Hong Kong Sevens squads reach UK Super Sevens Series final
The Hong Kong Rugby Union’s (HRRU) women and men sevens teams played in their first competitive games since November 2021 at the UK Super Sevens Series in Newbury, as part of their UK & European training camp to prepare for vital upcoming international matches.
It was announced in March 2022, that the HKRU would send its squads on tour to be based in the UK and Europe to get some much-needed game time and preparation for some high-calibre events.
A strong contingent of Hong Kong’s top players and potential sevens hopefuls are in the United Kingdom in preparation for upcoming competitions like the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in August and the Rugby World Cup Sevens in September.
Both teams reached the Cup finals in the UK Super Sevens Series opener over the weekend of 14-15 May.
- The men lost in golden point extra time to Samurai, 14-19.
- The women also lost to Samurai in the final, 17-7.
HKRU Men’s Sevens – UK Super Sevens Series 2022
Hong Kong’s men had beaten Wooden Spoon (38-5), and Navy (36-7), in their first two matches of the UK Super Sevens Series 2022. Liam Herbert scored four tries in the first two games, including a hat-trick in the opening three minutes of the Navy match. Harry Sayers picked up a brace of tries against Wooden Spoon and another to open the second half against Navy. Hong Kong later beat Emerging Spain in the cup semi-final, winning 24-17.
In the final against defending Series champions Samurai, Hong Kong held a 14-0 lead early on but Samurai got on the board late in the half via England Sevens star Will Glover and the score remained 14-7 at the break. Samurai to tied the score 14-all in the second half before winning the golden point extra-time.
Hong Kong head coach Paul John. said: “To lose in sudden death for the boys was tough, but there was nothing in that game, and we will learn a lot from the tournament. It was the first tournament since November for us and some of the players from both the men’s and women’s squads had not played for three years.”
HKRU Women’s Sevens – UK Super Sevens Series
The HKRU women’s sevens defeated Hammerhead 7s in the opening match in a tight 12-10 win. Hong Kong led 12-0 at the break with tries from veterans Nam Ka-man and Chong Ka-yan, but 10 unanswered points late in the second half, saw them just cling on for the win. The women went on to also beat Savvy Panthers 21-10, Wooden Spoons 42-0, and Newbury. In the Cup semi-final, they dispatched Army 36-10.
In the final against Samurai, Hong Kong had a strong start and a yellow card for Samurai in the opening stanza. led to a try for Cherly So in her debut tournament. Hong Kong held a slim 7-0 lead at the half, but Samurai responded well in the second half, putting pressure on the Hong Kong line from the restart.
Samurai’s Anna Hennessy scored a try to level the game 7-all with five minutes left. Samurai forced HKRU into conceding penalties, and eventually a yellow card. Samurai crossed over for a second try to take the lead 12-7, before adding a third after the hooter to run out 17-7 winners.
John was encouraged by the display, saying, “Great first tournament for the girls. To get to the final and push Samurai all the way was a real achievement considering the disruptive preparation they had. “Both teams did well and it was great to see them back in a competitive environment. It was challenging both physically and psychologically with both sides playing six games in one day. All the players selected played well and made valuable contributions to the team’s performance. The non-players also helped in supporting the team and analysing the opposition.
Coach John said the performances: “It was also great to see the staff back working in a competitive tournament. Everyone was pretty tired when we arrived back at camp at 11 pm. We have a few days of recovery now and will start training again on Tuesday to build up to the second tournament.”
Both HKRU squads next play at London Irish on 28 May 2022 and then also take part in the Algarve Sevens from June 10-13.
(The women were also treated to a training camp at Loughborough with the England Women’s sevens team in the week’s preparation).
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