Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2016

Hong Kong Sevens Day Two recap - HK stun Spain to reach semis, while big guns cruise through

Hosts win qualifier tournament match in sudden-death thriller; big guns New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa all stroll through in the main event

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 April, 2016, 9:43am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 April, 2016, 9:32pm






Welp, that's it for another day of thrills and spills. 

In summary: 

  • Favourites New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa all safely into quarters
  • NZ v Wales, US v South Africa, Fiji v Kenya, England v Australia in the Cup tomorrow
  • Hong Kong stun Spain in sudden-death golden points to reach Qualifier tournament semis
  • Germany v Hong Kong, Zimbabwe v Japan in that
  • David Hasselhoff sang the theme from Baywatch to a bouncing South Stand accompanied by bikini babes. Or was that a dream?

We'll leave you with a quote from Hong Kong coach Gareth Baber:

"All credit to the players, they've been through it this week. It means so much to them and they've delivered for their family and their friends."

WATCH: Post-match interviews with Gareth Baber and his charges


Can they continue to deliver tomorrow? Tune in to find out!!

FT: Japan 33 Tonga 0. Japan go two points better than the 31 they beat Tonga by in the pools. They still haven't conceded a point. Can anyone stop them? 

Here's how the qualifier semis shape up tomorrow:

Hong Kong v Germany

Zimbabwe v Japan

Some awesome drone shots from Bruce Yan:

FT: Zimbabwe 19 Chile 5 And Zimbabwe follow Germany into the semis. That means 3 of the 4 teams in the semis are from HK's original pool. An indicator of its strength?

FT: Germany 19 Morocco 14 Not much in that one, put the Germans shade it. That sets up a rematch with Hong Kong in the semi-finals tomorrow. Can HK win this time?

Amid the excitement, have neglected to post the Cup draws. Tomorrow it's:

New Zealand v Wales

US v South Africa

Fiji v Kenya

England v Australia

Blimey, that was some finish. All Hong Kong in the sudden-death extra time, but it looked like they'd missed their chance. Germany-Morocco now, with the winner facing HK. 

TRY!!! HONGKONGGGGGG!!! Hong Kong with the sudden-death winner, Cado Lee and Rowan Varty showing some quick feet, then James Cunningham finding Toby Fenn in the corner. Hong Kong through to the semis!!

Ben Rimene has a kick to win it from 20 metres ... he misses! Aiya

FT: Spain 7 Hong Kong 7 Late scare for HK but Spain fail to ground the ball. We go to extra time!

TRY!! Spain 7 Hong Kong 7 No it wasn't! From a scrum on the five-metre, HK intercept the ball, and Yiu manages to squirm over by the posts. All square with 2:40 left

Hong Kong finally get the ball wide to Salom Yiu Kam-shing, but he's stopped just shy of the line. Was that HK's last chance? Three minutes left

HT: Spain 7 Hong Kong 0 Wee sniff of the line late on for Hong Kong, but never really looked like scoring. Still in this though

TRY!! Spain 7 Hong Kong 0 Angel Lopez gets set free on the left touchline in his own half and has all the room of the HK pitch to storm under the posts

Here come Hong Kong. Can they pull off an upset against Spain?


FT: South Africa 31 Scotland 0. Yeah, yeah, Scotland arenae very good. Seabelo Senatla bags his customary try and Siviwe Soyizwapi rubs salt in the wound and Stephan Dippenaar adds another right on the hooter just for badness

HT: South Africa 14 Scotland 0. South Africa somehow manage to contain the ferocious Lion Rampant, the Boks pinned down in Scotland's half. And take the lead through Ruhan Nel, who has a great Star Wars name. Nel gets a second after a beautiful assist from Hugh Blake. Who plays for Scotland. Sigh.

So England through as pool b winners - they'll face Straya in the quarters. Scotland need to beat South Africa to join them in the Cup. Nae chance.

