HK Scottish team captain Kane Boucaut is hopeful the recent success of Hong Kong’s women can inspire the men’s sevens and 15s teams to bigger and better things in an “exciting” 2017.
Boucaut was as solid as a rock in Scottish’s 35-27 win over Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers in the Hong Kong Premiership on Saturday.
The 25-year-old is part of the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s elite programme. He thinks that by qualifying for this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup, Hong Kong’s girls have shown the way for the men.
“A lot of the girls are really good friends with the guys in the programme and it’s great to see them having all this success,” he said. “I definitely think it spurs the guys along and seeing their success we can push forward.”
Despite not being eligible to represent Hong Kong until September, Boucaut is loving the programme and is soaking up as much as he can.
“It’s good sitting in the background and watching how it all works and hopefully I’ll get my shot in September,” he said.
“It’s exciting times ahead. The upcoming Asia Rugby Championship is going to be really interesting. Hopefully we can do really well and stay on top of Korea and push Japan.”
Saturday’s win over Tigers, coupled with Societe Generale Valley’s loss to Kowloon, leaves Scottish just one point off top spot with four rounds remaining.
The weekend’s results have thrown the race for the league championship wide open.
“We enjoy each other’s company,” Boucaut said. “That’s what makes Scottish and it’s really helped us the last couple of years.”
The No 8 is in his third season with Scottish after moving to Hong Kong from Brisbane. After co-captaining the side last year, he has taken the reins outright this season.
“I love a bit more responsibility,” Boucaut said.
Scottish were forced to fight back from 20-6 down after a poor finish to the first half but were in front after 15 minutes of the second half, with centre Conor Hartley producing a brilliant hat-trick of tries.
“We started well but then we went into a bit of a lull, which was a bit frustrating, and they scored a couple of good tries,” Scottish coach Craig Hammond said.
“We know they are a quality team and 29 points in that second half is pretty good.”
Earlier, tries by Josh Hrstich and Tomo Howells gave Tigers a healthy half-time advantage, before Hartley’s blitz and some precise kicking from fly half Gregor McNeish saw Scottish take a 10-point lead.
Scottish winger Austin Robertshaw had the final say with a brilliant intercept and try.
Kowloon continued their impressive season with a 27-13 win over Valley to move within nine points of the top spot, while Natixis HKFC inflicted another close loss on Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC, winning 31-28.
In the KPMG Women’s Premiership, CPM Gai Wu Falcons thrashed SCAA First Pacific CWB Phoenix 79-5, Valley defeated Kowloon 44-0 and HKFC beat Comvita City Sparkle 29-8.