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Dutch in running for WXV playoff spot

The Netherlands have beaten Hong Kong, making them the highest ranked team outside WXV. If they remain in that position, they will compete for a place in the 2024 WXV.

The bottom ranked team in WXV3 in October will have to play a relegation playoff with the top ranked team outside the tournament, and after today’s match in Amsterdam that team is now the Netherlands.

Before the game, Hong Kong held 15th place in the rankings, but were just 0.01 rankings points ahead of the Dutch.

Hong Kong were in Amsterdam for two games as part of their preparation for the Asian Championships in Almaty later this month, and narrowly beat Sweden at the start of the week.

Hong Kong had struggled at times against the larger Swedish pack, and it was clear from the first scrum that they were face the same pressure in this game. Both teams had scoring opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, but errors in execution kept the scoreboard blank until the Dutch opened the scoring, Isa Prins forcing her way over the line. 5-0.

The Dutch defence was proving stronger than that of Sweden and despite several visits to the Dutch 22 – and even inside the Dutch 5m – the Dutch held on and just before halftime doubled their lead, centre Quen Makkinga spotting a gap, stepping, and scoring by the posts. 12-0 was the score at the break.

Hong Kong began the second half with more determination, and replacements among the forwards seemed to stabilise their scrum, and a back row move from a solid scrum at last put the visitors on the board. 12-5. And ten minutes later they tied the scores at 12-12.

The Dutch hit back immediately with a try from flyhalf Isis Touw, who converted her own score. 19-12.

Hong Kong put the Dutch line under continual pressure as the clock ran down and with two minutes left scored their third try wide, but the kick could not be converted, and the Dutch held out for the final seconds to win 19-17.

Netherlands: 1. Anouk Veerkamp 2. Julia Morauw 3. Nicky Dix 4. Mhina de Vos 5. Isa Prins 6. Supartie van Heerde 7. Mariet Luijken 8. Julia Verhoeven (c) 9. Esmee Ligtvoet 10. Isis Touw 11. Noa Donkersloot 12. Quen Makkinga 13. Gaya van Nifterik 14. Merel de Groot 15. lieve Stallmann

16. Sydney de Weijer 17. Merel van Kampen 18. Rixt Aerts 19. Anniek Nauta 20. Kyra Elzinga 21. Lisa Boot 22. Morgane ter Cock 23. Danique Nikkels

Hong Kong squad: Au King To, Au Yeung Sin Yi, Baltazar Chloe, Chan Abigail, Chan Chloe, Chan Hiu Tung, Chow Mei Nam, Cuvelier Nadia, Dhar Tanya, Fong Rachel, Got Fion, Ho Jessica Wai On, Ho Tsz Wun, Herewini Kea, Lam Tsz Yan, Lee Ka Shun, Li Nim Yan Melody Blessing, Lo Wing Yin, Ng Ki Sum, Nam Ka Man, Olson-Thorne Natasha, So Yee Kei Cherly, Pun Wai Yan, Qian Jiayu, Richardson Megan, Ryan Aileen, Siu Wing Ni Winnie, Tsang Ching Man, Tsang Hoi Laam, Turner Roshini, Wright Rosanna, Wong Sze Ying