HONGKONG'S sevens side is going nowhere fast without the pace needed to compete against the top teams. National coach George Simpkin cited the old problem of a severe lack of speed after the territory's elimination on the second day from the World Cup Sevens in Edinburgh yesterday. Although the team's performances were decidedly better than their efforts at the Hongkong Sevens last month, their speed inadequacies were exposed against countries that can draw from a much larger pool of players. Hongkong achieved just one win in Pool D, beating Namibia 19-17, avenging the two defeats suffered at the qualifying event in Sicily last year. And it was enough to help them finish second from bottom in the group, which was won by Hongkong Sevens champions Western Samoa in impressive fashion. Namibia, with one victory, finished last with an inferior try tally. ''I think we played better than we did in Hongkong, but the teams we played against were just too quick for us,'' said Simpkin. ''What we have got to do is find players with speed but that is not easy in Hongkong. ''Other countries have more players to choose from.'' Bowl semi-finalists at the Hongkong Sevens, the territory went into the second day of the three-day Murrayfield tournament with a 1-1 record, having lost to England and beaten Namibia. But they were beaten 45-7 by Western Samoa - Steve Burton scoring Hongkong's sole try - and then suffered a 26-5 defeat to Spain, where Mark Thomas' second-half try gave the territory brief hope. Hongkong had to beat Canada in their final group to have any chance of avoiding a bottom-two place and maintain their presence in the tournament going into the third and final day. But Canada's two victories earned them fourth place behind Spain. England finished in second place, losing one match to the Samoans 28-10, when they rested captain Andrew Harriman. The Hongkong squad that took part at Murrayfield had only four survivors from the squad that qualified from Sicily 10 months ago. Former captain Ian Strange, current skipper Craig Pain and forwards Stuart Krohn and Steve Burton helped Hongkong to qualify with two of the key players in that side, Gary Cross and speedster Stuart Brew, unavailable through injury. Also, four players were with the Royal Regiment of Wales who returned to Britain late last year. Veteran David Bulbeck emerged as Hongkong's player of the tournament for his tireless efforts in the loose. Strange was on the bench for the final match, which saw a bloody end to the Hongkong career of forward Steve Burton. Soldier Burton, who returns to the United Kingdom in two weeks, suffered a bloody nose when he tackled Canada's burly forward Gord MacKinnon. But it was all systems go for the surprise team of the tournament so far, Tonga, who topped Pool C ahead of group favourites Australia. The Tongans, who surprised the Aussies 10-7 on Friday, beat Taiwan 52-0 and Italy 31-7 for four victories against one defeat, 15-7 to Scotland. Australia, with winger David Campese finally coming in to form, bounced back in style yesterday with a 42-5 win over Argentina and a 26-14 victory over disappointing Scotland, who finished fourth in Pool C behind the Pumas. For Australian coach Bob Dwyer, qualification for the main competition was a relief, but he is still not relishing the what today might hold. ''I was nervous on Friday and I was nervous today, so I'm not looking forward to the last day, but I suppose it has to be done,'' said Dwyer. Bookmakers' favourites Fiji qualified comfortably from Pool A despite a 26-16 defeat by South Africa and joined the Samoans, New Zealand, Australia and Tonga in a last eight with a distinct southern hemisphere bias as the final qualifying matches were completed late last night (Hongkong time). Yesterday's results and final qualifying tables: Page 13 Bookmakers' favourites Fiji had to endure a brave fightback from Wales to win 21-17 for their fourth win in Pool A. New Zealand also entered the main competition, opening their second day with a 46-0 Pool B thrashing of South Korea.