A whopping great 30 men’s teams and 19 women’s teams joined this year’s Standard Chartered Tertiary Invitational Sevens Tournament, which took place on the first two days of January at King’s Park Sports Ground.
The line-up included 6 visiting overseas universities from Singapore, Beijing, Xiamen, Zhuhai, and Taipei and with such large numbers both the men’s and women’s competitions were separated into “Elite” and “Qualifier” divisions.
In the Men’s Elite Division, defending champions Chang Jung Christian University from Chinese Taipei were again dominant, and although runners-up Education University of Hong Kong did get on the score sheet in the final and showed the gap had closed somewhat since last year, the boys from Taipei continue to set the standards with their 5th consecutive victory. Silverware also for Baptist University who took home the Plate beating Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, and Poly University took the Bowl with a win over Xiamen University.
In the Women’s Elite Division, defending Cup champions the China Agricultural University from Beijing retained their title with a commanding performance against Baptist University. The physicality of the CAU girls was a key factor, although no one would question the pedigree of their coach, former China national team centre Gunner who spent a number of seasons in Hong Kong back in the day. The Plate was captured by Nanyang Technological University with a win over Poly University, while City University defeated Chinese University to take the Bowl.
In the Qualifier Division, IVE Shatin beat their fellow students from IVE LWL & HK Design Institute to win the Men’s Championship, while for the Women Shue Yan University saw off the National University of Singapore.
One thing you can always rely on with tertiary rugby – they’ll play hard on and off the pitch, and the post-tournament dinner was a great demonstration of the values of rugby with plenty of fun, laughter and new friendships.
The students will return on 14/15 April for the University Sports Federation Sevens…watch this space!