Day two of the three-day Emirates Airline Cup of Nations XV’s rugby tournament heralded resounding victories for Hong Kong over Kenya and for Brazil over the UAE.
Coming off their day-one wins, Kenya and Hong Kong appeared charged and confident as they took the field to oppose each other at 7he Sevens. Kenya put in a strong first half performance that shocked Hong Kong to lead 12 points to 10 at the half time break. Hong Kong dug in and dominated play throughout the second half outscoring their opponents 34 to 5 to post a final score of 44 to 17. Hong Kong now sits firmly atop with two wins, which edges them closer to their goal of winning all of their three games and to take home the inaugural Emirates Airline Cup of Nations trophy.
In the second match of the day, Brazil faced the UAE where the Brazilian side had clearly learnt from the lessons dealt to them in their day one defeat to Kenya. From kick-off they had the UAE well under control, and although the UAE managed to keep Brazil scoreless for the first 15 minutes, a Martin Schaefer try gave Brazil their first entry on the scoreboard and the scene was set.
The UAE’s only score came in the 27th minute through a penalty goal off the boot of number 10 Quihen Marais, and at half time Brazil comfortably led 27 to 3.
UAE gave away an unanswered 39 points during the second half, and the fledgling squad was given another lesson in international XV’s rugby. At the siren the scoreboard read in favour of Brazil 66 to 3.
With the final day of the Emirates Airline Cup of Nations being played this Friday the UAE’s main concern is their growing injury list. Greg Thompson is out of contention after suffering a nasty concussion in the final 5 minutes of today’s game, Captain Renier Els suffered a knee injury, star Quihen Marais has a nagging shoulder injury and doubts over the fitness of Murray Strang and Tim Fletcher remain.
Despite being battered and facing such challenges the team remains focused. "We have taken a lot of knocks from the past two games” said Wayne Marsters UAE Rugby’s interim head coach. “But our resolve remains positive and we know these are solid steps forward in our development, the guys firmly have this belief and we need to take it with us into Friday’s final game against Kenya”.
Entry to watch the final days action in the inaugural Emirates Airline Cup of Nations XV’s tournament, Friday December 16th at 7he Sevens, is free.