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Hangzhou Harlequins vs Fujian Tigers, 13th June 2015
By Jim Phelps

Saturday saw the Hangzhou Harlequins square off against the Fujian Tigers in the final of the China Rugby Plate Cup at Zhejiang University’s Xixi Campus. Several hundred people showed up to cheer on the local side in what ended as a complete routing of the visiting team. You almost felt sorry for the guests as Hangzhou scored try after try, with the final score concluding at an impressive 89-0.

After a jubilant trophy-lifting ceremony MORE Hangzhou interviewed the team,all of whom had big smiles plastered on their faces, despite being heavily splattered with dirt, sweat, beer and blood from a nasty collision late in the game. We spoke to Club Secretary Grace Midgley, President Jordan Weston, Captain Alphonso Bruna, Coach Frank Dubarry and Fly Half and Local Ne’er-do-well Felix Jones.

MH: How did the game go for you guys today?
JW: Amazingly. It couldn’t have gone any better.
AB: Really proud of the team.
FD: I think it was a really good match for the team, but we don’t really care about the score – what’s more important is that the team plays well and we have a really good team spirit and play together. All the players have done their job, and I think we can be really proud of the team.

MH: Was there a turning point in the game?
FJ: The turning point was the kickoff.
JW: The turning point was the warm-up!
GM: Not to sound cocky, or anything.
JW: They didn’t warm up properly, and it showed straight from the beginning.
FD: I think the nice thing is that during all the tries today, all the players touched the ball – the forwards, the backs. All the centres built a bridge between the forwards and backs, really good links between the players. I think it was one of the best games we’ve played as a team.
JW: I don’t think anyone had a bad game, even the players who are less experienced or those we lent to the other team played great.

MH: I saw a few injuries today. What happened?
JW: A lot for their team! I think we were a lot stronger than them and it showed. A couple of tackles bent their legs the wrong way because they weren’t expecting it. There were leg injuries today more than anything. I don’t think there was anything too serious.
AB: The worst was our own two players who hit together and cut themselves.
GM: We had a bit of an incident with blood where a player we’d lent to the opposing team had a big tackle with one of our own players, and now both are getting stitches.
FJ: But rugby’s a very safe sport, and everyone should think about taking it up!
GM: You’re taught how to play it safely, but in any sport accidents happen.
JW: It’s all about technique.

MH: It was the final of the season today. How did you get here?
JW: We got better and better as the season went on. At the beginning of the season, we had maybe ten or fifteen people training. We’ve slowly built up – students have come, students have gone. We’ve now been having about twenty during training and thirty for a game.
GM: Every year we get a lot of players who have never played before, and so we have to teach them. So lots of inexperienced players will come, and we’ll train them up and this year it’s gone very, very well.
JW: We have very good coaches. The league rounds got harder, apart from the final. Our semi-final against Xiamen was probably the hardest game we’ve played. The score was 34-7. We scored a lot of tries towards the end because they got tired, but it was a very close game.
GM: To beat a team like Xiamen by such a margin was a real achievement.
FD: I’ve seen more and more players arrive with different levels – some very good, some just starting out, and my objective is to see the level going up and up. I think for the next season, which starts in September, it will be another really good season for the team. Now that we are one of the champions of China I think it’s a really good thing to help develop rugby in Hangzhou.

