Hong Kong unscathed after Day One of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Women's Sevens

26 March, 2015


A superb unbeaten run from Hong Kong, including a 31-14 victory over Asian champions China, pushed the hosts into a commanding position at the end of the opening day of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Women's Sevens tournament on Thursday.

Hong Kong defeated Asian Games Gold medalists China, who also feature on the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, in the final match of the day to set up an enticing Cup quarterfinal clash against Samoa. Hong Kong will play Samoa tomorrow in the last cup quarterfinal at 10.40am at Hong Kong Football Club.

"China doesn't seem to be as good as when we came across them last year in the Asian Series. It doesn't mean to say that they have changed their whole team, but they definitely have a few new girls here this weekend but we have definitely improved our game," said Hong Kong coach Anna Richards.

A brace from Natasha Olson-Thorne in the first five minutes, gave Hong Kong a confidence boost against China. A lovely solo effort from Aggie Poon from deep inside Hong Kong territory increased the lead to 19-0 at the break.

China came back in the second half with a try but Hong Kong remained composed with Lai Pou-fan outstanding in defence forcing the mainland girls into repeated infringements.

Lindsay Varty added a fourth try making full use of the space created by Kwong Sau-yan. Hong Kong rounded off a solid performance with Kwong scoring a fifth try before China scored a late consolation try.

Hong Kong had earlier in the day pulled off another fine victory over Kazakhstan, 17-5, and opened their account with a 41-0 win over Singapore.

"I am very happy with the way the girls performed and very happy with where we finished after day one. It has given us a great shot at day two," said Richards. "We talked a lot this week about being calm and having ball control and that was what I was most pleased about today.

"We started off pretty well against Singapore and we scored a lot of early points, maybe we got a bit scrappy in the last three minutes or so but we still managed to win 41-0, so I was very happy with our start.

"We played a great match against Kazakhstan. Again we spoke about being calm and composed and a lot about ball control and keep tackling," Richards. "Our girls tackled their hearts out and scrambled really well on defence and scored three very important tries which gave us a fantastic win.

"Last year, we traded wins with Kazakhstan over the season, but today our game against them was probably some of the best rugby and free-running rugby that I have seen our girls play. That game gave the girls a huge amount of confidence going into the China game," Richards said.

Hong Kong will come up against Samoa who they met last month in a losing cause at the Borneo Sevens.

"Our girls were really disappointed the last time we played and this gives us another shot at them," Richards added.

Hong Kong's goal is to reach the Cup final for the first time in the history of the Hong Kong Women's Sevens and play in front of the Friday night crowd at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.