Hong Kong vs Kenya Repechage
Hong Kong will face Kenya in the Rugby World cup 2019 Repechage in Marseille, France at 13:00 local (7 a.m. ET) [20.00 HKG time] on Saturday, November 17. The match will be shown on NBC Gold Rugby in the U.S. and on World Rugby in most countries.
Hong Kong’s 26-9 loss to Germany means that the team will need a bonus point win over Kenya and a win over Canada the following week to keep their hopes alive of securing the last spot at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Hong Kong faced Kenya three times in 2017 gaining two wins and a draw.
Dai Rees, Chief Rugby Operations Officer at the HKRU, credited the response from the squad to the opening loss against Germany.
“There has been a huge response from the squad this week. We had a bad loss against Germany where we didn’t execute our game plan fully and we accept that. But there were also a lot of positives for us to build off, including our defense, which was magnificent, with a 95% completion rate, bar one missed tackle at a man down in the final quarter.
Instead of the usual open style offensive attack, Hong Kong’s “game plan will likely involve trying to slow the tempo down and exert a more possession style game against Kenya, who thrive on counter-attacking and chaos in the loose play.
“We need to control the game. Our set piece will have to be functioning in both the scrum and the lineout, and we just need to keep a very structured game and force them to play to that structure,” Rees added.
Wholesale changed were made in the starters with only captain James Cunningham at lock. In the backs, Tyler Spitz and Salom Yiu remain at outside center and wing, respectively. Yiu had four line breaks against Germany and has proved to be invaluable int he attack.
Kenya squad is bolstered by the addition of several of its sevens stars and counters that with speed and elusiveness. Rimene, Yiu, Denmark, Fenn, Boucaut, and Hood are all veterans of Hong Kong’s sevens squad, coming into the action.
Kenya Simbas Head Coach Ian Snook has made six changes in his squad to face Hong Kong. Wilson Kopondo will captain the side and replaces captain Davis Chenge who misses this match due to a shoulder injury against Canada. Chenge is expected to play next Friday against Germany. Elkeans Musonye is a flanker, Felix Avange the scrum-half, and Nelson Oyoo at wing, while Ephraim Odour and Dalmus Chituyi, are reserves.
The Simbas had their attacking moments against Canada, but the floodgates opened during the second half with Canada scoring a number of tries. Against Hong Kong, the defense will need to adjust quicker and use the evasive running of some of the sevens players.
Hong Kong: 1. Ben Higgins 2. Ben Roberts 3. Dylan Rogers, 4. James Cunningham (Cap) 5. Fin Field 6. Nick Hewson 7. Toby Fenn 8. Kane Boucaut 9. Bryn Phillips 10. Ben Rimene 11. Max Denmark 12. Ben Axten-Burrett 13. Tyler Spitz 14. Shalom YIU 15. Jamie Hood 16. Dayne Jans 17. Dan Barlow 18. Jack Parfitt 19. Mick Parfitt 20. Thomas Lamboley 21. Liam Slatem 22. Matt Rosslee 23. Lewis Warner
Kenya: 1 Patrick Ouko, 2 Colman Were, 3 Joseph Odero, 4 Wilson Kopondo, (Cap) 5 Malcolm Onsando, 6 Andrew Amonde, 7 Elkeans Musonye 8 Josh Chisanga, 9 Felix Avange 10 Samuel Oliech, 11 Willy Ambaka, 12 Owade 13 Collins Injera, 14 Nelson Oyoo 15 Tony Onyango 16 Philip Ikambili, 17 Ephraim Odour 18 Hillary Mwanjilwa, 19 George Nyambua, 20 Martin Owilah 21 Samson Onsomu, 22 William Reeve, 23 Dalmus Chituyi
2019 Repechage Matches
November 11 (Sunday)
November 17 (Saturday)
- Hong Kong vs Kenya 13:00 local (7 a.m. ET) Preview
- Canada vs Germany 16:00 local (10 a.m. ET) Preview
November 23 (Friday)
- Kenya vs Germany 18:00 local (12:00 p.m. ET)
- Hong Kong vs Canada 21:00 local (15:00 ET)