MH: Is recruitment an issue?
FD: A lot of people ask but don’t have the time to try the sport.
GM: I think as well that many people can be intimidated by the fact they’ve never played before, and they’re worried about taking it up. As I’ve said, we have a lot of new people that we’ve trained from nothing.
JW: I think we have a very good philosophy – if you train, you play. If we feel you’re experienced enough, you play.
GM: It’s important for us to be inclusive. We don’t want people to show us loyalty and then not have a game.
JW: We’re currently aiming to get more Chinese people involved, as students come for six months or a year and then leave. Chinese are going to stay here.
GM: And also many other teams have a strong Chinese connection, and that’s something we’ve not managed to build yet, so we’re looking to expand that because rugby’s getting more and more popular now what with rugby sevens being in the 2016 Olympics.
FD: The next step is to get our own stadium.
JW: Our own stadium?!
FD: Not stadium. Pitch!
GM: Yeah, hang on!
FD: This (Xixi Campus) is the one place that caters to rugby games, so we play here for all the games. It’s really nice for them to let us play here. It’s not only the game, not only the ball, not only the sport, it’s the relationships and the team spirit and what happens before and after the match, so we need somewhere local where all our players can be together and enjoy the spirit of rugby.

MH: How has the support for the team been this season?
GM: Fantastic! When I first got involved three years ago, we’d have a couple of people turning up, mainly friends and girlfriends. Today the stands were full, so the support is getting huge, and that’s a great thing.
JW: I think we’re a lot more organized now. We’ve got a lot more dedicated people. Jobs are done better, fliers are printed earlier, MORE Hangzhou helps us by putting the fliers in the magazine, and it’s really made a difference.

MH: How do Chinese people react to rugby?
JW: They think it’s dangerous. They always say: “Why don’t you wear a helmet?” and we say: “Because we’re not playing American football.”
GM: We want to build up the number of Chinese players we have, so we have to educate people that although it looks dangerous, you’re taught how to do it in a safe way. We’re getting more and more Chinese spectators, so I think people are learning that it’s safer than they think.
JW: We’re also training the kids as well. Our Chinese coach, Kevin, together with one our Chinese players called Henry are coaching 8-12 year-old kids every Saturday.
GM: Obviously that’s touch rugby, not full contact!

MH: Is there a league for children’s rugby in China?
All: Yeah!
JW: In Hangzhou there are four schools which have children’s touch rugby.
GM: They have tournaments in Shanghai – our kids’ team won a tournament there this year. There’re teams all over China for kids: we play with the Wuhan team a lot and their coach is putting a lot of work into children’s rugby, so it’s building and building…but we won the kids’ tournament!Our little Jiangnan Dragons have got matching Harlequins kits.
JW: Different sponsors though – they’re sponsored by Skoda! The kids’ team have got a better sponsor than us!

MH: Do you have any friendly rivalries with other clubs?
JW: For us, we don’t have rivalries as such, we have got very good relationships with a lot of teams. We’ve got friendly rivalries with teams like Xiamen. There’s no bad feeling in it, but because we’re all friends, we obviously all want to beat each other. We’re known across China Rugby for having the best social side, and all the other teams know a trip to Hangzhou means a good time, so we’ve got very close relationships with teams like Xiamen, Nanjing and Chengdu.

MH: What kind of teambuilding activities do you do?
GM: We put on a lot of dinners; tonight is our end of season dinner and award ceremony, but China Rugby is not serious, serious rugby – it’s social rugby. One of our sponsors is Maya Bar, so on a Tuesday we all meet there for drinks. There is also the running club (Hangzhou Hash House Harriers) so a lot of our team go for the run and then we all get together after. A big part of being a team is having a bond on and off the pitch, so you need to be together and know each other like a brotherhood.

MH: What skills do you need to work on next season?
JW: Fitness and reliability. Consistency too – at each game we have a different number of players present. If we could get twenty people training each week, it would be amazing. It goes up and down.
GM: Plus every year we have a turnaround as students come and leave, so getting dedication throughout the year while people are here is a challenge.

MH: If someone wants to come and join the Hangzhou Harlequins, what do they need to do?
GM: Turn up! Wednesdays at 7:30pm at the Astroturf pitch at Yuquan Campus. The Saturday training for next season should be at Xixi Campus’ grass pitch. If you want more details you can also contact us at


Latest 5 Stories

The Expat Show is Coming Back Very Soon!

