Hong Kong Sevens Day Two - live blog
Follow all the action live from the biggest sporting weekend of the year
Oh, one last thing - here's some quick reports from today:
- Hong Kong outlast ‘physical’ Chile to scrape 10-7 win
- Japan power past Tunisia to set up Russia semi-final
See you tomorrow!
Phew ... what a day. South Stand full at about 930, apocalyptic thunderstorm around 11am, 26 games of rugby, a fairly mediocre Queen cover band, Hong Kong two wins away from joining the World Series ... it's been emotional.
I'm ready for a beer, that's for sure. First, here's how tomorrow morning's games shape up, starting from 10am:
CUP (from 11:28)
Fiji v USA
England v South Africa
New Zealand v Wales
Australia v Canada
Kenya v Scotland
Argentina v Spain
Samoa v Sri Lanka
France v Portugal
World Series Qualifier semis
Japan v Russia (12:56)
Hong Kong v Italy (13:18)
Some cracking looking games in the Cup ... I might give the Bowl a miss to be honest ... and can Hong Kong achieve the dream of joining the big boys on the world tour? Tune in tomorrow to find out. Thanks for all your feedback, emails, tweets, etc today.
Fiji 43 Kenya 5
2nd half Same again 'pon the restart, Cakau the first Fijian to stretch the lead. Viriviri then gets his hat trick, Kenya putting up almost as little resistance as Sri Lanka did. Very very poor. Fiji go down to 6 men as Apisai Domolailai has to go off for a concussion test, and Kenya take advantage to pull one back through Maxwell Theuri in the last minute of action today. With Kenya down to 6 for the last few seconds for a sin-binning, there's still time for Kolinisau to add another. A pounding for Kenya.
Slow start from Fiji, but they finally get a bit of possession and some trademark rapid offloading sends Samisoni Viriviri through on the right. Setefano Cakau is next, under the posts, played through by a basketball pass from the gargantuan Pio Tuwai. Then Donasio Ratubuli does a bit of jiggery pokery in his own half to get semi-clear, and lays it off for Viriviri to storm under the posts from 40 metres out. Straight from the restart, Tuwai collects the kick and charges over. They took time to get going, but once they do ...
Last game of the night, praise the lord. That storm this morning seems about a week ago now. Only one winner here I reckon ... Fiji tremendous so far. They need to win to avoid a Cup quarterfinal with New Zealand.
South Africa 7 Australia 10
2nd half South Africa have all the pressure second half, but can't breakthrough until the last minute, when a beatiful crossfield kick from Cecil Afrika puts Seabelo Senatla in to dive under the posts and reduce the gap to 3 with 30 seconds left. Afrika does his hammy in making the kick. As soon as the hooter goes, Australia boot it out, relieved to escape with a big win. They win Pool B, South Africa 2nd.
Southern Hemisphere grudge match to decide the winner of Pool B. Australia's Greg Jeloudev has impressed today, and he goes over early on, getting his head down and going through on the right as Australia spread it from a scrum. Just before the hooter, Ed Jenkins gets a second, charging down Branco du Preez's kick from the South Africa 22 and diving on it.
Here's some of the latest fan snaps from our team:
England 14 Canada 12
2nd half Straight from kick off Canada are back in front. John 'Dancing in the' Moonlight taking a great miss pass from Nanyak Dala on the left touchline and diving in. Three minutes to go, Norton puts on the afterburners again, sprinting from halfway for his 156th career try. Can't give him that much space, England edge in front by 2. That proves just enough, and England top the group from Canada.
Games coming thick and fast now - this one and two more to go today. Philip Mack puts Canada in front, I didn't see it (big queue for the lavvies). I can report that everyone in the stadium from the age of 14 to 80 is absolutely hammered - apart from me, unfortunately.
Brilliant try from Dan Norton, sprinting about 80 metres from England's left to huge roars from the crowd. Biggest cheer of the weekend so far.
New Zealand 17 USA 7
2nd half That didn't last long. Heem opens up his legs and goes on a crossfield run to the right corner and the US can't get near him. Ben Lam makes it 15-7 soon after as the US get beasted in a ruck.
New Zealand 3 from 3 in pool D to stroll into Cup knockout.
