07th Apr 2024

There was double delight for New Zealand as the powerhouse rugby nation claimed both titles for the second year running at the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Sunday.

As the tournament marked 30 years at the iconic Hong Kong Stadium, the respective HSBC SVNS Cup finals were wildly different in the way they played out but they both ended up with the Kiwis raising the silverware.

The New Zealand men, having been dominant all weekend, were pushed all the way by France before digging deep in the second half to win 10-7 and claim their 13th Hong Kong Sevens title. The New Zealand women were likewise impressive all weekend but carried that through to the final siren with a 36-7 win over the USA that was never really in doubt.

For the over 100,000 fans who packed the Hong Kong Stadium, the weekend provided memories to last a lifetime, as the Hong Kong Sevens returned to its very best.

“It has been a fantastic weekend,” said Chris Brooke, Chairman of Hong Kong China Rugby.

“Obviously it is great to have sold out the event, and excellent to welcome so many of our international visitors back to Hong Kong. We fund all of our programmes from the surplus we generate from the Sevens, so it’s absolutely critical for us to have such a successful three days to reinvest into the game in Hong Kong.

“We now need to build on all of this for our anticipated move to Kai Tak Sports Park, and our objective to create a bigger and better event that has more for everyone,” he added.

The rain threatened midway through the afternoon - as it had on Saturday - but once again it failed to dampen spirits as the clock ticked down to the finals. There was victory for Hong Kong China’s men in the inaugural Melrose Claymore tournament, 22-10 over Japan, while the city’s women gave their all against China, before falling 24-10.

With the crowd suitably pumped up by those efforts, rocker Arnel Pineda took to the stage - and he took the masses through a hit parade of rock classics.

For World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin the tournament remains “the jewel in the crown of sevens” - a fact that was again reflected by those ticket sales, and the return - en masse - of international fans.

"We’ve seen an amazing weekend - Hong Kong is definitely back, the international fans are really back,” said Gilpin.

The Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is proud of being an “M” Mark event that helps enhance the image of Hong Kong as Asia’s sports event capital. The “M” Mark awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolising intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory sports calendar.