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Thread: Hong Kong Sevens

  1. #1
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    Hong Kong Sevens

    Top seeds pass first HK test

    30 MARCH 2007

    The main contenders all progressed through their opening pool matches unscathed on day one of the Cathay Pacific / Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens, the fifth event in the IRB Sevens World Series.

    Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and defending champions England all scored easy victories on a first day notable for the overall quality of play, including from the vastly improved Asian nations.

    The USA, however, caused the tournament's first upset by beating France 14-5 to give themselves an outside chance of making the Cup quarter finals.

    Amid a feverish atmopshere at the magnificent Hong Kong Stadium, favourites and joint Series leaders Fiji scored within 20 seconds of the opening match against Sri Lanka, Etonia Naba racing clear for the first try of the tournament in their 45-0 win.

    South Africa look to be the islanders' closest challengers and they also made light work of their first test, outpacing Chinese Taipei 59-0 with Marius Schoeman scoring a hat trick of tries. The impressive Samoans also overcame a spirited Asian challenge, China feeling the heat in their 49-5 win.

    Nigel Hunt then inspired New Zealand to a strong opening win against Italy, 41-5, before the crowd's loyalties were split as defending champions and Hong Kong darlings England saw off the hosts 38-7.

    Of the second tier seeds in the draw, Scotland and Tonga looked the most impressive. Both ran in five tries, the Scots against Portugal in their 31-7 win and the islanders against Wales.

    The tightest matches of the day came late on, Korea pulling ahead against Argentina before the Pumas hit back, Santiago Gomez Cora's try sealing a 24-14 win. Australia were then forced to come from behind against Tunisia, eventually winning 19-12.

    The action continues on day two with 24 more pool matches, points difference likely to be crucial in deciding the best two second-placed finishers, who will join the six pool winners in Sunday's Cup quarter finals.

    IRB Sevens - 2006/07 - Hong Kong

    DAY ONE RESULTS

    1 Pool A 16:30 Fiji 45 - 0 Sri Lanka
    2 Pool B 16:52 South Africa 59 - 0 Chinese Taipei
    3 Pool C 17:14 Samoa 49 - 5 China
    4 Pool D 17:36 New Zealand 41 - 5 Italy
    5 Pool E 17:58 England 38 - 7 Hong Kong
    6 Pool F 18:20 France 5 - 14 USA
    7 Pool A 19:10 Scotland 31 - 7 Portugal
    8 Pool B 19:32 Wales 7 - 33 Tonga
    9 Pool C 19:54 Canada 26 - 5 Japan
    10 Pool D 20:16 Kenya 14 - 10 Russia
    11 Pool E 20:38 Argentina 24 - 14 Korea
    12 Pool F 21:00 Australia 19 - 12 Tunisia

    Tonga and Scotland join top six in Cup

    31 MARCH 2007

    The main contenders all proceeded unbeaten to the quarter finals of the Cathay Pacific / Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens with the southern hemisphere quartet Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa looking the most impressive.

    Defending champions England also won their three games but were a long way from the form they showed in winning here last year.

    Cup quarter final line up
    Fiji v Scotland
    England v New Zealand
    Samoa v Australia
    Tonga v South Africa

    None of the top sides had it all their own way; Tonga, Portugal and hosts Hong Kong all asked the very best of top seeds and China, Italy and Tunisia won against core Series teams - Canada, Kenya and France respectively.

    Hosts Hong Kong scored a notable win against Korea, who beat them late last year in the Asian Games, while the US Eagles won two of their pool games for the first time.

    Pool A

    Fiji followed their opening day victory over Sri Lanka with wins over Portugal and Scotland. The Portuguese responded well to their disappointing performance yesterday and held the islanders 7-7 at half time. William Ryder inspired them to a stong second half, though, and Fiji eventually won 28-7. Earlier braved a fine Sri Lankan onslaught to win 53-21 and then proved tough to break down for Fiji, who beat them 26-0.

    Pool B

    A Stefan Basson hat trick helped South Africa come from behind to beat the bruising Tongans 31-12 and later on they won more comfortably against lacklustre Wales, 31-0. Allied to their 59-0 win on the opening day, the results ensure that the Boks top the group. Wales earlier beat Chinese Taipei 61-0.

    Pool C

    A Mikaele Pesamino hat trick helped Samoa rack up a 54-7 win against Japan, adding to their 49-5 victory over China on day one. The tough islanders finished day two by scoring 41 unanswered points against Canada. China, meanwhile, provided the first major upset of the second day when a hat trick of tries from Li Yang inspired them to come from behind to beat Canada 21-19. Yang's third try a minute from time drew the scores level at 19-19 and Jonny Zhiang held his nerve from out wide with the conversion to clinch China's first IRB Sevens pool victory since 2002. Japan proved too strong for them, winning their all-Asian clash 40-12.