Samoa second. USA second on points difference.
Bryce Heem opens the scoring for Kiwis after umpteen passes and great play from Ambrose Curtis. Sam Dickson almost gets another immediately after but is held up on the line. USA fight back, though, making a game of it against the series champions, but can't find a way through - until the last second, when main man Zack Test bulls his way over the line, Heem hanging off him. Conversion good.
— Kenya Trends (@trendinaliaKE) March 29, 2014
— Leanne Little (@LeanneKLittle) March 29, 2014
Hong Kong 10 Chile 7 Full time
The hooter goes ... and Chile knock it on. That was much more nervy than it should have been, but HK are into the semis against Italy - who they comfortably beat this morning. A repeat tomorrow and a final against Japan or Russia - most likely Russia - awaits.
Tom McQueen almost relieves the pressure but is crunched by two tackles on the line. Chile reduced to six men with seconds to go.
Less than two minutes to go. HK looking a bit laboured. Raft of subs at half time didn't help
Try Chile 10-7 Cross-field stays in and substitute Pablo Metuaze sprints down the right. Great conversion to shrink the gap to just 3
TRY HONG KONG 10-0 Scrum for HK 30 metres out as the hooter goes, and HK work it left to Varty, who jinks and sprints inside
TRY HONG KONG 5-0 Salom Yiu Kam-shing again what a tournament he's having. Hong Kong lineout on their right, work it to Varty who jinks inside and lays off
Zimbabwe 12 Italy 17 - SUDDEN DEATH
Sudden death ITALY score straight from kickoff, Fabrizio Sepe going over in the right corner. Hong Kong beat them this morning and will fancy their chances in the semis - if they get there
2nd 1/2 Zimbabwe get the breakthrough from their little dangerman Stephan Hunduza. He ducks under a tackle from a lineout on his own 22 and runs all the way through. Conversion good for seven-point lead with four minutes to go. Italy hit back from their own 22 with just over a minute to go, Kaine Robertson going on a run and Giuilo Rubini taking it home from the halfway line to level the scores.
Zimbabwe straight out of the blocks through Jacques Leitaoon the left after a quick tap-kick in Italy's 22. Italy hit back quickly, good possession worked from right to left then a great straight-line run from Steven Botolussi who offloads to ...
someone Alessandro Tartaglia. Nasty looking injury for Zimbabwe's Boyd Rouse. He's stretchered off but gives a fist bump to the crowd.
Winner of this one plays Hong Kong or Chile in the semis.
Good pic of the changing sky during this morning's storm:
@JamesPorteous The Japanese team has is much greater than that which won the Asian Sevens Series last year.
— 日本ラグビー (@Japonrugbynet) March 29, 2014
Russia 21 Uruguay 14
2nd 1/2 Russia make their extra man tell straight from kick-off, captain Dmitriy Perov going over next to the posts to open a 7-point lead. Uruguay pick up their second yellow card with four minutes to go and Vladimir Oustroushko makes them pay. Uruguay pull one back after hooter but too late; might have had a chance but for the sinbinnings. Good game between two closely matched physical sides, but Japan should have too much for Russia in the semi
HONG KONG team to face Chile: Lee Jones, Raef Morrison, Max Woodward, Alex McQueen, Rowan Varty, Jamie Hood, Salom Yiu Kam-shing
So, which one of these will face Japan in the semis? Slow opening to the game, but Federico Favaro slides in under the posts after a lovely offload to get Uruguay on the board first. Vladislav Lazarenko equalises, rising high in a long lineout, then driving through. Uruguay have a player sinbinned after the hooter but Russia can't take advantage
— IRB Sevens (@IRBSevens) March 29, 2014
Japan 38 Tunisia 7
2nd half Japan take more than two minutes to get their fifth try, Lemeki strolling through from the left. The sixth is absolutely brilliant, Lemeki running it from his own half, then a couple of nice offloads ending up with Dai Ozawa touching down. Chemseddine Khalifa gets one back, collecting the kick from the restart and storming home.
Frightening stuff from the Qualifier tournament favourites. They face Russia or Uruguay in the semis and will fear no-one
Here we are back in the Qualifier tournament, the first QF. Japan surely set for the final ... or are they?
