The HKS Reivers managed to secure a victory in the first ever ICG Super League match, holding off a spirited second half comeback from the Valley Broncos to win 26-16.
In what was a feisty opening to HKRL’s inaugural domestic club competition, the Reivers managed to race away to a 22-0 lead by half time. Despite some early pressure from the Broncos, a lack of experience showed when they failed to convert possession and territory into points. The Reivers then promptly took control of the game with a powerful forward pack and some strong direct running. Tries from Matt Jones, Archie Kay, Maxime Gerardin, Udo Wong and Josh Tuisoso looked to have well and truly buried the game by the half time, with Reivers’ captain and Man of the Match Adam Rowe central to their sterling first half effort. Rowe’s barnstorming runs and offloads continuously set up plays deep into Broncos territory, and he was ably backed by outside backs Ghislain Baleyte and Jacob Weeks who ran well themselves.
However, in what was truly a game of two halves, the Broncos refused to concede defeat and after regrouping at half time came back into the game with a pacy back line that began to function effectively. A fantastic try saving tackle in the corner by Broncos captain Ringo Lung sparked the Broncos into life, and from the resulting changeover the Broncos went all the way down the other end and scored the first of four second half tries. In particular, backs Woody On, Adam Fourure and Lung opened up the game against a tiring defense with Ben Wong and James Narramore also making good yards up front. The Broncos managed to fight back to a 22-12 scoreline with scores by On, Wong and replacement Kelvin Choi who came onto have a big impact on the game.
However, after spilling the ball over the try line twice, the Reivers’ Kay effectively finished the game off with his second try of the game, a fantastic line break from 40 metres out. The Broncos did have time to score one more through centre Fourure who, starting off in his own 20 metres, ran the length of the field for a superb individual score, beating four defenders on his way to the try line.
“Today was a truly historic occasion for the game in this region. A domestic club comp is a massive milestone for us, and today we saw a huge number of players and spectators from both sides being involved in their first ever 13-a-side league game, and what a game it was. The Reivers looked to have ran away with it by half time but the Broncos showed great spirit in coming back into the game, but left themselves with a bit too much to do in the second half,” said HKRL Managing Director Neville Metcalfe. “What was really special to see was the fact that the Broncos at one stage had 11 players of Asian heritage on the field, most of whom were born and raised here in Hong Kong. On top of that, many of them are HKTag players, which is a testament to just how successful our sister organisation has been in introducing both codes to Hong Kong.”
All eyes now move to the second game of the ICG Super League this Saturday 3rd June at King’s Park between the Carnegie Kowloon Tigers and Wan Chai Warriors.