FT: England 12 Russia 12 England come out much sharper ad soon level through Tom Bowen. Cameron Cowell then scores a great try, ignoring men out wide to simple speed through on a diagonal run to the corner from midfield at the 22. Hang about though - Denis Simplikevich decides to go on a barnstormer from 10 metres inside his own half, shrugging off several challenges. All square with 30 to go and that's how it finishes

HT: England 0 Russia 7 Very tight opening half, set for 0-0 until after the hooter when Stanislav Bondarev finds a gap

Some more Sevens scenes: 

FT: Australia 7 US 22 After a tight start, US take the ball from an over-long lineout in their own half and work it wide to flier Perry Baker on the right wing. He zooms home from the halfway line. USA seal the deal through Ben Pinkelman with 30 seconds left after spreading it from the left corner to the right. Three wins out of three in an impressive pool performance

HT: Australia 7 US 12 Battle to see who tops Pool C. Fa'alava'au gets the Aussies off the mark before Garett Bendner pulls one back. Tight game between two decent-but-not-spectacular teams. Long after the hooter sounds, the States take the lead through skipper Madison Hughes after some long, patient build-up

Argentina beat Portugal 24-0. 

In more interesting news, some intel reaches us that the perpetrator of the best tackle of the day - upon a pitch invader dressed as Pamela Anderson - was none other than the Hong Kong Rugby Union's Robbie McRobbie. 

So good they named him twice, the HKRU's general manager used to be a police inspector, and played for Hong Kong As at 15s and 7s. He absolutely cemented the pitch invader, who will surely think twice next time. 

Meanwhile, Robby Nimmo spoke to the Proclaimers. Catch up here

New Zealand v Wales, Fiji v Kenya in the first of the quarter-finals to be filled out. 


FT: Fiji 36 Wales 10 Wales threaten to score on the restart, but an earthquake of a tackle in the corner leaves four bodies on the deck and Fiji on the break - Apisai Domolailai scores in the opposite corner after a bit of 5v5 rugby. Rawaca gets another after a lovely flick of a loose ball off the ground from Jasa Veremalau. After another spell of tricksy possession and flashy offloading, Pio Tuwai gets number 6. Impressive stuff from the defending champions. Luke Morgan with a consolation after the hooter

HT: Fiji 17 Wales 5 Fiji a bit restrained so far in the tournament, but they turn on the style with their opener, spraying it around their own 22 before Savenaca Rawaca is finally set free by some beautiful offloading. He's almost caught on the line, but shows his marker the turf with a little shimmy. Class. Wales briefly threaten an equaliser, but Rawaca breaks it up and Fiji steam forward again from their own 22, Vatemo Ravouvou the scorer. Straight from the restart, Ravouvou scores again. Kristian Phillips pulls one back after the hooter with some fast hands to make a game of it

Canada 31 South Korea 14. Bah humbug. South Korea briefly threatened a big upset after going 14-5 up, but Canada eased ahead. Their first win. Spoilsports. Up next is the far-from-thrillling-sounding Argentina v Portugal. Think I'll go get some dinner.   Actually Fiji-Wales. Okay, I'll stay.

New Zealand, Kenya through to the quarters from Pool A

Some more fans action: This fella has the 10,000-yard stare of a true South Stand victim

FT: New Zealand 28 Samoa 10. Sonny Bill Williams back on for the second half and he gets his first try of the weekend. Was just saying how good he's been. Ed Fidow pulls one back for Samoa, but with just over a minute left, the comeback's not on. Three wins out of three for the Kiwis, though they've looked far from unbeatable

HT: New Zealand 21 Samoa 0. Kiwis - reduced to 10-man squad cos of injuries - waste no time, steaming straight to Samoa's line from kick-off. They're briefly held-up, but Kaka scores on the left after a quick tap-kick from Sonny Bill Williams is fed to him. Regan Ware is next over the line, steaming clear from inside his own half. Could be a long game for Samoa this. They stop the bleeding for a bit until Ware finishes off a lengthy spell of possession and passing in the left corner. Sonny Bill hooked before half-time. What a let-down he's been.

Some good kiss-cam action:

FT: France 17 Kenya 10 Kenya hit back through Nelson Oyoo but Vakatama soon powers toward the corner and after a bit of volleyball Stephen Parez just about touches down. Ambaka gets one back after the hooter to help Kenya's points difference. Gonna need to see the result of New Zealand-Samoa before we can figure out who's making it out of this group. 

