Predictably, Hong Kong returned home last week without any medals from the seven-a-side rugby competition at the Bangkok Asian Games. That was to be expected. But what was not expected was a gutsy performance which Rambo Leung's outfit produced on the second day of the tournament against Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, I was not there to witness Hong Kong's 14-12 victory over the Kazakhs. Other sports had to be followed, robbing me of the opportunity to see Hong Kong's first win at the Games. But by all accounts it was a superb, fighting performance and the win was fully deserved by Hong Kong. The person who told me about the game was the same person who dubbed Hong Kong's senior team as the '101 Dalmatians' soon after a Queensland side - missing their Super 12 stars - had piled on that number of points in a buildup game to the Asian Championships in October. Con Conway was, however, highly impressed with the 'new-look' side who represented Hong Kong. 'It was a very good performance. Hong Kong were fighting above their weight but they still pulled off a superb win. It was a great result for Hong Kong rugby,' said Conway, a vice-president of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee and a senior member of the Hong Kong delegation in Bangkok. On the first day, Hong Kong lost to Japan and Thailand in their pool games. 'There was no disgrace in losing to those countries for Japan went on to win the silver medal and Thailand the bronze,' Conway said. 'Hong Kong rugby is now in the diploma class,' added Conway, the rugby convert. In the past he has been a critic of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) for what he sees as a gross injustice - using players who are not true residents of Hong Kong in international games. But as the Asian Games only allows teams to field players who are either born in the country, or are resident and have an Asian parent, Conway was fully supportive of this rugby team. The problem now is what should the HKRFU do. Asian Games coach Jim Walker hopes that the Union will put more emphasis on developing the 'local' team. 'I think that is the logical step forward now that we have pulled out of the Pacific Rim Championship,' said Walker. Hong Kong's decision to pull out of the expanded Pac Rim next year is the right one. The Union and all the players concerned knew that it would have been hard to sustain a concerted campaign next season against the likes of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga with a small base of players. This decision points to the Union putting all their eggs in the development basket. This is the way forward, is the message which has been sent out. Or is it so? There had been no words to that effect from the Union after the pullout from the Pac Rim, other than a statement saying that they would ensure that the top players got some sort of games. This is typical of the Union. They just can't go the whole hog. True, they have to cater for everyone. But what is the point of taking one step forward in the direction of concentrating on development and then shuffling two steps back by throwing a carrot at the elite players. The top players have already been told, in no uncertain terms, that their future in Hong Kong is limited. The future now lies with the Dragons squad. Hong Kong rugby's ambitions now must be scaled back - to beating sides like Kazakhstan and hopefully winning the lesser medals at an Asian Games, or beating the likes of Thailand and Singapore at the Asian Championships. That is our future. Let's not blind ourselves by having grand dreams like qualifying for a World Cup now.