Hong Kong, Japan setting up Sevens Showdown in Singapore



SINGAPORE: ARAB NEWS

Published — Saturday 3 November 2012

Last update 3 November 2012 1:11 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Hong Kong and Japan stayed on course for a showdown at the HSBC Asian Sevens Series (HSBC A7s) in Singapore after both ended the opening day of action yesterday one win away from securing their Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 berths in Moscow.
Asian sevens champions Hong Kong and No. 2 Japan both finished unbeaten and reached the Cup semifinals of the fourth and final leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series which is also doubling as the Asian qualifiers for the World Cup next June.
Hong Kong meet South Korea while Japan comes up against the Philippines and the stakes are high – with the winners assured of their places in the World Cup Sevens. The losers will have one last chance, meeting in the third-place play-off for the last of three tickets given to Asia.
“We are where we wanted to be,” said Hong Kong captain Rowan Varty. “We had three very convincing wins, but what matters now is to win our semi-final and make sure we are going to Moscow.” Hong Kong booked their berth in the last four with an impressive 33-0 victory over Malaysia. A solid defense was the cornerstone for the win with forward Nick Hewson, Anthony Haynes and Kwok Ka-chun all having huge games.
“Our defense was the major difference and we will have to keep this up as we reach the business end of the tournament,” said a pleased Hong Kong coach Dai Rees.
“The key was trying to win the ball back when we didn’t have it. In our opening pool games, we had plenty of possession, but against Malaysia it was our defense which won us the day,” Rees added.
While Japan was hardly pushed all day, coach Tomohiro Segawa called his players to increase the intensity, especially at the breakdown if they are to finish the tournament in style – by beating Hong Kong in the final.
“Yes, that is our aim, to beat Hong Kong. We are hurting that they are the number one team in Asia and we are determined to make a statement,” Segawa said.
“But we have to play better than we did today. We were slow at the breakdown, securing the ball and then getting it away. We need to move the ball more quickly,” said Segawa.
Singapore made its home advantage tell, marking its first appearance in the Cup competition to date on the HSBC A7s. Unfortunately it was drawn alongside Japan, who rode rampant over the hosts 47-0 in the quarterfinals to earn a berth against the Philippines who defeated China 14-7. In the other quarterfinals, South Korea had to work hard to beat a stubborn Sri Lanka, winning 19-12. Hong Kong had earlier booked their quarterfinal berth with wins over Guam and the Philippines to emerge unbeaten from Pool A.
Guam struggled against the smooth efficiency showed by Hong Kong, and slipped to a 48-7 defeat in the opening match of the tournament.
The Philippines proved a much stronger opposition having recalled eight players based in Japan and Australia but in the end they too couldn’t do much against Hong Kong going down 29-12.
Hong Kong began strongly with Tom McQueen finishing off a nice break by Anthony Haynes to open the scoring a minute into the game. The top seeds won two subsequent kick-offs to race to a 17-0 lead inside three minutes, with further tries from Jamie Hood and Tom McQueen completing his double.
Elder sibling Alex McQueen then powered over for Hong Kong’s fourth try as the Asian champions finished the first half with a commanding 24-0 lead. The Philippines came back strongly with tries from Matt Saunders and Andrew Wolff but a sniping run from sub and scrumhalf Cado Lee ensured a comfortable win for Hong Kong.

Japan had ensured their quarterfinal berth with a thumping 57-0 victory over Indonesia and a 35-0 win over Sri Lanka. South Korea and China also emerged unbeaten from the preliminary round.
The Koreans saw off hosts Singapore 49-7 before prevailing 26-12 over Thailand. China’s two wins were against Kazakhstan, 26-14 and Malaysia, 22-19. The Malaysians fielding a number of Fijians, looked dangerous but superior fitness on a hot and humid day counted at the end.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi man who carried out a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kuwait on Friday had no previous convictions for terrorism, the Interior Ministry said.The ministry, through its Twitter account, announced that Fahad Suleiman Al-Gabbaa was born...
JEDDAH: Eight million people visited the Grand Mosque in the first 10 days of Ramadan, a 49 percent increase from last year, the Haj and Umrah Directorate said recently.Salah Saqr, director of the directorate, said the transport plan was approved and...
JEDDAH: The government has installed 5,000 high-definition cameras on all floors and courtyards of the Grand Mosque to ensure security and crowd control.These cameras are monitored 24 hours a day by officers at a control center in Mina. They have to...
GENEVA: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the report of the International Fact Finding Commission on Israeli aggression in Gaza and has lauded its effort to prepare the report despite noncooperation from Israel which did not allow the committee to do its wor...
JEDDAH: Several Yemenis have praised the government for correcting their status quickly, which created no extra burden while fasting.Many who gathered in front of the Passport Department in Asir said everything was in place for them, a local newspape...
RIYADH: The $11.6 billion King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is already being admired for being a smart city but nobody can tell when it will be completed.“Being a smart city, everything is state-of-the-art. There is seamless Internet access and...
RIYADH: In a new move, the Ministry of Health will conduct drug tests on all drivers ferrying pilgrims between Makkah and Madinah during the Haj season.The decision was taken at a Haj preparatory meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of Imad...
JEDDAH: Motorbikes are among the most important means of transportation in Makkah during Ramadan because they are easy to use and cope easily with congestion in the central area next to the Grand Mosque. Despite the presence of public transportation,...
JEDDAH: A local man here runs a business started 150 years ago by his grandfather making sought-after Hijazi sweets for Eid and other festivals.Samer Jastaniah, 35, has three family shops making these products. “I am the grandson of the doyen of swee...
RIYADH: Saudi students have won six medals — a gold, a silver and four bronze — at the 19th Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (JBMO 2015), securing the fifth place for the nation, as against 13th in its first participation in 2013.Rinad Abu-Jamal f...
Ambassador of Belgium Geert Criel:— Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? The friendliness of its people.— What is your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Ahlan wa Sahlan.— Which book is by your bedside these days? World Orde...
AL-AHSA: Saudi farmers here need more support to buy fertilizers, medicines and equipment, and market their products.This is the view of Ahmed Al-Musalmi, who recently won the country’s ‘Ideal Farmer Award.’ He said high production costs and low mark...
JEDDAH: The Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has launched 20 initiatives aimed at improving the professionalism of employees and limiting individual interpretations and actions while carrying out duties.Sheikh Abdul...
RIYADH: Medical studies and research for new methods in the treatment of chronic diseases suggests that fasting could help combat cancer and boost effectiveness of treatment.Scientists doing research on the positive aspects of fasting discovered that...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has announced that Saudi universities would accept 95 percent of high school graduates, despite a royal decree four years ago setting a ceiling of 70 percent.The royal decree had approved the “Afaq Project,” a strate...

Stay Connected

Facebook