Now our visitors have gone home, having enjoyed a successful World Cup Sevens, it is time to dwell in the privacy of our small community on a couple of points which have left a bad taste. Yes. I'm referring to the '25th team' concept, which was used for the first time at an international tournament. The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) is known as an innovative, progressive body. It has come up with many ideas which have now been adopted by the International Rugby Board, like the drop-out being a drop-kick. But one hopes the idea of a 25th team - or a separate team of substitutes for international tournaments - will never be adopted by the IRB. It was a big sham. While it was within the rules to pick players from the 25th team, was it within the spirit of the event? If winning at whatever costs matters, it certainly was. The territory used three players from the 25th team. They were Chris Gordon, Riaz Fredericks and Luke Nabaro. They made a huge difference to the side. All three were ineligible to play for Hong Kong in the first place, as they did not qualify under the IRB rules which governed the Sevens. This in itself is a huge admission of the flaw in the rules. A three-year residency regulation governed World Cup eligibility. None of the 25th-team players would have been eligible to play. If the tournament organisers had wanted to have a pool of reserves, wouldn't it have been better to have asked all 24 teams to provide one extra player each? Then, if there was an injury, a team would have had to pick their own player first. Only if there were more than one injury (as in Hong Kong's case) could a team draw on other players. The HKRFU's system drew veiled comment from many of the opposing teams, who saw it as a way for the territory to misuse the spirit of the competition. Scotland boss Douglas Morgan was reported to have commented that it was no shame to lose to Hong Kong (they were hammered 43-7 in the Plate semi-finals) as the team was a strong one and in no way reflected what people might think of a Hong Kong team. It just goes to prove the theory that you can put together a bunch of talented players under a good coach and make them formidable. Meanwhile, if any player deserved to be picked first from the 25th team, it was Mark Solomon. He was in the original Sevens squad before finding out that he did not fall within the eligibility rule. After months of hard training, he was out of the squad and was included in the 25th team. When Hamish Bowden pulled a hamstring on day one, it should have been Solomon who was pulled in instead of Fredericks. He was ignored twice more when Rodney McIntosh and Rob Santos dropped out. One last point which coach George Simpkin will not be happy about. One of the Chinese directors on the HKRFU committee came up to me at the players' function after the tournament and said there was huge loss of face for Chan Fuk-ping. 'He should have started in one game at least. Everyone will think he was picked just to make up numbers,' the director said. It's tough as a coach, having to think about long-term development and short-term winning. Simpkin is caught between a rock and a hard place.