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Fixtures and Results from 2012 Hong Kong Sevens

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Notice: Our coverage of the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens is sponsored by the Regal Kowloon Hotel.
 

Fiji won a high scoring Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Final against arch rivals New Zealand to take its 13th title in Hong Kong.

The Fijians had humbled everyone before them over the whole tournament and took the game straight to their opponents in a ferocious encounter.

Fiji were two tries up after only 4 minutes, but even a relatively inexperienced New Zealand team can’t be ruled out and they fought back to tie the scores, 14-14, at half time. A try by Stefano Cakau early in the second put Fiji back in front, and this was extended to 14 points by Nikola Matawalu’s score a few minutes later. A Bryce Heem try put New Zealand back in touch with 2 minutes to go, but Waisea Nayacalevu’s instant reply sealed it for Fiji despite a late consolation try for New Zealand.

An emotional Fiji coach, Alavereti Dere said he was “very, very happy” after winning at his first attempt as coach in Hong Kong and as such becoming one of a very few players to win the Hong Kong Sevens as a player and coach. Commenting on how close the match was, he commented, “I think we wanted it more than New Zealand in the last ten minutes.”

Looking ahead to next week’s event in Tokyo, Dere said, “it really sets us up for next week and maintains us in the top two places in the IRB Sevens rankings.”

Also in the Cup, South Africa defeated England, 28-0, to take 3rd place, winning convincingly with four unanswered tries.

Samoa won a close contest in the last minute with a try from Taulagi Afamasaga, to defeat Argentina 12-10 to take home the Plate competition. Earlier in the Bowl Final, Kenya held on to win 14-12 against a competitive USA team.

In the all important Qualifier event, Canada took the spoils beating Spain 22-5 with a hat trick of tries from Sean Duke. There was consolation for Spain though, as they along with Canada and third place winners, Portugal, won the three spots on offer to join the HSBC Sevens World Series next year, guaranteeing them competition against the best teams in the world at ten series events.

Unfortunately, host Hong Kong were not able to capitalise on the their good form from the first two days, as a red card for playmaker Keith Robertson early in the game, made it very difficult for them against Japan, who eventually won through 10-5 in extra time after a gallant effort by the Hong Kong team.

Pictures from the 2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens already uploaded: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6

Day Two - Saturday, 24 March 2012

An action packed day two of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens delivered a few surprises in the Qualifier tournament, whilst the Core Series was dominated by the big teams.

New Zealand topped Pool B after beating Wales and then edging out South Africa in a closely fought battle for top spot. Fiji maintained their dominant form from Friday all through Saturday with comfortable wins against France and Australia.

Samoa and England played off in the last game of Day 2 with Samoa taking the spoils and top place in Pool A with a 14-12 win.

The results provide a tantalising prospect for Sunday, with some exciting match ups in the Quarter Finals. Top ranked Fiji will take on Argentina and will meet the winners of old rivals England or Australia in the Semi Final. New Zealand and Samoa could be set for a heavyweight Semi Final clash if they can come through against Wales and South Africa respectively.

In contrast, the Qualifier Tournament has seen some of the favoured teams falter, whilst others have thrived in the capacity-packed atmosphere of Hong Kong Stadium, in anticipation of gaining one of the three coveted places for the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2012/13. None more so than Hong Kong, who humbled Tonga early in the day before running away as convincing winners against neighbours China, 29-5. They head Pool D, ahead of Tonga who saw off a spirited Uruguay in their last match.

 Hong Kong Assistant Coach Alex Gibbs said he was happy with the team’s performances, “I was particularly impressed with the composure and decision making. At times we have been down to 6 players, but we fought well and made the right decisions at the right time.”

In Pool E, Canada slipped up early in the day against Zimbabwe, but came though against Spain, 10-7, to top the Pool.

After early morning scares against Guyana and Japan, Portugal and Russia went head to head for top spot in Pool F with Portugal clinching first place with a 17-10 win.

The standings leave the Qualifier Tournament with all to play for for the eight teams who progressed. Hong Kong finished the top ranked side and will play eighth ranked and major rivals - Japan. Other Pool winners Portugal and Canada, face off against Zimbabwe and Russia respectively leaving Spain versus Tonga in the other quarter final.

Day One - Friday, 23 March 2012

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens got going in fine style on Friday afternoon, as a near capacity, 39,000 fans flooded in to the Hong Kong Stadium.

The new tournament format for this year has already lived up to expectations with a number of very close and competitive matches, with teams from both competitions really pushing hard to start their campaigns off on a positive note.

