Well, here we are, after 15 rounds of the Saxo Premiership, Hong Kong’s elite league moves into the Grand Championship stages this weekend.
Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay will be hosted by Natixis HKFC as firm underdogs in a semi-final match that looked all but impossible six weeks ago. The Bay sat dead last on the log and form and math was against them.
Five bonus-points defeats demonstrated that this side had come so close on so many occasions. The lessons were learnt and the consequences loomed into sight. Five consecutive bonus-point victories launched Sandy Bay back into contention – the self-belief returned, the confidence gathered and smiles emerged from the fog.
Brett Wilkinson, his support staff and the entire squad understand that nothing has yet been achieved. Can they translate momentum into what might be seen as an upset against HKFC on the home turf tomorrow afternoon? Can last-placed Bay get up again and take down the league winners?
In the pack, Wilkinson is blessed with the return of Zac Cinnamond, Dylan Roges, Alex Post, Mark Prior and Matt Lamming. All have been battling a race against time and injury to get on the park this weekend. Lawrence Babe and Luke van der Smit round out the back row with Lamming while sure and steady Jack Delaforce joins Prior in the engine room.
Liam Slatem and Nik Cumming have grown as a halves combination and will be crucial to getting Sandy Bay going forward while Alex McQueen pops into the midfield with skipper Gair Currie. The back three are retained from ast weekend in Gus Cameron, Seb Brian and Gareth Kallel .
Get along to HKFC for this big match and make some noise.
2.30pm – curtain raiser – Sandy Bay U12 boys and girls versus HKFC
3.00pm – Saxo Premiership Semi Final
Other important matches tomorrow:
1.15pn – ASG – Marauders vs CWB Marines
1.30pm – SKP – Raiders vs Taipo Dragons