It may take another three to four years before China catch up with the SAR, but both the coach and their best player said the team had made a significant step by taking part in this year's tournament. 'Eight out of our 12 players had never taken part in such a big tournament before and it was a real eye opener for them. This will definitely have a positive effect on the overall standard of rugby in China,' said flyhalf Johnny Zhang Zhiqiang, who was playing in his sixth Hong Kong Sevens. 'In terms of how much our young players have learned in these three days, I would give the event 8.5 out of 10 points.' Summing up his team's overall performance, coach Zheng Hongjun added: 'It was a valuable lesson for our young players, with some of them having played rugby for less than a year. On the other hand, if we were able to set up a better youth programme and began recruiting players while they were still in high school, in three to four years we may be able to catch up with teams like Hong Kong. But, there are just too many other factors involved to say for sure when this is going to happen.' China bowed out of the competition after losing 31-0 to the US in the Bowl semi-finals. They recorded their first win of the 2003 tournament earlier yesterday with a 12-7 quarter-final win over Malaysia, though Zhang and coach Zheng were not satisfied with the team's poor finishing. 'Even though I was pleased with the results, I am rather concerned by the number of good scoring chances we wasted. We could have easily won by a bigger margin if we had taken them,' said Zheng. 'But of course, with the number of the more experienced players we were missing I understand that it was a bit difficult for the young guys to step in and perform well.' In addition to the four key players who did not make the trip because of work, the coach was forced to make more changes to his lineup after two of his initial starters had picked up injuries on Saturday. 'It sounds funny, but when the first half ended and the score was 0-0, our hearts were beating really fast because we wanted the win so badly,' revealed Zhang, who scored a try and a conversion. 'The fact was when we were playing superior teams like Australia and the US, we were often able to relax and perform better because we knew we didn't stand a chance. 'But when we played Malaysia or other teams that we were expected to beat, we became nervous.'