港隊新加坡站遭逢硬仗 SINGAPORE PROVES A TOUGH TOURNAMENT FOR SHIELD CHAMPIONS
[12 Apr 2023] Fresh from lifting the Shield at the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the Hong Kong, China Men’s Sevens Squad headed to Singapore to join the 9th leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as the invitational team.
Drawn in Pool A alongside Hong Kong Cup winners New Zealand and fellow heavyweights Australia and South Africa, there were never going to be any easy games on Day 1, but the team battled hard and were rewarded with a brace of tries against the Blitzbokke. An early loss to old rivals Japan on Day 2 meant a date in the 13th place semi-final against Canada, the side that Hong Kong, China defeated in the Shield Final in front of their ecstatic home fans the previous weekend. However there was to be no repeat of those heroics, and Canada exacted some revenge with a 26-5 win, leaving Hong Kong, China without a win but with some valuable top level competition ahead of the upcoming Challenger Series in South Africa.
Coach Jevon Groves said: “The most pleasing thing for the men’s programme at the moment is the competition for places. We’ve utilised 21 players over the last 4 months, and it has provided us with the depth that we have been lacking in the past. Singapore Sevens gave us another opportunity to play against the best teams in the world. With four tournaments in five weeks, we have made right changes to the squad to give players the opportunity.”
“The Hong Kong, China Men’s Sevens Squad has been continually improving and playing with no inhibition and hesitation in the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens last weekend. We will refocus where are going into the Challenger Series in Stellenbosch, South Africa in the following two weeks, so a couple of tough games are not a bad thing.” Groves continued.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Hong Kong, China teams have qualified for the Challenger tournaments which will be played on successive weekends on 22/23 and 29/30 April; the top Women’s team will be promoted onto next year’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, whilst the top Men’s team will head to the London Sevens next month and a play-off against the 12th, 13th and 14th placed Series teams.
Information and Photo source : Hong Kong Rugby Union