For the 12th consecutive year, the Expat Show Shanghai is back for the delight of families. 
Expatriates or locals, the Expat Show Shanghai will meet all your daily needs.

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city, the whole world is represented here. However, creating your network, meeting new people, or simply keeping up to date with new businesses (services and products) can sometimes be complicated by the vastness of this city.

That's why the three days Expat Show brings together in one place everything you need. Thus, foodies will find their happiness within the "Food & Beverage Area" created in partnership with Sherpa's ; various tastings organised will fulfil wine, beer, and cocktail lovers dreams; families will not be left behind with stands dedicated to tourism, education, health but also to investment and finance.

Activities for young and adult visitors will be organized inside a dedicated space, and a relaxation area awaits all visitors for moments of exchange over a drink or a coffee. 

The members of the associations (non-profit, charities, Chambers of Commerce...) will also be there to present their activities and why not, soon, count you among their members.


This year, a big new feature!

The Expat Show is pleased to invite you to its "Get Together Cocktail".

In the Shanghai Exhibition Center, you are expected on Saturday, September 21st, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the Relaxing Area.

Wine, spirits and cocktails tasting with appetizers provided by our sponsors, will be an opportunity to share a pleasant moment.

Participation is free of charge and our generous sponsors have prepared many gifts for you. Come and try your luck! Games, trips, gifts are to be won!


On this Harvest Moon: The Mid-Autumn Festival

This year the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, falls on September 13th. This is the 2nd most important festival in China, after the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival blow out extravaganza. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival that coincides with the autumnal equinox and marks the end of the summer harvest season, and its date varies from year to year because the Chinese can’t seem to let go of the Lunar Calendar. Of course, they’ve seen silverware too, but Jerry Seinfeld already did that bit.

Like everything else here, the history of the Mid-Autumn Festival dates all the way back, 3,000 years, to the Shang Dynasty, when the powerful sorcerer Lo Pan broke the curse of immortality by marrying a girl with green eyes…no, wait, that was the plot to Big Trouble in Little China. Here’s the real one, according to legend (or, Wikipedia, if you want to be a jerk about it):

“Chang'e and her husband Houyi were immortals living in heaven. One day, the ten sons of the Jade Emperor transformed into ten suns and scorched the Earth. Having failed to order his sons to stop ruining the Earth, the Jade Emperor summoned Houyi for help. Houyi, using his legendary archery skills, shot down nine of the sons, but spared one son (who conveniently became the Sun). The Jade Emperor was obviously not pleased with Houyi's solution to save the Earth as it involved Houyi murdering nine of his sons. As punishment, the Jade Emperor banished Houyi and Chang'e to live as mere mortals on Earth.

Seeing how miserable Chang'e felt over her loss of immortality, Houyi decided to go on a long, perilous quest to find the pill of immortality so that the couple could become immortal again. At the end of his quest he met the Queen Mother of the West who agreed to give him the pill, but warned him that each person needs only half the pill to become immortal.

Houyi brought the pill home and stored it in a case. He warned Chang'e not to open the case and then left home for a while. Like every other woman in the history of the world, she didn’t listen. She opened up the case and found the pill just as Houyi was returning home. Nervous Houyi would catch her fiddling with the pill, she swallows the whole thing like a stooge and starts to float into the sky because of the overdose. Although Houyi could have used his wicked archery skills to shoot her and tether her down, he couldn’t bear to do it and Chang'e kept on floating until she landed on the moon.

Although Chang’e missed her husband dearly, she wasn’t alone. She did have company of a jade rabbit that manufactured elixirs, and that of the lumberjack Wu Gang. The lumberjack offended the gods in his attempt to achieve immortality and was therefore banished to the moon. Wu Gang was allowed to leave the moon if he could cut down a tree that grew there. The problem was that each time he chopped it down; it would instantly grow back, effectively condemning him to live on the moon for eternity. Gods are tricky that way.”

