Friday, December 16, 2011

Hong Kong win Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations

Backrower Diego Lopez
The former British colony of Hong Kong has won the first ever Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations after completing an impressive win over Brazil earlier today to win the championship and do so undefeated havgin already having defeated both Kenya and the host nation - the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The game was a match of two halves with Hong Kong holding a 10-3 halftime lead before going on to run in tries at regular intervals as Hong Kong won the match 37-3. The South Americans had started well with right winger, Daniel Gregg scoring the first points of the match from a penalty goal. Brazil looked dangerous in the early going´s but failed to score a try as handling errors let down the team. Hong Kong´s experience proved to be decisive as the Asian side was able to withstand the pressure and use it against Brazil.

Hong Kong´s centres and wingers were able to regularly split Brazil´s midfield defence with both the inside and outside centres being outclassed. The likes of Fernando Portugal and Moises Duque were badly missed as the pair were both unavaliable for the match and in their places Brazil fielded inexperienced players. Flyhalf Lucas Duque (Tanque) tried his hardest to ignite the attack but did not have his best match and with Brazil turning over the ball through unforced errors it was not the performance that the South Ameriacns had hoped for. After breaking clear through the centers channel to three occassions, Hong Kong took the opportunity to score its first try with the fourth midfield linebreak. With the half finishing, the Asians made it try number two. Again the conversion was unsuccessful but it had given Hong Kong a two point lead which was flattering at the time.

In the secondhalf, Hong Kong did all the attacking and the South Americans did little more than tackle. Hong Kong were able to break the line at will, especially through the midfield as Brazil´s hopes of a victory were crushed with the outh Americans looking increasingly tired throughout the secondhalf. Hong Kong´s only worry was its goalkicking which was far from being international level and would better be described as dreadful. It mattered not, however, as Hong Kong ran in try after try to finish the tournament with maxmium points - three bonus point victories. Brazil´s loss meant the South American´s finished third ahead of the hosts, the UAE but behind both Hong Kong and Kenya. The African side had completed a good 55-17 win over the UAE earlier on in the day.

The tournament marked the first time ever that Brazil has competed in an event outside of the Americas. The competitiveness of Brazil in its first two and a half matches should have made it clear that future tournaments of this kind should include Brazil and other similar teams.  

Final Standings
Hong Kong 15
Kenya 10
Brazil 7
United Arab Emirates 0

1 comment:

  1. The HK backline is packed with 7's star.
    Rowan Varty is the big name in the circuit here.