Canada, ranked third in the world, demolished Hong Kong 98-0 in their
opening match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin, Ireland on
Wednesday (early Thursday morning Hong Kong time).
“We actually fought for the entire game, we
asked them to play like warriors and they did. It’s the reality of
where we are, we’re at a World Cup, we’re trying our hardest and
I’m proud of them,” said Hong Kong coach, Jo Hull. “We made some silly mistakes, which
we will obviously look at, and it’s hard to play when you don’t
have the ball, but we fought for the entire game.”
Hong Kong battled hard on defence in the opening
stages but it took only four minutes for centre Andrea Burk to
open the scoring for Canada.
Tries to fullback Elissa Alarie, winger Magali
Harvey and skipper Kelly Russell followed as Canada pushed the
margin out to 24-0 after the first quarter of the match. There was
plenty more to come too, with Harvey crossing on
another two occasions and Russell and Burk landing first-half
doubles as the score ballooned to 46-0 after 40 minutes.
Canada seemed to find yet another gear after the
break as the onslaught began to take it’s toll on Hong Kong,
with Alarie, Amanda Thornborough and Alex Tessier all scoring as
Hong Kong fell behind 65-0 after 50 minutes.
A 51st-minute yellow card to winger Chong Ka-yan
– who collided with her opponent in the air – didn’t help Hong
Kong’s cause, however Canada’s Olivia DeMerchant found herself in
the bin soon after and Hong Kong’s most promising attacking
thrusts took place in this period.
It amounted to nothing, though, and Harvey’s
fourth try and one to replacement Brittany Waters kept the
scoreboard ticking over for Canada.
Tries to Russell, Thornborough and a fifth to
Harvey completed the rout, with Hull refusing to get caught up in
“A 98-point margin is always a surprise, no
coach is going to be happy with that. But I’m not going to dwell
on that, it’s a number, fair play to Canada, they were excellent,
they were clinical, they’ve got very athletic ball carriers and
they deserved that win today. Our players will take a lot of heart from it
and I hope the crowd felt it as well, the fact that the crowd were
behind us at every 10-minute mark today shows the character that
we played with,” said Hull.
Hull was pleased with the impact of her subs, in
particular 18-year-old centre Kelsie Bouttle, and also praised the
work of tireless winger Chong Ka-yan.
“She showed that resilience today. I wanted to
get her with the ball in hand a little bit more, but she showed
she’s a class player and I was pleased with her today,” Hull said
of Chong. “Kelsie made an impact when she came on and I think our
front row did their job today even though our scrum was going
backwards. In terms of physicality, when we had a one-on-one
opportunity I think we managed but once they got momentum, we were
in a bit of trouble.”
Canada were quick to pounce on any Hong Kong
mistake, twice intercepting the ball and streaking away to the try
“They’re very fast and have very hot line
speed,” Hull said. “That’s what quality sides do, they look at
where they can take those little one percenters and today they
took them. There were periods where we turned them over, we turned
them over at the breakdown a couple of times and we forced some
mistakes. They’re wins for us and I think we did match them in
some areas, but it is difficult to play with your scrum going
The relentless pressure of the Canadians took
its toll on Hong Kong, with winger Aggie Poon Pak-yan one player
nursing an injury ahead of Sunday’s clash with New Zealand.
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