    Pool D

    Zar Lawrence and Tomasi Cama both scored two tries as New Zealand added 54 unanswered points - against Russia - to their 41-5 victory over Italy on day one. Gordon Tietjens' side then rounded off an impressive first two days by beating Kenya 50-14, Nigel Hunt and Lote Raikabula each scoring a brace. Italy earlier provided an upset by beating Kenya 19-5 but then lost out to Russia.

    Pool E

    Crowd favourites England proceed unbeaten but unconvincing to finals day after recording three tough wins in their pool. A hat trick by Charlie Amesbury helped them to a 38-14 win against Korea - to add to their first day win over Hong Kong - before captain Simon sparked them to a final 19-14 win against the Pumas. The Koreans impressed against England, scoring two fine tries, but then fell to hosts Hong Kong, who exacted revenge for their narrow defeat to the Koreans in the Asian Games. The home side had earlier narrowly missed out against Argentina, 19-12.

    Pool F

    Always likely to be by far the tightest, pool F served up nothing but close games. Australia's two opening victories - 19-12 over Tunisia and 15-14 over USA - ensured that they would top the group and they rounded off an unbeaten group with a 28-14 win against France, who failed to win one game. The USA rounded off an excellent first two days with a second win, against Tunisia, to finish second in the group.

    DAY TWO RESULTS

    13 Pool A 10:30 Scotland 53 - 21 Sri Lanka
    14 Pool B 10:52 Wales 61 - 0 Chinese Taipei
    15 Pool C 11:14 Canada 19 - 21 China
    16 Pool D 11:36 Kenya 5 - 19 Italy
    17 Pool E 11:58 Argentina 19 - 12 Hong Kong
    18 Pool F 12:20 Australia 15 - 14 USA
    19 Pool A 12:42 Fiji 28 - 7 Portugal
    20 Pool B 13:04 South Africa 31 - 12 Tonga
    21 Pool C 13:26 Samoa 54 - 7 Japan
    22 Pool D 13:48 New Zealand 54 - 0 Russia
    23 Pool E 14:10 England 38 - 14 Korea
    24 Pool F 14:32 France 12 - 21 Tunisia
    25 Pool A 14:54 Portugal 47 - 7 Sri Lanka
    26 Pool B 15:16 Tonga 49 - 17 Chinese Taipei
    27 Pool C 15:38 Japan 40 - 12 China
    28 Pool D 16:00 Russia 17 - 12 Italy
    29 Pool E 16:22 Korea 12 - 19 Hong Kong
    30 Pool F 16:44 Tunisia 5 - 14 USA
    31 Pool A 17:06 Fiji 26 - 0 Scotland
    32 Pool B 17:28 South Africa 31 - 0 Wales
    33 Pool C 17:50 Samoa 41 - 0 Canada
    34 Pool D 18:12 New Zealand 50 - 14 Kenya
    35 Pool E 18:34 England 19 - 14 Argentina
    36 Pool F 18:56 France 14 - 28 Australia

    LATEST POOL STANDINGS

    Pool A
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    FIJI 3 0 0 99 7 9
    SCOTLAND 2 0 1 84 54 7
    PORTUGAL 1 0 2 61 66 5
    SRI LANKA 0 0 3 28 145 3

    Pool B
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 0 121 12 9
    TONGA 2 0 1 94 55 7
    WALES 1 0 2 68 64 5
    CHINESE TAIPEI 0 0 3 17 169 3

    Pool C
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    SAMOA 3 0 0 144 12 9
    CANADA 1 0 2 45 67 5
    JAPAN 1 0 2 52 92 5
    CHINA 1 0 2 38 108 5

    Pool D
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    NEW ZEALAND 3 0 0 145 19 9
    ITALY 1 0 2 36 63 5
    KENYA 1 0 2 33 79 5
    RUSSIA 1 0 2 27 80 5

    Pool E
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    ENGLAND 3 0 0 95 35 9
    ARGENTINA 2 0 1 57 45 7
    HONG KONG 1 0 2 38 69 5
    KOREA 0 0 3 40 81 3

    Pool F
    Won Drawn Lost Pts for Pts against TOTAL
    AUSTRALIA 3 0 0 62 40 9
    USA 2 0 1 42 25 7
    TUNISIA 1 0 2 38 45 5
    FRANCE 0 0 3 31 63 3

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  2. #2
    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    The Aussies are lucky to still be there only just beating the US and Tunisia, whats the deal there...

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    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Times have changed FR. The competitiveness of "Lesser" nations has improved dramatically and you will see a lot more of this.

    The US for example take 7's very seriously, import training tecniques and coaches, have a year round training program and are heavily involved in the competition circuit, regularly participating in top tournaments just under the IRB level, such as Singapore,Bangkok and others.

    This has had a hugh influence on their (and other developing rugby nation's) performances.

    Expect even more of the same now there are big bucks in rugby.

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