Dead rubber? No way.
Here are the Saxo Capital Markets Premiership standings and points as we enter the tenth and final round:
37 Natixis HKFC
35 Societe Generale
23 Bloomberg HK Scottish
20 Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay
12 Kerry Hotel Kowloon
00 Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers
The Premiership remains open with Valley hosting HKFC tomorrow in the final round, with the winner taking the title. Can Valley stop HFC from retaining the trophy?
The top four teams are guaranteed semi-final spots on the 1st of February but who will Herbert Smith Freehills HKU Sandy Bay face away – HKFC or Valley?
A win against HK Scottish would not only, possibly, secure 3rd spot but, more importantly, build momentum and self-belief ahead of the playoffs.
HK Scottish are the only team to have defeated HKFC this season in the Premiership, but their patchy form matches that of Sandy Bay. The two teams belted out an absolute classic in November with the Bay going 80 metres on the hooter to eek out a 37-34 victory at The Rock.
With an away semi-final guaranteed, Head Coach Brett Wilkinson has adjusted his squad to allow players a chance to recover or stake their claim for selection in the knockout stages.
Alex Post wrenched his shoulder last weekend and so Jak Lam gets a starting opportunity as the rake while flanker Dean Rossouw will also rest his skull, giving Cole Mosychuk a chance on the openside. This allows Lawrence Babe a rare chance to get a start in his favoured blindside role and Ben Davey will beef up the second row, joining Mark Prior.
Luke van der Smit skippers the side from the back of the scrum while Zac Cinnamond and Sunia Fameitau start again in the prop roles.
Liam Slatem takes a break, giving Jack Metters a crack at scrum-half, joining Nik Cumming in the halves. George Humphreys will start at inside centre, in place of skipper Gair Currie, and Guy Spanton returns from a months lay-off to join him in the midfield.
Simon Bienvenu and Seb Brien have nailed down the wing spots and Iwan Philips returns to the fullback position to round out a solid back three.
James Rees will get his debut Prems cap if he makes the field from the bench. The Australian is the S&C Coach for the Prems and part of the medical team with the HK National Men’s Sevens squad. He has impressed his colleague and Head Coach Wilkinson and will be excited to get stuck in tomorrow.
Coach “Shouty” Craig Hammond, as he’s known at the Tung Chung Mini Rugby Club, will bring a capable and tooled up HK Scottish side to So Kon Po, also looking for a strong finish and revenge for the bitter loss at the Rock in November.
It’s a Club Day at So Kon Po Recreation Ground tomorrow, with food and drinks available next door at the Indian Recreation Club. It'll be a smashing afternoon and evening.
Get along and support all the teams in the following game –
1:00PM Storm vs USRC Tigers
2:30PM Under-11 Boys vs HKFC
3:00PM Prems vs HK Scottish
4:30PM Vikings vs HK Scottish
6:00PM Raiders vs HK Scottish
Up the, I say up the, Bay!