Lote Tuqiri takes less than a minute and a half to get Japan off the mark. He gets another shortly afterwards, pouncing on the ball after it is poked out of Dai Ozawa's hands just as he's about to touch down. And Tuqiri then sets up Josefa Lilidamu after comical 'defending' from Tunisia let Katsuyuki Sakai stroll through. Worryingly, Hong Kong made Tunisia look half-decent, but Japan are steamrollering them. Another for Tuqiri, the hat-trick, just before the hooter, Lomano Lemeki high-stepping his way through before offloading.
Wales 47 Sri Lanka 12
2nd half. Sri Lanka's No.4 Yoshitha Rajapaksa is the son of the country's president. Must help when it comes to tricky team selection decisions
33-0 Luke Morgan
33-5 MITHUN HAPUGODAGE! Sri Lanka score their first try of the tournament!!. Comeback's on.
33-12 AND ANOTHER!!! Hapugodage again! Bit embarrassing for Wales this. Huge cheers for Sri Lanka
40-12 Harries again. Spoilsport.
47-12 Ross Jones.
And that's it. Well done to Sri Lanka, he said patronisingly. Wales in Cup knockout unless Kenya beat Fiji, but can't see that. Now it's Japan-Tunisia in the Qualifiers.
1st half. Sri Lanka really aren't very good.
7-0 Will Thomas
14-0 Lee Williams
19-0 Jason Harries
Report: Wales thumped Sri Lanka. Details to follow
— Reneldon Moodley (@Reneldon) March 29, 2014
France 14 Spain 10
2nd 1/2 After a frankly boring opening, France score a lovely try, building from their own half and right-to-left 50 metres before it's offloaded for Bouhraoua to score his second. Angel Lopez gets Spain on the board with just under two minutes left and they get another in the last seconds, but missed conversions mean they lose. Boos as France kick it out to end the game.
So Spain bottom of Pool B, France 3rd. Australia v South Africa to decide 1st and 2nd, and you'd fancy the Blitzbokke.
Ooops, forgot about this one. Wales-Sri Lanka next. Both these have two defeats from two games. Shouts of Allez les Bleuuergh from West Stand.
Terry Bouhraoua, who has a frankly ridiculous set of dreadlocks going on, overcomes that handicap to fly from the halfway line and under the posts almost from kick off for ze French.
Here's a video, party people of the sevens. See yourself in there?
Argentina 19 Portugal 7
2nd 1/2 Portugal reduced to six men with two minutes to go and Argentina immediately break the deadlock, working it out left to Juan Cappiello to go over in the corner. Facundo Garrido seals it shortly afterwards. Portugal finish bottom of Pool C, Argentina third. England v Canada will decide first / second. Wales v Sri Lanka next, then it's the Qualifier quarter-finals, with Hong Kong against Chile at 18:10.
All square at half time, Ignacio Brex levelling on the whistle. Didn't see who got Portugal's as I was out taking a pit-stop
More crowd shots:
Scotland 14 Samoa 19
2nd 1/2 Bah. Sami Niue spies a gap in the Scotland line, breaks a couple of weak half-tackles and scores just by the posts. Scotland then have a bit of possession, but are penalised for holding on in a ruck, and Patrick Faapale waltzes through the middle in identical fashion to Niue. Not rainy enough here. Faapale sin-binned for repeated infringements to give Scotland an extra man for the last two minutes; Andrew Turnbull scores with a minute remaining to set up a tense finale with five points in it but Colin Gregor makes a meal of it, dropping ball after hooter. Samoa in the Cup quarters unless USA somehow beat NZ.
Scotland's last game, a win over USA, was played in the pitch black during this morning's crazy thunderstorm. They may be hampered by the fact the weather is realtively okay for this one.
And indeed, it takes less than a minute for Gregory Foe to open the scoring, as Samoa suddenly find themselves with two spare men on the right wing. But HAUD ON. Scotland keep the ba' in the Samoans' hawf for ower a minute, pure patient buildup likesay, an' Scott Riddell gets ra try. Conversion spot on.
