Sat, 9 April 2016

South Africa Beat France to Win Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens

South Africa held off France to win the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens final at Hong Kong Stadium 14-7 on Friday.

South Africa looked the best team throughout day two and delivered when it mattered in the final, with Zenay Jordaan and Marithy Pienaar scoring the tries. With a number of senior players out, South Africa coach Renfred Dazel praised the work of his young talent.

“The youngsters pulled something out of hat,” Dazel said. “The girls deserve it.”

Dazel acknowledged the efforts of his entire defence and singled out Nadine Roos for her brilliant work after a day of cut-throat matches.

“In the morning we started in a must-win situation against France and we beat them,” he said. “The outstanding players were the youngster Nadine Roos and Marithy Pienaar.”

South Africa had earlier defeated Japan 19-10 in an entertaining semi-final after grinding out a 7-5 win over the previously undefeated France to lock in their semi-final berth.

Hong Kong came agonisingly close to making it to the final, pushing France all the way and creating a number of opportunities in a 5-0 semi-final loss.

Stalwarts Aggie Poon Pak-yan and Natasha Olson-Thorne led the way, with a particularly gutsy effort from Olson-Thorne in the final minutes nearly leading to a try.

“I’m disappointed we lost but I’m happy the girls gave everything,” coach Anna Richards said. “We needed to be a bit more patient in that first half, but I’d rather have an endeavour than them not trying.”

Richards was proud of the way her charges handled themselves, but rued an early mistake that cost a try.

“It’s a two-day tournament and if you're slightly off, it’s a cruel game,” Richards said. “14 minutes. You make one mistake and it’s very hard to get back from that.”

Hong Kong went on to finish the tournament in fourth place, losing the third versus fourth play-off 10-5 against Japan.

Earlier in the day, Hong Kong staved off a physical Japan side to book their semi-final berth, fighting back from 7-0 down to snare a gutsy 14-7 win in their final pool match.

Poon continued her brilliant tournament with the opening try, before Nam Ka-man put the home side in the lead in the second half.

“We didn’t start very well but I suppose that shows we are actually improving because we kept our composure,” Richards said. “We went down early and our defence kept us in it. We didn’t touch the ball for long periods but we maintained our composure.”

China won the Plate final 7-5 over Kazakhstan to cap a much improved second day, while Kenya ran out easy winners in the Bowl, defeating Sri Lanka 29-0.

See more: Pictures from the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens Final.

Other pages about the 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens: Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Sevens - Interview with Luc Bollen, GM of The Park Lane Hong Kong, Fiji Beat New Zealand to Win 2016 Hong Kong Sevens, South Africa Beat France to Win Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens, France and Japan Look Strong After Day 1 of Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens, Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens a Dress Rehearsal for Rio 2016, Hong Kong Sevens 2016 to Honour Beth Coalter and Jonah Lomu, HKRU Brings Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens to Central, Hong Kong Rugby Union Names Men's and Women's Sevens Squads, Natasha Olson-Thorne to Captain Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens Team, HKRU Launches Professional 15s Platform; Leigh Jones to Head Programme, Hong Kong Sevens 2016 Official Draw: South Africa Top Seeds in Pool B with Scotland, England and Russia, HKRU Confirms Teams Participating in Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens 2016, HKRU Confirms Teams for 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong SevensDavid Hasselhoff, The Proclaimers and Bjorn Again to Perform at Hong Kong Sevens, Public Ballot System for Hong Kong Sevens 2016 Tickets Opens. See pictures from the HK7s in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See other recent news regarding: Cathay Pacific, HSBC, Hong Kong, Rugby, Sevens, France, South Africa

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