USA National Rugby Team


Hong Kong Downs US in Pacific Rim Final

(San Francisco, California) 20 June 1998 -- Paced by five Chris Yates penalty goals, Hong Kong overcame an early send-off to down the United States 27-17 in a Canterbury of New Zealand Pacific Rim Rugby Championship match at Boxer Stadium.

With the visitors looking ill-tempered from the outset, Hong Kong's Chris Gordon notched an early two-on-one try before new starting halfback Kevin Dalzell dummied the goalline defense to dive over for an unconverted score.

For his troubles, Dalzell was belted almost immediately after the restart by Dragon flanker Paul Dingley. The punch precipitated an all-in, and despite their recent losing streak, the Eagles don't look to have lost any of their spirit. US wing Malakai Tabuvuya was issued a warning, but no other players were cited.

Dan Kennedy's 24th-minute try gave the United States a 10-7 advantage and appeared to set the hosts on their way, but sloppy ballhandling and poor judgment--as well as Yates's six of eight goalkicking--stifled the Eagles.

The league's leading scorer hit four straight penalty shots, giving Hong Kong a 19-10 lead that lasted through most of the second half. The US created a few good second-half scoring chances and also made several long breaks, but finished poorly. The speedy Dragon defense also caught counterattacking US ballcarriers behind their forwards on several occasions.

Hong Kong's Vaughan Going and the USA's Rob Lumkong scored late tries to wrap up the match.

Hong Kong finishes the year at 4-2, hoping a Canadian stumble against later today against Japan will give it a share of the title. The US winds up at 1-5.

Final: Hong Kong 24 United States 10 (halftime Hong Kong 16-10)

United States: Tries: Kevin Dalzell, Dan Kennedy, Rob Lumkong
Conversions: Andre Blom

Hong Kong: Tries: Chris Gordon, Vaughan Going
Conversions: Chris Yates
Penalty goals: Chris Yates (5)

Referee: Masaru Ishi (Japan)