Match Review20 Nov 2020
HKFC Contemptibles 43 Pot Bellied Pigs 0
Friday night rugby returned to Kings Park, and the Hong Kong Football Club’s Over 40s team, the legendary Contemptibles looked to maintain their winning start to the season.
The previous encounter against Valley, now know as the ‘Battle of Wylie Path’ had seen the Club team victorious in a tight and unexpectedly brutal game of rugby. Coach York and Captain Skurr pulled no punches as they selected an enormous pack of forwards to take on the enigmatic Pigs.
The game had added meaning as the scrum half for our last match Graham Hadley had passed away in the interim. Graham’s friend Andrew Bailey gave a brilliant speech before the game as all the players lined up to show respect.
The team talk was clinical: ‘This one is for Graham: Scrum Halves - feed the large humans short balls, over and over again until we score.’ With the complex game plan established, the large humans went into battle.
The first twenty proved a scrappy affair, with many not quite switched on to the game, perhaps epitomised by Morrison managing to get nutmegged from the kick off, looking completely the wrong way. Slowly but surely the pack’s limbs stretched out their arthritic joints and started to punch holes in a resilient Pig’s defence. Feddi Bogna and Ant Hopewell belied their ages and dominated the breakdown, securing turnover ball at will. The resulting scrums saw the front row of Prias, Thomson and Spizz take their much larger Pigs opponents to town, giving Skurr front foot ball to make considerable yardage into Pigs territory. Eventually the pressure grew too much and Morrison crashed over close to the posts, almost making up for his early misdemeanour. The Pigs briefly threatened before halftime, by keeping the ball away from the forwards, but the defensive wall that was Yates at fullback proved impervious. Yates actually finished a game uninjured for the first time since 1998. The workrate of the Contemps was perhaps epitomised by the talismanic hooker Thomson, covering 40 yards to call a mark on the half time whistle.
After a huge shift, the forwards decided to let the backs have a go in the second half and club legends Bourne and Smith, rolled back the years and dictated play across the park. The youthful centre partnership of Wiggins and Hairul, side stepped their way across the meadow at will; a try for each was just rewards.
In the final quarter Skurr, Hopewell and Bogna made large inroads into the Pigs defensive line. Pacemen Birch and Jones belied their age and showed lightening pace to secure a couple of tries. The backline really started to buzz at this point as Smith and Yates pulled the strings, pulling off a series of moves. Talismatic scrum-half Grewcock replaced Bourne at half time and made a series of lightening breaks down the blindside, linking well with both wingers to gain extra yardage and resulting in Hairul scoring two more tries.
The game was played in a great spirit and was a fitting tribute to Graham.