Sport: Cook Islands remain confident despite Hong Kong defeat

Sport: Cook Islands remain confident despite Hong Kong defeat

The Cook Islands remain bullish about their possibilities despite a 26-Three defeat within the first leg of their Rugby World Cup playoff in opposition to Hong Kong.

The house facet conceded 4 unanswered tries in Rarotonga, together with two within the first ten minutes of the match.

Coach Stan Wright mentioned that they had sufficient alternatives to win the sport however merely did not take them.

“We simply weren’t scientific sufficient. Simply the little issues like that if you return and look over the sport, like I did final evening and this morning, it was simply not being scientific sufficient,” he mentioned.

“Our accuracy wasn’t there – in the event you take away these two first tries and those we missed their wasn’t actually a lot in it. We simply did not get the rub of the inexperienced – our errors price us.”

Hong Kong drew first blood in opposition to the Cook Islands with a four-try win in Rarotonga.
Picture: World Rugby

The house leg was the Cook Islands’ first take a look at since dropping to Tahiti within the Oceania Cup 10 months in the past, a outcome that was later overturned.

The staff has been in camp for 2 weeks and Stan Wright was confident they are going to be a lot better on this weekend’s return leg in Hong Kong now they’ve a recreation underneath their belt.

“You possibly can see we have been about two video games off the tempo,” he admitted.

“They appeared battle-hardened, they’ve had quite a few video games (within the Rugby Asia Championship) and I really feel if we might had two extra first rate video games the result might have been totally different.”

“It was good to see over 10 guys getting their first cap and it was additionally pleasing to see our common age. We’re really only a younger staff, in time period of the blokes’ ages, in order that’s pleasing to see going ahead for Cook Island rugby.

“These guys obtained a style of take a look at footy, those that do not come from an expert setting, in order that’s a constructive.”

Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones was thrilled with the efficiency of his facet, who at the moment are inside touching distance of a spot within the world repechage event in November, from which the profitable staff will qualify for subsequent 12 months’s World Cup in Japan.

“It was an excellent efficiency,” he enthused.

“I do not get overly enthusiastic about issues, however I feel it was an historic day for Hong Kong. Cook Islands introduced everybody again and so they have some top-quality gamers in that facet however our efficiency was simply excellent. It was a troublesome recreation and that was a hell of a win.”

“Forward of the sport, we talked about each level being valuable, whether or not we’re giving them away or getting them. It was an important efficiency and the boys are celebrating now, however in the event you take a look at them, they’re additionally grounded.

“They know we’ve to do the identical subsequent week. We can’t be glad with dropping. We need to ensure that we end the job off subsequent week.”

Despite needing to overturn a 23 level deficit on international soil, Stan Wright remained confident his staff might maintain their World Cup hopes alive.

“The boys watched the video this morning and a bit final evening and so they realised we are able to really do that so the assumption is there, which is an effective begin, and all we’ve to do it maintain the little element that was lacking from yesterdays match and we’ve each probability of profitable that recreation and profitable it nicely,” he mentioned.

“I’ve little doubt by any means that we (can come again). Will or not it’s mission unattainable? Nah – I gained a Heineken Cup in opposition to Northampton after we have been 36 factors down at half-time and we got here out and gained the sport so can we do it? Sure, after all we are able to. Is the assumption there? Completely.”

A wholesome crowd turned as much as watch the Cook Islands tackle Hong Kong.
Picture: Cook Islands Rugby Union/Bluesky Cook Islands

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