First game of the season saw the HKU Sandy Bay U18 Boys play again the Kowloon Stingrays, just a couple of weeks after our pre0season friendly (which we won).
So the Stingrays were looking for revenge and were all fired up; big lads in comparison to our boys. After a little effort on both sides finding each other’s strengths and weaknesses, Chun Hei carried the ball up the field before passing it to Matisse who easily crossed the line and scored a try almost between the posts after 7 minutes of play. Unfortunately it wasn’t converted.
Then came some 15 minutes of hard work from both sides that ended with Kyle taking a knock on the head, and being taken off, concussion protocols being a priority. This slightly destabilised the team allowing the Stingrays to break through from the half way and score, then convert a try.
Stingrays thus lead 5-7 at half time.
The boys re-dynamized themselves during the break coming out fighting to score, with Matisse putting the ball over the line after a combative slow fight by all through the Stingrays half. Converted by Oscar G.
The massive effort was starting to take its toll, and a few minutes later the Stingrays managed to score, and convert again, thanks in part to some mistakes on our side. Thus at the hour, Stingrays lead 12-14.
Then followed some 10 minutes of frantic struggle which saw Oli injured off with a cut over the eye (needing 4 stiches). During this time our dominance in the scrums (and Kyran’s extraction of the ball to Jacob) and keeping the ball during tackles allowed Matisse to put the ball over the line once more, converted by Oscar G.
With some 10 minutes left (including injury time), the score was 19-14. These 10 minutes were nerve wracking for all. Tiredness and aches were starting to show all round. One breakthrough by the Stingrays and it would have been hard to come back. But a final roll into touch, and the whistle finally blew. Victory was ours.
A good solid performance by all the boys, working well as a team and putting into play all the set pieces they’d been working on; scrums & lineouts. Mentions to Joseph, Alex & Owen for the lineouts; Brendan, Finn & Mengli for the rucks; and Chun Hei for always being just a couple of steps behind Matisse.
And finally a special mention to our injured team mates, Aurelien, Kiean, Kurtis, Noah, & Wing for turning up for support and being water boys.
Some snaps from the game: https://www.hkusandybayrfc.com/teams/201822/match-centre/0-5479663/events
Next game 20th November against Football Club