So to commemorate this story, as well as the end of the harvest season, people throughout China gather their families together to catch up while eating moon cakes (discussed in more detail later) and pomelo. They also light lanterns to adorn their homes, temples, and even the sky. This last kind of lantern, called a, “sky lantern,” is really quite cool. They’re basically an ornate box kite that’s lit with a candle, but when they’re launched, after night fall, they make for a beautiful, candlelit sky. Add to this luminescence that of the full round moon and you’ve got yourself the makings of one festive evening. It’s also the perfect occasion to pull out your old Neil Young albums (namely Harvest and Harvest Moon) and rock out.

Alternate Uses for Moon Cakes:

Let’s face it; the moon cake is the fruitcake of China. No one actually wants them (other than for re-gifting purposes). They’re just the gift you give people to let them know how little you care for them. For the person on the receiving end, it’s really a slap in the face. The giver of said crap cakes gets to slide by on the kindness of the gesture, while you’ve got to work up a smile, and pretend to appreciate what is in essence, an empty, backhanded act of passive aggression. Giving someone moon cakes is the same as saying, “I’ve nothing but contempt for you, but I do plan on knocking you up for a favor in the next couple weeks, so try not to choke.” But all’s not lost because moon cakes can serve many other functions besides pissing all over the definition of cake. So as those decorative boxes of banality from all your condescending know-nothing colleagues at work pile up in your home, don’t think about how drunk you’re going to have to get to choke them all down. Get creative. Think like Martha Stewart, or just keep reading and use some of the ideas we’ve come up with. It’s a good thing.

Stabilize that wobbly chair or coffee table

One of the nice things about a cake that’s got the density of a brake pad is that it can endure a sizeable amount of force without breaking apart. That makes it one of the best materials to use to support that bothersome short leg on your table, chair, or bar stool. It also won’t scuff up your hardwood floors.

Serves as a fantastic replacement puck for ice or street hockey

Thanks to the moon cakes stout, cylindrical design, (It’s called, yeast, you a-holes! It’s what makes baked goods fluffy and delicious. Stop living in the past.), it has, not only the same shape as a standard ice hockey puck, but also, almost, the exact same dimensions. So here’s what you do. Take a box of these abominations and throw them in the freezer for a couple hours while you gather the gang for a good old fashion game of street hockey, or take them down to the skating rink at the MixC Mall and have at it.

Give to the needy

This is just to prove our point that these shit snacks are universally reviled. Go up to a homeless person asking for money and give them a box of these bastards instead, and see if you don’t get pegged in the back of the head with one as gratitude for your selfless gesture.

Protect yourself from stray dogs

It’s late and you’re stumbling out of the bar after a few too many with your buddies. Your senses are impaired, as is your sense of direction. You find yourself alone, walking down a dark street when you spot a mongrel dog that has shown an interest in you. You’re too drunk to outrun it, and it’s the only thing between you and your warm bed. What do you do? You pull out the moon cakes that some jackanapes forced on you and you force them right into the dog’s mouth. Like peanut butter on their nose, this should keep it occupied for at least 10 minutes, giving you plenty of time to make a staggering escape.

Whip at motorists who don't obey the traffic laws

How many times have you been on your bike, or in a taxi, and you’ve almost been killed by some motorist who thinks the rules don’t apply to them? If you’ve been here a week it’s happened at least once. Don’t lie to us. Of course, you want to throw something at them, but all you have handy is your cell phone and/or wallet and, obviously, you can’t throw those. Moon cakes combine the heft of a billiard ball with the softness of a dessert you’d still pass on in a hostage situation. You make your point, no damage to the target’s car, but the message was received. Everyone wins.

