Emerging Nations World Cup Solomon Islands vs Hong Kong Preview

The Solomon Islands were unlucky not to come away with something from their opening game against Turkey, unfortunately for the Solies they left it too late to make an indentation in the Turkish lead after a slow start to the game, coming away on the wrong end of a 30-22 loss against a very good Turkey outfit.

Hong Kong had a very rough outing against a Polish side that have quickly asserted themselves as one of the tournament favourites, the Thunder suffering a crippling 62-6 loss, spending 20 minutes of the game with only 12 men on the field after their hooker was sin binned twice for dissent, leaving the Hong Kong side well and truly up against it.

The Solomon Islands did a very good job of dictating the pace of the game while in attack against Turkey, it was their defence that led them astray from time to time in their opener. Their big men in the middle of the park were particularly impressive, Jimmy Maebata was their go to man close to the line, his two tries proved why, he's been one of the stand out forwards of the tournament so far, an 80 minute prop with some real driving force both into and post contact.

When you see a score line like 62-6 you would think it would be hard to draw many positives from the game, however this wasn't the case, Hong Kong's Rugby Union background was clear to see with well run set play's and sweeping line moves, unfortunately the conditions on the day doing them no favours. Hong Kong's short kicking game was also very effective, although they weren't rewarded by points, they came close on multiple occasions but the slick surface carrying the ball dead.

The Solomon Islands will play in and around the play ball the area, utilising the skills of Carlwyn Tenge'Moana at 9 to punch holes out of dummy half and allow their nippy backs to pitch in and support from further out of the danger zones before putting their big men to get onto the ball close to the line. Hong Kong's halves really ran the show against Poland, the true linchpins of this outfit, bringing into play their big number 15, Matthew Waugh, a real dangerous player, packing big tackles and even bigger runs, the Solomon Islands will have to mark him up.


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