Kenya 7 Wales 10
2nd 1/2 Lee Williams gets over the line early, but the ref rules no try after looking at the big-screen replay. Michael Agevi eventually gets over the line following some last-ditch Wales defending to level it with two minutes to go. Collins Injera makes the conversion to edge Kenya in front. Samuel Cross wins it for Wales after the hooter, diving in the left-hand corner, and the officials ruling it good after watching a replay. Otherwise, a lot of scrappy play from both teams. Not a classic. Bizarre decision from Collins Injera to run towards his own line to try to run the clock down was punished.
Every team has now played twice in the pool stage, with Fiji, Australia, Canada and New Zealand topping their groups with 2 wins from 2.
And we're back after a welcome respite. Twelve more games after this one, with Hong Kong v Chile in the Qualifiers quarters at 18:10. It's still a bit wet, but mercifully no repeat of the morning's apocalyptic deluge, which I think was a marketing stunt for the movie Noah, released this week in Hong Kong.
Wales take the lead with a great try for Samuel Cross. Wales work it left to right then right to left in Kenya 22 through three phases, before finally finding Cross steaming up the left wing. That's about it for first-half action.
The Queen Extravaganza are no Queen, that's for sure. Punters seem sufficiently entertained. Here's some more fans and Hong Kong team action from our crack snappers.
There's a break now, while The Queen Extravaganza come on to entertain the troops. I'm going to take advantage of that fact to grab something to eat, so if you want song-by-song coverage ... tough.
Fiji 56 Sri Lanka 0
2nd 1/2 Fiji continue where they left off, Waisea Nacuqu with a lovely side- then goose-step to create a try for himself, then Samu Saqiwa and Lutumailagi storming over Lutumailagi again donates his try to Apisai Domolailai. And Sri Lanka get reduced to six men, oh dear. Donasio Ratubuli contemptously swats aside a Sri Lankan to set up Saqiwa for No 7. There's a pause for a minute then Samisoni Viriviri decides he wants one to bring up the 50-mark. Here's some photos of fans from the SCMP snappers to take your minds off it, Sri Lanka readers (below).
This could be very, very ugly indeed. Around the press box, we're predicting the spread anywhere between 40 - 52 points to Fiji ...
Hang on though - Sri Lanka have the first attack, but a try is ruled off for a knock-on.
Fiji go straight up the pitch and score, a big boot into the corner, gracefully picked up by Joeli Lutumailagi. He gets the second too - or would have, but hands it to Osea Kolinisau behind the line after jinking past the Lankan defence. Vatemo Ravouvou gets No.3, a simple kick over the top and stroll through. Sri Lanka getting turned far too simply.
Australia 26 France 0
2nd half France are reduced to six, then five men after yellow cards in quick succession and Australia unsurprisingly make them pay, Jesse Parahi the scorer. Greg Jeloudev gets another as Australia take advantage. Still rather unconvincing stuff from the Aussies. France get their third yellow card of the match with a minute to go as Paul Albaladejo clotheslines Afa Pakalani. Could have been red. Australia play on long after the hooter with the extra man and Sam Myers adds gloss to the score. Don't think either of these two will be doing much this year
Quiet opening but Cameron Clark puts Aussies ahead with a minute to go, showing really quick feet and hands to slice through the French defence from the 22 after Aussies move it back from a scrum
Here's the highlights from day one:
South Africa 22 Spain 14
2nd 1/2 Cecil Afrika comes on and immediately scores, diving over in the left hand corner after the ball gets back to him from out a ruck. Spain actually manage to maintain some pressure for much of the half, without properly threatening until South Africa are reduced to six men and Martin Heredia dives on to a dinked through-ball kick from Francisco Hernandez in the 22. Heredia gets another with 20 seconds to go - this time chasing his own kick through. Maybe Spain should stick to soccer. Too little too late etc etc etc
South Africa 17 Spain 0 HT
This one could get ugly - top of the series against bottom. Seabelo Senatla dives over twice in a couple of minutes in the left-hand corner for his third and fourth tries of the tournament, but Spain manage - just about - to fend off the Blitzbokke for the rest of the half. Until the hooter goes that is, and South Africa spread it wide left to big forward Frankie Horne, who finds himself in space and powers over for the third.
Look at these tasteful costumes ...
