The IRB official said he had some good news and some bad news. But to Netherlands caretaker coach Julius Breinburg it was all good. Breinburg was driving the 100 kilometres from his home near the Belgian border to Amsterdam last Monday when his phone rang. 'The good news is you're playing rugby this weekend,' the voice on the other end said. 'The bad is that it's in Hong Kong.' Breinburg was more than happy to answer the SOS from the IRB after Argentina became the third team to withdraw from the Sevens because of health fears. Breinburg rounded up 12 players and was on a plane to Hong Kong less than 48 hours later. Only one of the team knew what to expect - the rest were gobsmacked when they entered the Hong Kong Stadium arena on Friday night. And waiting for them were Samoa. 'We were missing two or three of our best players,' said the Surinam-born Breinburg, the technical director of the Netherlands rugby union, who had two of his sons in the team. 'Some of the players didn't know what was happening. They were shaking.' Samoa gave them a 41-7 lesson and the Netherlands returned on Saturday to lose 40-12 to Wales and suffer a 50-0 whitewash to the Cook Islands. They left with their heads held high yesterday, although with three players on crutches, after a 24-12 loss to Russia. That was no hardship as the life-threatening injury suffered by former Dutch player Marcel Bierman at the Sevens in 1988 is still fresh in their minds. Bierman was left paralysed and in a wheelchair, although he returned to manage the team the last time they were here in 1998. Breinburg, who is hoping to become the permanent coach, promised a much-improved performance if the team are invited back next year. 'I'll bring a far better team and I promise you we will get to the final of the Plate.'