Earmuffs in the winter

Get creative this winter and be the first one on your block to chase away the chills with some homemade, moon cake earmuffs. All you need is a needle, some decorative, elastic yarn, 2 moon cakes (one for each ear) and a microwave. Cut 5 lengths of yarn at a measure of one and half times the circumference of your head. Work the yarn through the moon cakes laterally (through the sides). Adjust the position of the cakes so that each one rests comfortably over each ear, with your lengths of yarn going around your head like a sweat band. When you’ve got them positioned how you like them, tie the ends of your yarn together to ensure a snug fit around your cabeza. When you’re ready to hit the town, throw your stylish new earmuffs in the microwave for 30 seconds and prepare to laugh derisively at Old Man Winter.

Haze the new guy

Like snake wine and unicycles, moon cakes serve no purpose. They do, however, work well for gags, especially when the new guy in your office starts getting a little too big for his britches. Knock him down a peg, and remind him of his place by challenging his manhood with a moon cake eating contest. Basically, you just tell him that it’s a rite of passage we’ve all gone through and if he can’t eat 10 moon cakes in 10 minutes, no one will respect him. Whether or not he finishes them is beside the point. The point is, no one else is going to eat these things and they’re starting to take up space.

And there you have it. Seven great ways to get rid of your moon cakes, when re-gifting is simply not an option, but by no means, are these the only ways. Get creative and think up some yourself. You like building models? Build yourself a 1/10 scale trebuchet and see how far you can wing them. Or give them to kids. They’ll put anything in their mouths. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, everybody!

2019 Qiantang River Tidal Bore and Surfing Competition

Qiantang River tidal bore is one the largest tidal bores in the world which reaches the most spectacular on the eighteenth day of the eight month on Chinese lunar calendar. To watch the 9-meter tidal waves, you can choose the best locations in Haining city, about 50 kilometers from Hangzhou.

2019 Qiantang River International Surfing Competition will be held from Sept.11th to 16th, during which the Qiantang River tides are surging frighteningly high in the year.

Opening ceremony (about 40 minutes)

Time: 3:30pm - 4:10pm, September 12th
Location: Qiantang Farm 钱唐农园 (江干区5号港路)

Qiantang River International Surfing Competition (4 days)

Time: September 13th - 16th (13th-15th: preliminaries, 16th: finals and closing ceremony).
Venue: Qianjiang No.9 Bridge to No.1 Bridge (Qiantang River Bridge) 钱江九桥至钱江一桥(钱塘江大桥)

Closing Ceremony Location: Qiantang Farm 钱唐农园 (江干区5号港路)

Teams: 9 teams (China, Australia, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, California, France, Indonesia and Puerto Rico)
Prize: 200,000RMB

Surfing Carnival (5 days)

Time: 10:30am - 4:30pm, September 12th - 16th
Location: Qiantang Farm 钱唐农园 (江干区5号港路)

What to expect: There will be four surf theme carnival activities: water rafting, surfing pool, surfing culture exhibition, surfing board teaching, as well as magical spider wall, frisbee, bowling and many other activities.

Qiantang Music Festival (1 day)

Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm, Saturday, September 14th
Location: Garden Lawn at Qiantang Farm 钱唐农园大草坪 (江干区5号港路)

The referee of Qiantang River International Surfing Competition, Peter Towndend is the first World Surfing Champion and the former coach of China National Surfing Team.

Nine teams from home and abroad will surf on the so-called “Silver Tides” from Sept. 13th to 16th. World top surfers, Dean Morrison, Eneko Acero, Kyle McGeary and Made Garut Widiarta will participate in the event.

Dean Morrison, who is the champion of Australia and European Division of World Men's Shortboard Surfing Championship Tour. He is one of the most celebrated Australian surfers of the modern era, finishing a career best ninth in 2007. In the water Dean is a pocket dynamo, known for his compact, fluid style and sublime cutback. On land his humility and good nature ensure he is the kind of pro surfer who is approachable for people from all walks of life.

