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Hong Kong Sevens 2012 - Day One

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

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 wont 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 Ryans 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.

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

See more from Day One, Day Two and Day Three, as well even more at: 2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

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