Hong Kong women’s sevens team raise expectations with first ever final
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Even former Black Ferns star Anna Richards was caught out by the stellar performance of her charges in the Women's Asian Sevens Series as Hong Kong finished runners-up to Asian champions China.
The head coach of the women's sevens programme at the Hong Kong Sports Institute had targeted a top- three finish. The team went one better after a superb outing in the semi-final where they stunned favourites Japan 10-5 to earn the biggest cheer of the day at Hong Kong Football Club.
"We targeted a top three and this kind of exceeded our expectations, but having said that I want our girls to aim high," said a delighted Richards. "The girls have come a long way but I want them to be even better."
It was the team's first ever Cup final and expectations will be high for the women's team led by Royce Chan Leong-sze, with the focus now on a medal-winning performance at the Asian Games. Standing in the way are China, Japan and Kazakhstan.
To compound issues, three key players this weekend, Amelie Seure, Christine Gordon and Natasha Olson-Thorne will not be eligible as they don't hold SAR passports and were not part of the squad four years ago in Guangzhou.
But Richards hopes the momentum will carry Hong Kong to a medal in Incheon.
"This is a great start," she added proudly.
China ran in six tries as they out-muscled Hong Kong 38-7 to press home their credentials as Asia’s number one sevens team.