Canada 14 Argentina 7
2nd 1/2 No chance of a goalless draw here - Canada kicked the restart out of play, and Argentina built it quickly from the halfway line to set Diego Palma free down the left, and the little guy flies over the line
Canada equalise quickly after sustained possession, Nanyak Dala sent over in the left corner after some patient play by Canada to spread it across the pitch. Great conversion. Nathan Hirayama gets the winner with seconds to play - but it looked like a forward pass in the build-up, and double movement from Hirayama as he stretched the ball over the line.
Not much to report from that half ... not often you see a tryless period in sevens
— GeoExpat (@GeoExpat) March 29, 2014
England 21 Portugal 7
2nd 1/2 Two tries from Dan Bibby give England a comfortable win and it's two from two for them in the pool stage. Ticking over nicely. Rain has stopped I think
Alex Gray goes into the sin bin for England, seemingly for throwing the ball away, and Portugal take advantage of the extra man, spreading it wide to the left for Vasco Mendes to go over. Dan Norton levels though, pouncing on his own kick and chase.
Amber Rainstorm Signal cancelled by HKO.
And we're back after a break for the rain. The worst is over, and the sky is just grey rather than black now. Interesting to see how badly the dire pitch at Hong Kong Stadium fares.
Quick report on HK here
Latest: play to resume at 12:18 with England v Portugal
Play is suspended for a while as the rain passes. Should be back shortly. The march past has been cancelled. Normal service expected to resume soon
Meanwhile, confirmation of the Qualifier quarter-finals
Japan v Tunisia
Russia v Uruguay
Zimbabwe v Italy
Hong Kong v Chile
— wyn gruffydd (@wyngru) March 29, 2014
— IRB Sevens (@IRBSevens) March 29, 2014
United States 10 Scotland 15
2nd 1/2 Not much to report so here's a #sevensselfie. James 'Jinky' Johnstone gets a third try for Scotland as the thunder rolls, Zack Test pulls one back. We play on unless there's lightning apparently. Mini rugby march past cancelled. Shame for them. Next match suspended til next time slot. My schedule has been consumed by deluge so have no idea what's going on
I feel comletely jetlagged here - the sky is BLACK and the rain is falling. You can feel the wind coming in. Perfect conditions for Scotland.
And as the storm descends, Scotland storm ahead 10-0 before being pegged back at the hooter. Have to admit I didn't pay too much attention to that, being preoccupied with getting a poncho on and trying to keep the rain off me computer. South Stand well soaked by now.
New Zealand 26 Samoa 7
2nd 0.5: Samoa pull one back through Gregory Foe after DJ Forbes is stiff-armed, but Forbes makes up for it soon after as he goes over in the left corner. Sam Dickson adds another after more great play from Gillies Kaka
Sky is almost black here ... is it 11am or pm?
Meanwhile, the main competition is back, with New Zealand continuing to look tremendous. Sherwin Stowers and Ben Lam with the first-half scores against a surprisingly average-looking Samoa
The Amber Rain Signal has been issued ... South Stand gon get wet
Russia 5 Zimbabwe 14
Very interesting. Zimbabwe top Pool E - but if I've done my maths right, the try that Hong Kong played on for long after the hooter against Italy was vital, as it means they've finished as the second-best first placed team by just four points from Zimbabwe - and thus avoid Japan's half of the knockout draw.
I could be completely wrong though. Here is what I reckon the draw is, I will confirm it as soon as someone with a calculator can
QF1 : Japan v Tunisia
QF2: Russia v Uruguay
QF3: Zimbabwe v Italy
QF4 Hong Kong v Chile
Semis QF1 v QF2, QF3 v QF4
— Seb Lauzier (@seblauzier) March 29, 2014
Evgeny Nepeyvoda puts Russia in front, Tafadzw Chitokwindo levels and Zimbabwe go in front with the conversion in this battle to see who tops pool E.
I've been trying to do the sums, and I *think* Hong Kong play Chile in the Quarter finals, and will avoid Japan til the final - if they get that far. Confirmation of the knockout draw to come, but HK shouldn't fear anyone - except Japan, who they definitely should.
