Just two matches lay ahead on this side of Christmas for Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay and the rest of the Saxo Capital Markets Men’s Premiership sides. Each of them us vital as the six clubs scrap it out for the top four spots and a berth in the coveted Grand Championship knockouts.
Kerry Hotel Kowloon travel to So Kon Po to face the Bay, trailing them by just three league points and having been blown away by SG Valley, 36-14, in a game of two halves last weekend.
Conversely, Sandy Bay managed to hang on and slither across the line with a penalty after the hooter, beating USRC Tigers 34-31 at the Po. Head Coach Brett Wilkinson has been urging his squad to increase the urgency and build pressure from the get-go, rather than coming home late and with a wet sail.
A win is a win by any coach’s reckoning but all six Premiership coaches are now looking to build momentum and consistency as they hurtle towards potential knock out games where there are no second chances. Kowloon Head Coach, Scott Sneddon, will be hoping his team can repeat the first hald dominance his team held over the Bay when they last met at King’s Park. The Kowloon victory served as Sandy Bay’s last loss 4 weeks ago.
Wilkinson knows that when his side puts together some possession, they are one of the most effective squads in the competition and can usually rely on resolute defence. He makes just two changes to last weeks starting XV, with gallant French swashbuckler Simon Bienvenu moving from the wing to the midfield, replacing the in-form but injured Guy Spanton and Jack Metters coming off the bench to lock down the left wing.
The bench too remains largely unchanged albeit Ben Davey, back from his regional adventures, coming in for Alexis Brochet and Maxime Guerrero sliding in for Metters.
Kick off is at 3.00pm, directly after the under-12 curtain raiser between the Sandy Bay boys and the Sai Kung Stingrays.
Meanwhile, in other Sandy Bay matches, all of which will be played at So Kon Po except the Storm –
1.15pm – Marauders versus Discipline Services XV. The Marauders are riding a wave of self-belief under their new coaching regime and influx of enthusiastic former Springbok juniors and have only lost a single match.
1.30pm – Storm versus HK Scottish Kelpies at Shek Kep Mei. The Storm have won five of their last six matches and are enjoying a surge of momentum and consistency. That great form sees them sitting in third spot in a field of ten teams.
4.30pm – Vikings versus Kowloon. The Vikings are enjoying a solid streak of form, having not been beaten since 12th October, and sit second on the ladder. They trail HKFC Dragons but lead they way with points scored – 200 of them!
6:00pm – Raiders versus Kowloon Brothers. After 8 rounds (and some riotous postponements), the Raiders sit at third place and enjoying free-spirited, uninhibited footy on and off the field.
Get along and support the Bay teams this weekend.