Outgunned HK to play for bowl

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 1997, 12:00am

Hong Kong were relegated to the Bowl competition at the Air France Sevens in Paris yesterday when they lost both their preliminary group games to Italy and the New Zealand Barbarians.

The territory were beaten 35-14 by Italy in their first game and then later in the day were trounced 62-0 by the Kiwis, who topped the group with a 52-0 win over Italy.

Fiji were on target for their second successive title after qualifying for the Cup quarter-finals with two wins.

The Fijians, led by the talented Waisale Serevi, had little trouble beating Romania 68-0 and the French Barbarians 47-17 at the Charlety Stadium.

The quarter-final lineup is South Korea, New Zealand Barbarians, British Barbarians, Argentina, Fiji, Australia, France and Western Samoa.

The British Barbarians, who disappointed in last year's event, had a strong Fijian element to help them qualify for the last eight. British Barbarians' Simon Hill looked strong on the break and Dave Scully also looked sharp, but their Fijian teammate Marika Vunibaka was the best of the lot, picking up three tries in both the 47-17 win over Japan and the 36-7 victory over Tonga.

Wales, the only British national team present, had a disappointing day. Although they had a promising start against Ivory Coast, winning 40-12, they were totally outclassed by a skilful Argentinian side, losing 52-7.

Among the surprises in the first day's competition were the performances of South Korea and Morocco.

The athletic Koreans went through after first beating Holland 33-7 and then, in one of the hardest fought matches of the day, came from behind to beat the South African Barbarians 31-28.

Morocco gave a good showing despite losing 29-19 to Australia followed by a 28-0 win over the USA.