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Hull: We Must Beat Fijiana XV

  Hong Kong women’s rugby coach Jo Hull is targeting a must-win clash against Fiji tomorrow as they look to grab their Women’s Rugby World Cup dream with “both hands.”
08 Dec 2016 11:23
Hull: We Must Beat Fijiana XV
Fijiana XV skipper Lailanie Burns (front) leads the players in their warm up exercise in Hong Kong. Photos: FRU Media

 

Hong Kong women’s rugby coach Jo Hull is targeting a must-win clash against Fiji tomorrow as they look to grab their Women’s Rugby World Cup dream with “both hands.”

Hong Kong will host the three-team qualifier that will determine the final two teams from Asia/Oceania for next year’s showpiece in Ireland. The hosts, who have never qualified for the World Cup, face Fiji in their opening game on December 9 before finishing their campaign against Asian champions Japan on December 17.

“The Fiji game is everything as it is the first game and a win would position us very well to advance to the World Cup,” Hull told The Standard.

“The players know they need to get everything right against Fiji, Our set-pieces and, most importantly, the contact area and breakdown, are our key focus. The players are excited, but we know we will need to earn this.”

Hull has named an expanded 31-player squad. Veteran forwards Royce Chan Leong-sze and Christy Cheng Ka-chi have been called up to the squad along with new prop Wong Yuen-shan, while Jessica Ho Wai-on is a new addition to the backs.

“It is an amazing opportunity to go to a World Cup … and there is a real belief in the team that it is not a dream anymore and we are trying to grab it with both hands.”

The Fijiana XV scored six tries in their 37-10 win over Papua New Guinea in the inaugural Oceania championship in Suva- their first Test in 10 years.

“Rugby is in the blood of the Fijians so they understand the game quite well. Fiji are big and strong, so we need to go into that first game knowing how we want to play against them. We haven’t played them before in 15s and that will pose some challenges.”

In contrast, Hong Kong know Japan extremely well having lost 39-3 and 30-3 in the Asian championship this year.

“Japan are fast and like to play a high-tempo game, but we are confident that we are approaching both games with the objective of finishing in the top two,” added Hull.

Edited by Marika Delai

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