MEN SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND ASIAN GAMES TITLE TO WIN GOLD, WOMEN BEAT THAILAND TO CLAIM BRONZE
易邊再戰，港隊堅持穩打穩紮，惟數次進攻均被化解，終於比賽時間將至時，日本隊過高攔截吃下一記黃牌下場，港隊便抓緊少打一人的機會，猛烈進攻。蔡紀駿（James CHRISTIE）接應薛貝特（Liam HERBERT）的卸球（offload）助攻達陣，韋兆新（Russell Webb）命中附加射門，取得關鍵2分，港隊追至7-7，比賽加時。在加時期間，爆發力出眾的丹馬克（Max Denmark）終於覓得良機，擺脫2名防守隊員後直搗黃龍，絕殺對手。
港隊晉級決賽，面對韓國。兩方一度拉鋸，未有進賬，直至上半場結束前，港隊抓住機會，由李卡度的達陣打破僵局。下半場開場不久，杜薛迪（Liam Doherty）為港隊取得個達陣。領先的港隊力爭入球，韋兆新（Russell Webb）操之過急，領下黃牌。少打一人的韓國迅速扳回一盲達陣，幸而港隊死守至恢復至7人滿員，其後港隊再度取得主動，將領先優勢保持至最後，終以14-7順利奪金，蟬聯亞運會冠軍。
The 19th Asian Games Rugby Sevens saw a remarkable display of skill and determination as the Hong Kong, China Men's Rugby Sevens Team successfully retained their title and clinched the prestigious gold medal. In an exhilarating semi-final match, the team showcased their resilience by defeating Japan in extra time. securing their place in the final. The men later faced off against South Korea in the final, emerged victorious with a 14-7 win.
The Hong Kong, China Women's Sevens team took bronze after a 7-5 nail-biter against Thailand to claim their first-ever Asian Games medal.
Men beat Japan in a semi-final sudden-death extra time thriller
Hong Kong, China Men's Team staged a rematch of the '2018 Jakarta Asian Games Gold Medal Match' in the semi-finals against their arch-rivals, Japan. As soon as the match began, both teams engaged in an intense battle for possession in the midfield, finding it challenging to enter the opponent's 22-meter area. Only towards the end of the first half did Japan manage to break through the right flank of the Hong Kong, China team, securing the lead with a successful conversion kick and leaving Hong Kong, China trailing at 0-7.
In the second half, the Hong Kong, China men adhered to a solid and steady approach, but their several attempts were thwarted. Finally, as the match time was drawing to a close, Japan received a yellow card for a high tackle, leaving them a player short. Seizing this opportunity, Hong Kong, China launched an aggressive attack, with James Christie scoring a try in response to an offload from Liam Herbert and Russell Webb executing a successful conversion kick, securing the crucial 2 points. Hong Kong, China pulled back to a 7-7 tie, pushing the match into overtime. During extra time, Max Denmark, showcasing his explosive speed, found the perfect opportunity to break away. Eluding two defenders, he secured the decisive try against the opponents, ensuring victory for Hong Kong, China.
“We are really pleased with the win, the boys showed some real character to get through a very tough game. We knew this was going to be a huge game as soon as we saw the draw. The coaches have done a great job in preparing the squad for this game,”said Sevens Head coach Paul John.
Advancing to the final, Hong Kong, China faced off against South Korea. The match saw a tug-of-war between the two sides, with neither scoring until just before the end of the first half, when Hong Kong, China seized an opportunity and broke the deadlock with a try by Cado Lee Ka To. Shortly after the start of the second half, Liam Doherty secured another try for Hong Kong, China. With a lead in hand, Hong Kong, China was eager to score again, but in his haste, Russell Webb received a yellow card. South Korea, with a one-man advantage, quickly scored a try to make a comeback. Fortunately, Hong Kong, China held firm until they were back to their full complement of seven players. Regaining control, Hong Kong, China maintained their lead until the end, ultimately winning the gold with a 14-7 victory and successfully defending their Asian Games championship.
Women win their historical first Asian Games medal
The Hong Kong, China Women's team faced Thailand in the bronze medal match. After the start tHong Kong, China maintained possession for a while, but the tight defense from their opponents made scoring opportunities scarce. After a period of stalemate, Chong Ka Yan capitalized on a penalty opportunity arising from an opponent's offside, making a breakthrough and scoring the first try for Hong Kong, China. Thailand responded with a counterattack and at one point broke through the defensive line of Hong Kong, China. However, the steadfast defense of our women held firm, thwarting Thailand from achieving a try. The Hong Kong, China team concluded the first half with a 7-0 lead.
In the second half, Thailand managed to score a try from the left flank but failed to land the subsequent conversion kick. After that, the Hong Kong, China team tightened their defense, leading to continuous mistakes by the opposing team. In the end, Hong Kong, China clinched a 7-5 victory, earning the Women's team their first medal in Rugby Sevens at the Asian Games.
In the Women's gold medal match, the China Women narrowly triumphed over Japan with a score of 22-21, securing the gold medal. Meanwhile, Japan Men defeated China 21-19 to take home bronze.
“I am absolutely delighted for our men’s and women’s teams, and hugely proud - they are a credit to Hong Kong, and deserve all the success in the world. It’s been an excellent Asian Games, thanks to all the organisers, and of course to the Hong Kong Sports Institute for all their invaluable support’” said Robbie McRobbie, CEO of Hong Kong China Rugby.
Information source : Hong Kong China Rugby
Photo source : Asia Rugby