HONG KONG WOMEN WITHSTAND CHINA, FALL TO JAPAN ON DAY ONE OF ASIA RUGBY SEVENS QUALIFIERS

07 Nov 2015

Hong Kong’s Women’s Sevens team found reigning Asian champions Japan one hurdle too many on the opening day of the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier - but with two wins from three matches they remain in a strong position heading into the business end of the tournament Sunday.

The Japanese ran in six tries on their way to a 36-0 victory over the host team but coach Anna Richards was accentuating the positives – as well as eying a chance for revenge in the tournament final.

“Japan are a quality side you have to be on top of your game to challenge them,” she said.

“We’ve got a big game against Kazakhstan in the morning now and we just have to win that.”

Hong Kong ended the day tied for second on sevens points with Kazakhstan, who they meet Sunday in the game likely to decide the finalist to face Japan who lead on nine points going into finals day.

Hong Kong had begun their campaign with a comfortable win against Sri Lanka, Aggie Poon Pak-yan’s pace proving too much for the islanders as she helped herself to three tries in a 36-5 victory.

The game marked the Hong Kong Stadium debut for a number of the squad, including 21-year-old winger Chong Ka-yan who was brought on in the second half.

China were made of much sterner stuff, their size testing Richards’ squad, who rose to the challenge with some swarming defence after Poon had crossed over at 4.35 of the first half.

Cheng Tsz-ting was everywhere at once as the Chinese looked for a way through, but the crowd rallied for Hong Kong and they held on to the lead resolutely.

Hong Kong will have a do-or-die match with Kazakhstan tomorrow at 9.59, before facing Guam in the final round-robin match that will ultimately determine the placings for tomorrow’s women’s final at 17.45.

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