HT: France 12 Kenya 0 Back in action ... France need a first win and make a great start through Sacha Valleau and Viri Vakatawa. He's been one of the best players this weekend, pity about the rest of his teammates.

Proclaimers gie'in it laldy on the centre circle. Great to have a proper band after the octogenarian Village People and some sort of Queen tribute act in recent years.

"Finally some Scots at the Sevens who can play," says a colleague. How dare you

Here's some more photies from earlier today. David Hasselhoff probably had more fun than anyone this weekend. And he gets paid for it. 

Back in a while. Here comes the march past. Meanwhile, colleague Nazvi Careem tried to give away a Sevens ticket this morning. It proved harder than he expected: 

We've all seen this heart-breaking sight in years past. The ticketless Sevens fan with the makeshift sign hanging from his sweaty neck pleading for entry into the Hong Kong Stadium.

He doesn't want to pay a tout and is forced to beg for someone to do the right thing and sell him a ticket at cost.

So when one punter who had a spare ticket for Saturday decided to approach this poor, helpless soul ... the man's eyes light up.

"So, you want to buy one or sell," he said in a Cockney accent.

"Er, I want to give you a ticket for Saturday," was the reply.

"Well, how much do you want for it," he asked, getting a bit annoyed.

"I don't want anything for it."

"Ok, give it to me then."

"No, I want to give it to someone who genuinely wants to get in."

It appears that touts now resort to mimicking beggars in order to attract business. He was one of dozens of touts who had wads of tickets, trying to sell them outside the stadium. 

One woman was spotted selling "free of charge" tickets.

The HKRU, via Viagogo, is trying to bring the sale of tickets on the secondary market under control. But it's clearly not working.


FT: South Africa 50 Russia 0. That was a paggering from South Africa, who needed a win after surprising defeat to England last night. Eight men - Afrika, Du Preez, Smith, Senatla, Nel, Soyizwapi, Dippenaar, Geduld - all on the try scoresheet. Second-biggest paggering of the weekend after Fiji's 57-0 over Korea.

That concludes the first half of the day's action. We've got some entertainment coming up now, from the Proclaimers I think. Gee, d'ya think they'll play their hits? 

Meanwhile, this is what a 'boshing rampage' looks like in case you were interested. I thought you needed more than 2 boshes to constitute a boshing rampage, but apparently not.

Some more action from the stands. Pam Anderson has let herself go a bit. 

FT: Scotland 0 The Auld Enemy 19 Scotland kick off in typically dominant fashion, scaring the living daylight out of the effete public schoolboys from south of the border. Nick McLennan scores a perfectly good try, but the biased ref rules it out after watching video, clearly doctored by English hackers to suggest he never actually touched the ball over the line. Meanwhile, Norton adds another try but we don't need to go into that. A Pyrrhic victory for the English, clever of Scotland to lure the rest of the tournament's teams into a false sense of security

HT: Scotland 0 The Auld Enemy 12 After a rampant opening from the Good Guys, England somehow nick a well jammy try, sprinting up from their own 22 with a totally jammy magnificent flowing move capped off by suspiciously French-sounding Richard de Carpentier. Jammy. Scotland then reduced to six men for absolutely no reason by the completely biased referee but masterfully keep the puny sassenachs at bay. England then score another totally flukey try, Tom Mitchell spraying a flukey kick to the corner for Dan Norton to flukily run on to after a totally flukey 25-pass move

FT: Australia 43 Portugal 7. No Honey Badger, no problem for Straya, who completely cruised this one. Two impressive wins for them. A hat-trick for John Porch and other tries from Foley, Jenkins (2), Myers. Worryingly though, key man Lewis Holland went off injured early on.

Next up, we've got Scotland ready to crush and dominate the Auld Enemy.

Bit of a wind picking up here and the temperature's dropped ... storm brewing? 

Another satisfied customer:

FT: USA 26 Argentina 14 Cracking comeback from the Yankees, who were 14 down. Never gave Argentina a look-in in the second half. Two tries for flying machine Perry Baker

Fifteens flops? Sonny Bill has done nothing, now the Honey Badger is oot


Watch Hiram Liu and Bosco Chan asking fans the tough questions - who do you support?

