Hong Kong ended their Asia Rugby Championship 2017 campaign with a 39-3 win over Korea at the Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday.
Having beaten the same opposition 43-17 in Incheon a week earlier, the victory ensured Hong Kong of second place behind unbeaten champions Japan with Korea propping up the table with a solitary bonus point to their name.
Both sides struggled in the high humidity and the 34 degree heat, and it was only in the last 20 minutes when Hong Kong found their stride.
For the first hour, they laboured to a 20-3 lead after a score from flanker Nick Hewson, a penalty try and 10 points from the boot of Jamie Hood.
Ben Rimene pushed the margin to 25-3 in the 68th minute when he capped off a skilful passage of handling, before number eight Dan Falvey (main picture) and scrum-half Cado Lee Ka added some gloss to the scoreline.
The win was worth just over three tenths of a rating point, taking Hong Kong to 58.66 points and up to 24th place, above Portugal. Meanwhile, Korea drop one place to 30th with Switzerland the beneficiaries.
CAYMANS DELIVER IN BERMUDA
The only other match to affect the rankings this weekend came in the Rugby Americas North Championship where the Cayman Islands defeated hosts Bermuda 28-15 to move up to 57th place. Bermuda fall four to 76th.
The Caymans effectively had the game sewn up by half-time after racing into a 17-0 lead. Tries from backs David Acutt and Morgan Shelver were converted by Morgan Hayward, who was also successful with one of his three penalty attempts.
Centre Venasio Tokatokavanua scored a try that went unconverted within three minutes of the restart to take the score out to 22-0, before Bermuda made a game of it with two tries of their own.
Number eight Conor McGlynn atoned for his first-half yellow card with their first try after 47 minutes and replacement Brynley Thomas added another seven minutes later.
Hayward kicked a penalty to put the Caymans two scores ahead and then slotted his third three-pointer after Bermuda’s replacement hooker Michael Williams was sin-binned.
Four minutes later, Tokatokavanua was yellow-carded to even the numbers up and Bermuda had the final say when Darren Roichardson crossed for their third try.
The other Rugby Americas North Championship fixture to take place on Saturday ended in a 42-5 win for the Bahamas over the Dominican Republic. However, the result did not count towards the rankings as the Dominican Republic are not a member union of World Rugby and only results between two full member unions count towards the rankings.