Hong Kong certainly got off to the start they wanted, with a 17-14 win over Uruguay in a physical and competitive match. A bright start took Hong Kong into a 10-0 lead, with tries from Tom McQueen and Ross Armour. Uruguay stayed in touch with a try just before half time, but Keith Robertson extended the lead early in the second, which was enough to hold off the South Americans.

“This is a sound start but we won’t get carried away with it. We need just one more win to ensure we book a quarterfinal place in the qualifying competition,” said a happy Hong Kong coach, Dai Rees.

Defending champions New Zealand got their campaign off to a winning start defeating the United States in their first pool game. The HSBC Sevens World Series leaders won 29-5 to lead the charge of the top teams on the opening night at So Kon Po.

Also winning their opening games were Fiji, England, South Africa and Samoa.

England saw off a determined challenge from Argentina, with tries from Dan Norton, Rob Vickerman and Mat Turner helping Ben Ryan’s team shake off the cobwebs to come from behind to win 19-10.

A solid defensive effort allowed South Africa to defeat Wales 10-0 while Samoa had an equally hard time before overcoming Kenya 19-7.

Fiji had the easiest opening day, knocking off Scotland 39-5 in an impressive display of power and pace.

In the Qualifier tournament, there were wins for Canada and Portugal over newcomers, Philippines and Guyana respectively, whilst other group favourites Tonga overcame a spirited China in their Pool D fixture.

Sevens World Cup host next year, Russia, also got their campaign off to a promising start with a solid win over Japan.

See also: Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012

Fixtures and Results from 2012 Hong Kong Sevens

Portugal 19 0 Guyana
Canada 35 5 Philippines
Tonga 33 12 China
Fiji 39 5 Scotland
New Zealand 29 0 USA
Samoa 19 7 Kenya
China 7 - W. Plate - 12 Spain
Russia 14 7 Japan
Spain 19 5 Zimbabwe
Uruguay 14 17 Hong Kong
Australia 31 10 France
South Africa 10 0 Wales
England 19 10 Argentina

Saturday, 24 March 2012

09:30 Russia 14 12 Guyana  
09:52 Spain 21 5 Philippines  
10:14 Uruguay 26 29 China  
10:36 Australia 29 14 Scotland  
10:58 South Africa 15 7 USA  
11:20 England 21 17 Kenya  
11:42 Canada 12 - WSF - 22 England  
12:04 Australia 33 - WSF - 0 USA  
12:26 Portugal 26 22 Japan  
12:48 Canada 21 24 Zimbabwe  
13:10 Tonga 7 26 Hong Kong  
13:32 Fiji 26 12 France  
13:54 New Zealand 24 7 Wales  
14:16 Samoa 27 0 Argentina  
14:38 Japan 38 5 Guyana  
15:00 Zimbabwe 21 17 Philippines  
15:22 Hong Kong 29 5 China  
15:44 France 12 14 Scotland  
16:06 Wales 42 7 USA  
16:28 Argentina 19 7 Kenya  
16:50 England  15 - W. Cup - 10  Australia  
17:20   Entertainment    
17:40 Portugal 17 10 Russia  
18:02 Canada 10 7 Spain  
18:24 Tonga 33 12 Uruguay  
18:46 Fiji 22 5 Australia  
19:08 New Zealand 19 10 South Africa  
19:30 Samoa 14 12 England  

Sunday, 25 March 2012

09:00 China 5 7 Guyana  
09:22 Uruguay 22 5 Philippines  
09:44 Hong Kong 5 10 Japan  
10:06 Spain 19 7 Tonga  
10:28 Canada 7 7 Russia  
10:50 Portugal 21 17 Zimbabwe  
11:12 Fiji 26 7 Argentina  
11:34 Australia 14 19 England  
11:56 Samoa 14 27 South Africa  
12:18 New Zealand 31 7 Wales  
13:15 Guyana 0 31 Uruguay  
13:37 Japan 12 17 Spain  
13:59 Canada 14 12 Portugal  
14:21 Scotland 14 28 USA  
14:43 Kenya 29 0 France  
15:05 Argentina 21 12 Australia  
15:27 Samoa 34 7 Wales  
15:49 Fiji 14 7 England  
16:11 South Africa 12 19 New Zealand  
16:40 Japan 19 33 Portugal  
17:02 Spain 5 22 Canada  
17:30 USA 12 14 Kenya  
18:00 Argentina 10 12 Samoa  
18:30 England 0 25 South Africa  
19:00 Fiji 35 28 New Zealand  
19:25 FIJI WINS  

See also: Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012. Pictures from the 2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens already uploaded: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6

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