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  • Mini Festivals - Sunny Bay Festival

    Mini Festivals - Sunny Bay Festival

    13 Jan 2022

    Late October and November saw a return to Mini Festivals, with TigerFest at King’s Park on 31st October and Sandy Bay Festival at the Stanley Ho Sports Centre on 28th November. Given the past two turbulent seasons, this was the first opportunity for some of our younger athletes to participate against other Clubs in a festive environment. Below is a selection of write-ups from across Mini Rugby.

    UNDER 11S

    The FC1 team faced a tough first encounter against a strong and fast Stringrays team, but FC1 was fired from the first whistle, straight away showing aggression and speed, both in attack and in the ruck. It didn’t take long before the intensity became too much for the Stingrays, when Daniel Jones ran a great line on the shoulder to dot down the first try. FC1 did not turn off the gas and kept up the intensity for two more scores to take a deserved win 3-0. Great to see Jamie Michel getting in on the action, clearly breaking a smile after the win over his old teammates.

    The second game against rivals Valley Fort 1 was always going to be the toughest of the day. Thomas Wood played a fantastic game, stealing a number of balls in the line out and using his boot to open up the game and attack from behind. Quentin Yeung, who shared scrum half duties throughout the day, directed his forwards and backs fantastically throughout all four games, with Genraku Kinoshita making some fantastic tackles and as usual leaving nothing behind on the field. Oliver Howarth was all action, running hard and straight and as always quick to the breakdown. Despite the spirited performance, Valley came away with a narrow 2-1 win, though in reality the game could have gone either way.

    Next up, an enthusiastic Tigers. However, it was clear this was going to be a tough day for them, with FC1 once again showing incredible speed and aggression on the ball, and it wasn’t long before the line was broken and first try scored. Hugo Cubells, ‘Mr Twinkle toes’, showed great pace on the wing to dot down a couple times, while Will Foyn, who you wouldn’t have known was coming back from a broken ankle, tackled hard throughout the day and ran half the length to score his try. Andre Chan was forever eager, hitting the line over and over again, and scored a couple of well deserved tries too. Gus Grewcock at fly directed traffic throughout the game, feeding quick ball down the line and supporting his forwards when ball went to ground. Ultimately FC1 was too strong on the day and took away a well earned 5-0 win.

    Back on the field for their third game back-to-back, against home team Sandy Bay 1. Sandy Bay were in a relentless mood and clearly carried a little more energy into the game, having enjoyed breaks between the games. However this was not going to stop FC1 showing incredible spirit in an unbelievable display of defence. At times Sandy Bay was camped on the 5 yard line for minutes, but Club would not relent and kept up a fantastic defence. Taraku Kinoshita, who shared scrum half duties, ran a few good snipes from the scrum, setting the team forward with good vigour, whilst Sam Dore carried the ball strong throughout, while Luke Holden's endless enthusiasm and great communication helped lift the team when they needed it most. Naomi Chan had unbelievable stamina to the very last minute, despite having done three training sessions through the day, leaving a number of the opposition glad the day was over with some hard tackles and clear out from the ruck. The game ended 0-0, an incredible show of determination and grit from our team.

    With two wins, a well fought draw, and a narrow loss, the day was a great success, and the team should feel incredibly proud of their achievements.

    FC2 had a very successful Sandy Bay Festival with 2 wins and 2 draws.

    The team opened with a hard-fought victory over Monkey with a diving try in the closing minutes to Luke getting them across the line after the scrum of Cameron, Matthias, Jackson, Isaac and Shun was dominant and kept us in the game as things got tight. A great team effort with some strong passing from Naiose as scrum half with Ante, Liam and Len providing strong runs.

    The next two games saw very tight draws against Shatin Shapei and Tigers. The depth in the team was on display with Tetsuo and Kai performing strongly when asked to fill the scrum half and fly half roles, Lucian tackling everything that moved, and Anish and Arde providing dash with the ball.

    With tackling machine Lucian injured (not serious) for the last game, the coaches asked the rest of the team to fill the void and increase their tackling. Naiose and Anish led the tackling charge, with everyone following and also laying big tackles. The pressure proved too much for Tai Po as the team finished with a strong victory as our runners feasted off the back of the hard work.

    Well done to the boys and we look forward to another strong performance at the next festival!

    Chad Foyn and Karl Holden

    UNDER 10S

    Sandy Bay hosted a terrific Festival; it was great to be in competitive rugby against our friends.
    U10’s HKFC4 (played 4; won 3), HKFC 3 (played 4; won 4) and HKFC2 (played 4; won 4). The challenge was set for HKFC1 “not to let the side down”.
    First game against Valley, it was a comfortable romp to victory over an unusually muted Valley.
    Second game was a tighter affair against the DB Pirates, but in the end HKFC were again victorious.
    Third game was Sai Kung Stingrays. They were a handful, but some excellent teamwork led to win no. 3.
    Then came the undefeated hosts, Sandy Bay. A tense match, at least for the coaches, resulted in a close win for HKFC.
    So played 4; won 4.
    U10, as a whole: played 16; won 15. A good day at the office …

    Denis Brock

    UNDER 7S

    Following on from a series of friendly matches against Sandy Bay the previous weekend, three HKFC Under 7 teams returned to HKU Stanley Ho pitches for the first ever festival that this age group have experienced.

    Despite unprecedented queues to get into the sports ground (stretching almost all the way to Cyberport!), which delayed the start of the festival, Teams HKFC1 (led by coaches Justin, Matt and Keita), HKFC2 (led by coaches Jonathan, Simon S and Simon G), and HKFC3 (led by coaches Nick, Ben and Head Coach Chris) all managed to make it in time for their games.

    HKFC1 took a while to warm up, with losses against Aberdeen Dolphins, Sham Shui Po and Sandy Bay, albeit with a slowly decreasing points difference. However, they put that behind them for their final game against USRC Tigers, winning 3-2 to end the morning on a high.

    HKFC2 had more luck, with a clean sheet of wins in their matches against Monkey, Tsuen Wan Rhinos, ‘arch rivals’ Valley Fort, and Aberdeen Dolphins.

    HKFC3 had a slow start with a loss in their first game to Sai Kung Stingrays, but that was followed by wins against Sandy Bay and Sham Shui Po. The final game was a rematch against Sai Kung, and despite some fast runners from the Stringrays, the team managed to hold out for a draw.

    Notable moments that I saw (sorry HKFC2 for missing most of your games whilst refereeing!) – In HKFC1, a breakaway run by Arshiya Chopra against USRC Tigers, who despite being tackled less than a metre from the line, managed a quick offload to Jin Shiotani who dived for the try line before the opposition had even regrouped; and in HKFC3, some almost full pitch length runs and tries from Imogen Hartwright (vs Sham Shui Po), and by both Peyton Lee and Raven Yau (in the final match against Sai Kung Stingrays).

    Very proud of our Under 7s in their first ever tournament – here’s hoping for more to come!

    Chris Kenyon-Edwards