Hong Kong 2004: winners or washouts?
What the pros say ...
'Our performance over the weekend was absolutely excellent. We had a tough draw playing Canada and Fiji in our pool. It was very difficult. I think a few people were disappointed on Friday night with the game against Canada, but then on Saturday, when we saw just what a good side Canada were, people began to realise what good performances Hong Kong had put in. I was particularly encouraged in the game against Fiji because we put out our younger players and they came through and pushed the Fijians very hard. And it was great to see us beat Portugal because they are a good side and have been doing good stuff on the European circuit. Getting to the Plate is always very good. It was a bit unfortunate to run into the Kenyans who are probably the strongest team. We played with a lot of spirit. Bringing in Dallas Seymour as coach, along with Rodney McIntosh, has given the side an extra boost this year.'
HKRFU executive director
'Beating Portugal on Saturday was the best moment of the Sevens for me. It was a tremendous game and from the individuals in the team. It was disappointing against the Kenyans and I share their disappointment. They all fronted up. I'm proud of them ... it's just not on the field, which is vitally important, but it's some of the other things they are doing off the field. They are a good bunch of guys.'
HKRFU coaching director
'We have a basic problem here and there is nothing a coach can do about it and it is that we really lack out-and-out pace. We appeared to win as much ball as Kenya but we just don't have the penetration. It's something that we are going to have to work on. If we can't find pace we have to play it in a different way. Kenyans are natural athletes - everyone could run and everyone is therefore a potential threat. You've got to pleased we got into the Plate competition. The draw was unkind to us as they are probably one of the best teams in the Plate. As we saw on Saturday, Kenya gave South Africa a run for their money. We probably had the worst of the draw. I think we will take away some positive things from it. Going into the Plate you are still within the top 16 teams in the tournament and that's a great thing for Hong Kong.'