Firstly apologies for the lack of a message last week.
The last fortnight has been an unsuccessful time for us on the park, but we have had a lot of good news of it, which is really encouraging.
I’ll start with the on the park action. The U19 1stXV played last week against HKFC 1st XV, the strongest team in the league. It was a game of two halves, with us competing and contesting everything in the first half, so we were only 12-0 down at the break. However the relentless pressure told in the second half and a few missed tackles meant we were heavily beaten 64-5 in the end. Our try was possibly the best of the day with Fong Kit breaking from our own 22 to score in the corner. This week the lads were up against Valley 1st XV and it was another hard game. In the first half we applied plenty of pressure but couldn’t cross their line and Valley scored on the four times they pushed into our half. In the second half it was all Valley but we defended and tackled well, keeping the final result to a 46-0 loss.
Last week the U14s played East Kowloon and ran out victors 45-12, so it was not all doom and gloom. This week we had the U16s in action, but they were outclassed by HKFC 3, who again piled on the pressure in the second half to run out easy winners 56-5. The U19 2ndXV should also have been in action this week but our opposition, East Kowloon, forfeited the match, which was disappointing.
Despite just one victory in all the matches we have had plenty of good news away from the pitch. Firstly, “Monkey senior” passed out from the Police College yesterday, bringing our total of ex-Breakthrough rugby boys in the Police to 9 (I think, I’m beginning to lose count).
Last week saw the announcement of the HK U19 squad for the Asian U19 Championships in Singapore from 12 to 20 December and there are three Breakthrough lads in the team. Ken and Hang Tsai are joined by “Little Monkey” (Ray is now too old). These three boys are all playing senior rugby, so unfortunately they are not turning out for us this season, which is a pity as I think with them we would give teams like HKFC and Valley a much sterner test. However with senior rugby and national training there is a limit to how much rugby we should be asking them to play each week, so we fully understand and wish them all the best. The winners of the competition will represent HK in next year’s World U20 Championships.
As I have mentioned before the Union is running a programme, called the Warriors for U19s and for Seniors (U21/22) to help develop more local players and they are off to the Philippines from 15 to 20 December. We got 7 boys in the junior warriors team and Pandas our partners got 9, several of the Pandas started with Breakthrough, so it is great representation for us. In the senior team I recognised at least 4 ex-Breakthrough boys as well.
As I always remind everyone Breakthrough rugby is not about getting boys to an elite rugby level, but it is about participation and helping boys and girls achieve their full potential. The experience of joining these teams and touring to play outside their normal comfort zone, will be a challenge for the lads, which I am sure will help those involved to achieve that potential.
Next week, on Sunday (13/12) we have the girls in action at Tin Siu Wai, I am not sure of the exact timing yet, but anyone interested in watching them drop me a line and I will let you know. The U14s are at Sandy Bay v HKU3 at 4.45pm and the U19s 1stXV have another match, but we will be seeking a postponement given that most of our team are off to Manila two days later for some hard matches.