Eneko Acero, one of the most important and influential surfers of Spain and Europe. At that time it was just him on a worldwide tour with surfers from all over the place but his hometown/country. Still today, Eneko is surfing in a daily basis, manages a team of an international brand and of course proudly holds the surname Acero, a surfing family you might heard of from him, his older brother Iker Acero or the charismatic Kepa Acero.

Kyle McGeary, Team (NSSA) champion surfer, he is an underground local surfer from Huntington Beach, California. "Never heard of Kyle? Then you probably don't surf the pier, because if you did, you'd see him hucking big rotators everyday."

Made Garut Widiarta, born and raised in Kuta he started surfing at the age of 9 at his home break Half Ways, Garut is one of the most recognizable Indonesian surfers in the world and he has received more high profile attention in the media than any Indonesian surfer since Rizal Tanjung. Is name is I Made Widiarta a.k.a Garut.

The top local surfers will also participate on behalf of Chinese National Surfing Team. Surfing in the Qiantang River has only been allowed since 2008. During the competition, surfers will follow the tidal bore in motorboats and jet skis, and then take turns riding the waves.

Surfing will be included in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The inclusion has given a boost to the sport in China, where it remains relatively new.

Hangzhou government hopes the competition can further promote the sport among citizens, especially the youth.

The competition will be broadcast nationwide by China Central Television.

HIS Welcome Back BBQ Party, A Great Event For The HIS Community!

On Saturday, September 7th, 2019, Hangzhou International School held their Annual Welcome Back Barbecue and once again gathered the HIS community, parents, students and teachers, they had an opportunity to welcome the new families and to catch up with the old friends while enjoying themselves, the tasty food, and the activities provided.

MORE’s editor Loren was fortunately enough to be invited, while it was initially a little foreign to him—not having kids going to the school, not being a Binjiang-er—his years of being in Hangzhou felt like they finally paid off, and he bumped into a good cross-section of international folk he has known for a while now.

The food was predictably excellent, with burgers from returning favorite Slim’s one of the queues we had to try, but also present was the Indian faire from Pita’s and Tika’s and pizza from Angelo’s.

The kids had a great time too, with musical and dance performances, face painting and candy.

We had a great time talking to some new and returning teachers, eager to get the new school year fully underway, and had a great time talking about the crafts of teaching and parenting, as well as the sense of community that HIS brings to its families and faculty who come together from more than 50 nations to make events like this fun and engaging. We are looking forward to continue having a great school year!

Hello, Hangzhou! Epermarket is Now Delivering 7x a Week!

Looking for fresh and imported products from a source you can trust? Why not take advantage of Epermarket’s new and improved delivery service (now upgraded from 3 days to 7 days a week)? When ordering online, you can pick all the high-quality items you love and have them delivered to your door at on a day that suits you!

If you’re not available at a specific time of the day when your order arrives, you can always select, “Leave my Order at the Door” option, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that your fresh and frozen items will be carefully stored for you in cooler and carton boxes upon your arrival.

Ordering online at Epermarket couldn’t be easier—they have a wide range of hard-to-find products to choose from. Did we mention they have over 5000 imported products as well? And all their fresh groceries are packed on the day they are delivered, so you can be assured of the best quality hand-picked items.

What else is new at Epermarket?

Their Wine Fair promotion! This exclusive wine sale is coming up and will include classic beverages from some of the finest wine regions in the world. From Chablis to Prosecco and Rosé, you can find over 100 wines to dive into and enjoy in the comfort of your home. These wines will be on sale from up to 40% off, starting from September 10th, so keep your eyes peeled for more at

New to Epermarket? Simply scan the QR code to register and get 50RMB off your first order! 

Offer is valid until Friday, the 13th September.

Find out more about other promotions when you visit their website!

The idea behind Epermarket has always been simple: a place for internationals to buy the food they love, from a source they can trust. They place quality and safety first, with all products curated by professionals, all passionate about food and living a healthy life. Whether you are looking for fresh fruit and organic vegetables, pantry favorites or even home care products, Epermarket has everything you need.

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