Hong Kong take silver as Shandong win Gold in Rugby 7s at Chinese National Games

Hong Kong take silver as Shandong win Gold in Rugby 7s at Chinese National Games

The Hong Kong, China Men's Rugby Sevens team took the Silver medal on Rugby Sevens' debut at the 12th National Games after losing 12-14 to Shandong this afternoon in the final. Hong Kong lost another close-run encounter to Shandong (17-14) in the pool stages to be routed to the semi final against China's national champions Beijing in this morning's semi-final. Hong Kong then beat Beijing handily 26-12 to advance to the gold medal match against Shandong. Despite being penalized 24 times to Shandong's two and having Simon Leung Ho Yam sin-binned in the second half, Hong Kong was in the lead 12-7 into the final two minutes.

The Hong Kong, China Men's Rugby Sevens team took the Silver medal on Rugby Sevens' debut at the 12th National Games after losing 12-14 to Shandong this afternoon in the final.

Hong Kong lost another close-run encounter to Shandong (17-14) in the pool stages to be routed to the semi final against China's national champions Beijing in this morning's semi-final. Hong Kong then beat Beijing handily 26-12 to advance to the gold medal match against Shandong.

Despite being penalized 24 times to Shandong's two and having Simon Leung Ho Yam sin-binned in the second half, Hong Kong was in the lead 12-7 into the final two minutes.

Hong Kong was then penalized eight times in those final two minutes including three penalties to Shandong on the five-metre line. Hong Kong's outstanding defensive effort was unable to hold back the opposition repeatedly, and Shandong scored with 25 seconds remaining to take the gold medal 14-12.

Captain Rowan Varty scored Hong Kong's try with Adam Rolston accounting for the successful conversion.

Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) head of performance and coaching Dai Rees commented on the result saying, "The lads are supremely disappointed, moreso in the way we lost than anything. But I am so proud of them for the way they played today and we're delighted to bring back a silver medal from our debut performance in the National Games.

"We had an outstanding performance versus Beijing and I think we played the same versus Shandong in the Gold medal match but it wasn't to be. I feel for the players, I don't think they deserved the result today but they have done Hong Kong proud," added Rees.

The Hong Kong Women's team fell short of medalling after losing to Beijing in the semi-finals this morning 29-0. The loss to Beijing saw Hong Kong routed to the 3rd/4th place play-off (Bronze medal match) against Anhui, which Hong Kong lost 15-7.

The Women's final between Beijing and Shandong's Women's team was marred by refereeing controversy with Beijing effectively not participating in the remaining five minutes of the match while Shandong racked up 71 points.

HKRFU senior coach Kane Jury commented on the team's performance saying, "It's disappointing that we couldn't take home a medal but the girls did a good job and they improved their play a lot today. We just couldn't convert that into points today.

"We have learned a lot from this tournament though and I am pleased that we were working much better as a team as the matches went on. Some of the younger players like Ivy Kwong and Melody Li did well in the tournament and hopefully they can build on from their performance.

"I think the experience will hold us in good stead for the upcoming Asian Sevens series events, but we will need to improve our defence and be smarter in attack if we hope to be competitive in Asia. There is still a lot of work ahead of us."