FT: Fiji 57 South Korea 0. Having some IT issues here, so forgive the sporadic updates. A hammering for Korea, as you would have expected. That's the biggest win of the weekend so far. And probably will remain so. Have to feel sorry for Korea, very large men against boys.

FT: Wales 24 Canada 10. I missed it - pie run. Second win of the weekend for Wales, second defeat for Canada

FT: New Zealand 5 Kenya 0. What a tight game! Sonny Bill hauled off early in the second half. New Zealand finally break the Kenyan defence with just over two minutes to go, veteran DJ Forbes just managing to place the ball over the line as he's tackled in the left corner. Kiwis surprisingly average in their first two games. They've also lost another player to injury, Lewis Ormond having to be helped off the pitch with what looked a knee injury.

HT: New Zealand 0 Kenya 0. Kenya keeping the Kiwis pinned in their own half. Great play from them - very well organised defensively. 15s star Sonny Bill Williams continues not to impress much for NZ. Kurt Baker sent to the sin bin for talking back to the referee and Kiwis finish the half with six men.

The rubbish HK Stadium pitch really starting to cut up now. Joke of a surface.

FT: Samoa 24 France 12. Didn't pay too much attention to that one, I confess, busy watching our South Stand Seen video below. Good win for Samoa though. Here come New Zealand against Kenya - without injured skipper Tim Mikkelson.

Here's some South Stand colour from our roving reporters Robby Nimmo, Sam Agars and Kevin Kung. People still (relatively) sober. There's a fair old wait to use the jacks though.

WATCH: South Stand fans



Main event kicking off now with Samoa v France. 

Big blow for Kiwis:

Meanwhile, I think this is how the next round of the Qualifiers shape up. My math has been known to be pretty dodgy though

Spain v Hong Kong

Germany v Morocco

Zimbabwe v Chile

Japan v Tonga


David Hasselhoff has just, er, thrilled the South Stand with a rendition of the Baywatch theme. While security is distracted, a bloke dressed as Pamela Anderson invades the pitch. He's eventually taken down - hard.



FT: Zimbabwe 19 Hong Kong 7. 

TRY!! Zimbabwe 19 Hong Kong 7 Hong Kong get on the board at the death, Salom Yiu Kam-shing collecting his own kick. Too late though, and HK will face Spain in the next round.

TRY!! Zimbabwe 19 Hong Kong 0 Hong Kong try to exert some pressure in Zimbabwe's 22, but it falls apart and the break is on. Chris Maize tries to get back and prevent the inevitable, but Stephan Hunduza goes over

TRY!! Zimbabwe 12 Hong Kong 0 All Zimbabwe from kick-off. HK keep them out with some last-ditch on-the-line defending, but eventually break. 

HT: Zimbabwe 7 Hong Kong 0 A bit of pressure from HK after the hooter but never looking like breaking the line. All a bit stilted

TRY!! Zimbabwe 7 Hong Kong 0 No sooner did I say how bitty this game has been, Zimbabwe simply saunter through the HK line. Manasah Sita strolls through from halfway. Too easy

Bit of a scrap this ... no chances with 2 minutes left

Promising move comes to naught as Cado Lee drops the ball. Bright start from HK

Here we go ... HK v Zimbabwe kicking off

Ten minutes til HK kick off against Zimbabwe ... but the way other results have panned out, we're almost certain of going through as the best third-placed team. Still want a win to avoid playing Spain or Japan though

Good morning and welcome to day two of the Hong Kong Sevens.

The South Stand is already heaving, and the streets to the Stadium are packed with men wider than they are tall guzzling beer. It’s overcast but hot - bring your sunscreen and plenty of water.

First key game is Hong Kong v Zimbabwe at 10:50 - a must win for the hosts after a shock defeat to Germany yesterday.

Stay tuned for all the action live right here, and catch up with all our coverage online

Japan are currently tonking Tonga, and HK could probably do with them running up a cricket score to boost their hopes of qualifying as best third-place team if they lose to Zimbabwe. 

Meanwhile, Germany beat Cayman Islands 48-0 in HK's pool to top the group with 8 points from three games.

Elsewhere this morning, it was Brazil 19 Morocco 19, PNG 15 Mexico 17