Rugby World Cup dream may be over but Hong Kong’s journey is just getting started
Hong Kong rugby player, Nick Hewson shares the lessons and future hopes with Societe Generale, Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup, after their heart-breaking loss at Rugby World Cup qualifiers in France.
Nick: “Our Rugby World Cup dream has come to an end but we remain positive about what lies ahead for rugby in Hong Kong. After the devastating loss against Canada in the Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament in Marseille, we are determined to take home as many lessons as possible and continue to grow as a group.
It was always going to be a challenge in our final match against the Canadians where we needed a 4-try margin to advance to the Rugby World Cup and it was made even harder when heavy rain turned the field to mud. The situation meant we had to play an offensive style and we looked to score 7-point tries rather than going for easier 3-point penalty kicks. Unfortunately Canada shut us down and they fully deserved the 27-10 win and the last place at the Rugby World Cup.
Despite the gutting loss, this experience will only make us stronger. The younger guys will bring back some great lessons and carry these forward into the coming years where they can build on their game and look to qualify for the next Rugby World Cup.
The character the team showed throughout this journey and what we represent makes me feel so proud and I’ve loved being a part of this team’s unique spirit. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears from the whole squad and to miss our goal was beyond upsetting but I can assure you there is something very special building in Hong Kong Rugby and I believe our journey is just getting started.
I am also grateful to have experienced this opportunity in such a welcoming city like Marseille where the people have been nothing but friendly. I have forged memories and connections that I will carry with me for life.
After leaving Marseille I was fortunate enough to continue my own journey and attend the World Rugby Awards in Monaco where the best players in the world gathered. It was a celebration of talent and achievement and the values that unite us through rugby. Every winner was so humble and gave credit to the team behind their awards.
As I head back to Hong Kong knowing our Rugby World Cup Japan journey has come to an end I feel nothing but excitement for the journey ahead as I watch the game and players develop here in Hong Kong. I wish Canada the best preparation in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup and I can’t wait for the adventures that lie ahead.