Sandy Bay Outclass HKFC in Semi Final
By Grant Beuzeval
Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay’s remarkable turnaround continues.
They certainly will, as Scottish try to unseat the league’s hottest team in Sandy Bay whose dismantling of Club hasn’t been matched this season. It was the veterans that made it happen today, with fullback Gus Cameron scoring a hat trick, including two straight in the second quarter that unbalanced the hosts, while mainstays Matt Lamming, alex mcqueen and captain Gair Currie were all influential.
Sandy Bay ran an air raid at Club, dominating from the early stages after going down 3-0 to an early Glyn Hughes penalty. Sandy Bay’s first try was scored by Currie after scrumhalf Liam Slatem picked the opportune moment to move the ball from the base of a driving maul finding Currie on the offload for the try and a 5-3 lead.
Sandy Bay grew in stature and self-belief from that moment, stinging Club for two more tries in the half, with Cameron finishing both in the 26th and 32nd minute. Currie was on target as Sandy Bay led 19-3 at half-time.
Football Club started the second half positively, driving deep into Sandy Bay territory, but conceded a momentum-sapping counter-attack try started from a jailbreak by alex mcqueen who motored 60-metres before dishing to Cameron who found winger Seb Brien out wide to finish cleanly as Sandy Bay led 26-3.
Club collected its only score of the second half from a 55th minute penalty try after some chicanery from Sandy Bay’s forwards, closing the gap to 26-10 with ten minutes left.
But Sandy Bay were not through, driving the ball deep from the restart with a Club defensive miscue giving the visitors another attacking lineout deep in Club ground. A barging run by No.8 Luke van der Smith took the ball to the tram tracks before Cameron collected his hat trick and the final 31-10 victory.
Coach Brett Wilkinson hailed his side’s effort saying, “We understood what we had to do today, and we fronted up physically. We were really good in the set piece and we nullified their go-forward ball which really helped us win.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the players. They really laid a marker down right from the beginning. It is finals rugby now and we have given ourselves a chance and earned another week of rugby. We have Scottish in the final so nothing is guaranteed. We have to carry on from today, regroup and train really hard.
“But I am really happy for the players. They have had to put in a lot of hard work. It has been a tough season with us bottom of the table before Christmas, but we stuck to our guns and the support we have gotten from the Club is amazing.
“It really lifted the team today and I am just pleased. We are really grateful and thankful to be part of such a good club,” Wilkinson added.