Best is yet to come as Hong Kong win inaugural Asia Rugby Girls U18 Sevens Championship

Coach Sam Feausi is hoping to keep her side together after a flawless performance in Dubai

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 December, 2016, 12:07am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 December, 2016, 12:07am

Coach Sam Feausi says the best is yet to come for her side after Hong Kong took out the inaugural Asia Rugby U18 Girls Sevens Championship in Dubai this week.

They defeated Kazakhstan 12-5 in a tense final played at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Dubai.

“Most of the players still have time to progress at this level as the majority are just 16 years old,” said Feausi.

“It is great to get a result in our first international competition at this level and I think this is only the beginning for this group of players.

“Hopefully we can keep them training and playing together for a couple more years at under-18 level, before they advance through to the under 20s and senior rugby.”

A strong defensive effort and tries from Jessica Eden and Hebe Talles proved the difference in the showcase game.

The cup win capped a pristine performance for the squad, who were undefeated in six games across the six-team, three-day competition.

While obviously welcoming the silverware, Feausi is more excited about the impact the win will have on the women’s game in Hong Kong.

“We had an eight-week build-up and that intensive preparation really paid off and is something we will look to replicate going forward,” she said.

“This performance really bodes well for increasing our depth of young players who can push for spots in the junior sevens programme at the HKSI and the Hong Kong fifteens and sevens teams.”

Hong Kong dispatched Kazakhstan 22-5 in the first match of the tournament, before also beating the UAE (59-0) and Sri Lanka (22-0) on day one.

Wins over India (5-0) and Uzbekistan (45-0) on day two sent Hong Kong through to the final.

The squad will now transition to fifteen-a-side rugby in preparation for an age grade tour in January, while the highly competitive Sanix schools tournament in Japan next spring presents another opportunity for the sevens squad members.

“We hope to retain the majority of the squad in Hong Kong for the coming years,” Feausi said.

“We will probably lose a few players to schooling overseas, but I expect a lot of the girls to make the transition to under 20s and the senior game.”