France and Japan lived up to their
pre-tournament billing on day one of the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby
Sevens at King’s Park, while home side Hong Kong left themselves
with work to do on day two.
Friday’s Hong Kong Women’s Rugby
Sevens action will be held at Hong Kong Football Club, and
Hong Kong need to beat Japan to jump above Argentina and make it
through to the finals.
France notched three wins from three
starts in pool A to lock in a semi-final berth, while Kazakhstan
and South Africa will fight it out for the other spot. Japan, Hong
Kong and Argentina can all still make the finals in pool B.
The home team got their tournament underway with a thumping
45-0 win over Sri Lanka, with Aggie Poon Pak-yan running in three tries and
Natasha Olson-Thorne crossing in her first game as
captain. Sri Lanka had no answers for a rampaging Hong Kong, who completely dominated the hapless Sri Lankans with slick passing
and fierce tackling.
Hong Kong’s second match was a torrid,
low-scoring affair, with Hong Kong struggling to find any fluency
against a disciplined Argentina outfit in a 12-5 loss.
“Unfortunately in that game we just lacked a bit of patience,”
Hong Kong coach Anna Richards said. “We just let mistakes
creep into our game under pressure and that does happen. We let
Argentina rattle us a bit at the breakdown and there was a bit of
a free fall there, but we just didn't take our opportunities.”
Hong Kong’s last match against Thailand was a must win and it
was all one-way traffic, with the local team streaking away to a
24-0 win that saw Richards leave day one content.
to force the issue a little bit against Argentina and we made some
good opportunities and we killed it,” Richards said. “This time we
were very patient, which I thought was great.”
Tsz-ting and Colleen Tjosvold were shining lights for Hong Kong,
while Christine Gordon and Chong Ka-yan were amongst the try
France took a while to get going in their opening match before
eventually overcoming Kenya 22-5, before flexing their muscles in
a 39-7 thumping of China.
They finished the day with a
narrow 12-10 win over Kazakhstan, with Montserrat Amédée and
Noémie Sanch amongst the tries with three each for the day.
With his side semi-final bound, coach Paul Albaladéjo praised
the evenness of effort from his charges, but refused to look past their final pool match.
“I’m very happy after day one,”
Albaladéjo said. “Very happy for my team, everyone was very good
and it was a good job. We are now focusing on game number four
against South Africa (on Friday). After that, I don’t yet know the
faces a Japan side that looks ominous after belting Sri Lanka
41-0, knocking off Thailand 22-7 and finishing the day with a 50-0
drubbing of Argentina. Hong Kong will face Japan in the last pool
match on Friday at 10:00.
Japan shared the scoring load
across a wide range of players, with Yukari Tateyama and Ayumi
Yabuuchi just two of the players to get in on the act.
Argentina was most impressive prior to their effort against Japan,
shrugging off Thailand (19-12), Hong Kong and Sri Lanka (30-5).
Gonzalez Sofia was one of her side’s best, crossing four times
throughout the day and constantly creating opportunities for her
Nadine Roos was impressive for a South Africa
side that won two and lost one, scoring four tries for the day.
For Kazakhstan, Lyudmila Korotkikh also got amongst the
points, registering four tries as her side won two of their four
There were mixed results for China, with a first
up 10-5 win over Kazakhstan followed by losses to France (39-7)
and South Africa (7-0).
It was a tough day at the office
for Kenya, Thailand and Sri Lanka, with each side going winless.
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Fiji Beat New Zealand to Win 2016 Hong Kong Sevens,
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