFC Scorpions defeated Kowloon 38-24. The win for the Dragons sees them move back to the top of the league and they will play a winner takes all fixture against Valley on Saturday for the league title. The Scorpions have finished all of their league fixtures and finish comfortably in fourth place which is an excellent achievement against the other Premiership teams second teams.
The Natixis HKFC Sequins picked up a full five league points against Discovery Bay and now play Hong Kong Scottish on Saturday to see who finishes second in NL4.
Natixis HKFC Fire lost their fixture against the Police Sirens by 41-0.