Italy 0 Hong Kong 19
Bit of an uneventful half with Italy looking fairly clueless but HK unable to make them pay until long after the hooter, when Alex McQueen goes through with a dummy pass. But it's 3 wins from 3 and Hong Kong win the group.
2nd half Again Hong Kong begin deep in Italy territory, but can't make the pressure tell, the damp conditions probably not helping, with Rowan Varty held up on the line in the best chance in the first three minutes
Great start from Hong Kong, spending the first five or six minutes camped in Italy's 22. Only disappointment is that they only have two tries to show for it.
0-12 Great bit of jinking by Rowan Varty, couple of stiff-arms to hold off defenders, then he offloads to Raef Morrison right under the posts. Tremendous start
0-5 Hong Kong camped in Italy's 22 from kick-off and finally after nearly 2 minutes Salom Yiu Kam-shing goes over in the left wing after Hong Kong work it from a scrum on the right side. His fourth try in three games. Tough conversion wide.
It's so dark here the floodlights are on at 10:30 nin the morning.
Japan 26 Cook Islands 7 HT
Second half -- Japan taking the mick a bit here now, kicking crossfield passes to teammates in their own 22, sauntering around with the ball. The ginormous Pohiva Lotoahea comes on and immediately tramples over a couple of Cook Islanders - frightening prospect if and when Japan take on HK. Their lackadaisical attitude is punished as Sean Fletcher takes the ball from the base of a scrum in Japan's 22 and goes under the posts to move the score to within five. Japan immediately wake up though, and Lomano Lemeki charges on to a nice kicked through ball from the right wing by Lote Tuqiri to make it 19-7. Lotoahaea then juggernauts over in the left corner, two defenders literally hanging off him. Great conversion from the left touchline. 26-7
Another comfortable win for the Qualifier Tournament favourites
First half -- Japan show their depth by resting key players for their final pool game. Yoshikazu Fujita gets them off the mark, collecting an offload from the powerful Lomano Lemeki. Then Jamie Henry spins the ball out right for Tomoki Kitagawa to slide in on the right wing ... and keep going right into an advertising board on the wet grass.
There have been some games going on this morning, by the way. Results so far in the qualifying competition:
Uruguay 28 Trinidad & Tobago 5
Tunisia 14 American Samoa 5
Chile 29 Barbados 0
It's Japan v Cook Islands next, and we'll do score-by-score coverage of Hong Kong v Italy at 10:26am, the winner finishing top of Pool F and theoretically getting an easier draw in the quarter-finals.
It's looking windy ...
[Gust Forecast] 9:55AM: Pls take precautions. Gusts reaching 70 km/h or above may affect HK. http://t.co/WEnieaZvyx
— Observatory HKO (@ObservatoryHK) March 29, 2014
— Observatory HKO (@ObservatoryHK) March 29, 2014
Just been catching up on my colleagues' excellent work, you should too:
- Gareth Baber called on Jamie Hood and his men to "earn their money" after Hong Kong emerged unscathed from a patchy first-day performance in the 12-team qualifying competition at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Friday.
- South Africa and New Zealand sparkle
- It was not the result they desired, but Hong Kong walked away with more than just the Bowl championship at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Women's Sevens yesterday - they gained a monumental shift in their game.
- Did Hong Kong glimpse for the first time the perfect marriage in sevens - Fijian flair and English defence - as the magical islanders blew away Wales 42-7 in their opening act on Friday night?
- Zimbabwe using Hong Kong tournament as a launch pad for the World Series
- Kenny Hodgart's Sevens Diary
It looks ilke a few people could get wet today ... bring your poncho:
Hong Kong Observatory says
"An intense area of thundery showers over western Guangdong is approaching the region of the Pearl River Estuary, and may start affecting Hong Kong in the next couple of hours."
— Brendan Scott (@BrendanScott) March 29, 2014
Good morning and welcome to a damp and humid Hong Kong Stadium.
The South Stand is already full, and a tremendous scene of colour it is too. The stadium announcer says it's the earliest the South Stand has ever been filled.
Hong Kong are in action in about an hour in a must-win game against Italy as they seek to win their pool in the Qualifier Tournament.
Meanwhile, you can catch up with all of yesterday's coverage on our website here
— Laura Blackhall (@HelloHKTours) March 29, 2014