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Hong Kongs Hopes of HSBC Sevens World Series Core Team Status Dashed by Spain

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Hong Kongs dream of qualifying as a core team on the HSBC Sevens World Series was dashed by Spain who knocked out Rowan Varty and his men in the quarterfinals at the London Sevens on Sunday.

 Spain playing a brand of clinically executed rugby scored an emphatic 29-14 victory to kill off Hong Kongs chances of winning one of three spots available in the HSBC Sevens World Series next season.

The taller Spanish players enjoyed total possession in the first-half to breeze to a 19-0 lead which proved too much of a lead for Hong Kong to haul back. Despite tries from Varty and a late consolation touchdown from Ben Rimene, Spain added two more in-between to win comfortably.

We couldnt get our hands on the ball in the first half. It was smart play by them and we struggled to compete against a side which was taller than ours, said Hong Kong head coach Dai Rees.

Against teams of a similar stature, like Scotland, we proved competitive but it was our luck to be drawn against one team which had five players who were over six foot four inches, and it proved decisive.

HKRFU Head of Performance and Coaching and National Coach - Dai Rees  

Dai Rees - Click to Enlarge (more pics)


But Im proud of our guys. They have kept us in a somewhat unrealistic position in world rugby. We are not a nation of big athletes and despite having such a small playing base, these guys have raised expectations, Rees said.

Hong Kong struggled to contest the kick-off and re-starts and this provided plenty of possession to Spain who made the most of it. Tries to Carlos Blanco, Pablo Feijoo and Pedro Martin allowed Spain, one of the three teams relegated at the end of the Glasgow Sevens (Scotland and Portugal being the others), to take a handy 19-0 lead at the break.

We couldnt really play our game at all in the first half, said Varty. They made it difficult for us and all credit to them. It is really disappointing to miss out again.

Varty pulled one back soon after the break but Spain maintained their stranglehold through tries from Blanco who completed his brace with a quick tap which caught Hong Kong by surprise. Matias Tudela then sealed the victory with a fifth try before Rimenes defiant late reply gave Hong Kong a second try.

Rees said Hong Kong should take heart from their 20-19 win over Scotland on the opening day. We have come a long way and the guys shouldnt be down in confidence. Our goal is still about winning a medal at the Asian Games next year and qualifying for the Rio Olympics, Rees said. We will pick ourselves up from this and immediately start our preparations for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow at end June. Realistically, with our smaller player base, our focus must be in Asia and there are plenty of goals to achieve, main among them finishing as the top Asian team in Moscow and winning a medal at the Asian Games next year.

Pictures and Other Hong Kong Sevens 2013 Coverage

As there are so many Pictures of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013 we have cut them up into different pages: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9, Page 10, Page 11, Page 12, Page 13, Page 14, Page 15, Page 16, Page 17 and Page 18. You may also want to check out the pictures from previous years: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

See past stories about the Hong Kong Sevens 2013: Pictures from Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Results from Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Sevens Legend Waisale Serevi Inducted into IRB Hall of Fame, Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013 Ready for Kick Off!, What Impact Does Hong Kong Sevens Have on Long-Haul Travel?, South Stand Fashion - What to Wear at the Hong Kong Sevens, HKRFU Launches Rugby App; Chance to Win Tickets to HK Sevens, Hong Kong RFU to Launch a School of Rugby in Hong Kong, HKRFU Partners Serevi Rugby to Provide Special Training Camps, HKRFU Names Men's and Women's Sevens Squads, US Eagles Land in HK for Sevens; Jamaica Ready for Debut, Air Pacific Partners Ben Kende Foundation to Provide Medical Supplies to FORU, Rugby Sevens Teams from South Africa and France Arrive in Hong Kong, Official Draw for the 2013 Hong Kong Sevens, Beach Boys to Perform at Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Sevens Officially Sold Out!, 2013 Hong Kong Sevens Public Ticket Sale to be via Public Ballot, Fans in Australia Can Purchase Tickets for 2013 Hong Kong Sevens, Biggest Hong Kong Sevens Ever! and Dates for the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013.

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, Hong Kong, HSBC, Cathay Pacific, Rugby World Cup, Rugby League World Cup, Rugby, Sevens, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sevens, London, Spain

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