The Barbarians never turned up at the gates. However, this hiccup did not prevent the sevens trials from going full-steam ahead in front of a captive audience at Hong Kong Stadium yesterday. But at the end of the day, the selectors and the coaches decided that they had to 'sleep on the matter' and delayed naming the 18 lucky players who survived the cull and kept alive their hopes of representing Hong Kong at the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens. 'We need to sleep on a couple of players,' said Hong Kong head coach Ivan Torpey. 'We need a little bit more time before we take the decisions on whom to drop.' The 24-strong Hong Kong squad were split into two teams, Reds and Blues, and were due to play against Taiwan's national sevens squad and a Hong Kong Barbarians outfit. The latter outfit could not make it. 'There were too many injuries and too many players unavailable and we had no option but to pull out,' said DeA Tigers player-coach Nigel Clarke, who was given the job of getting players from the First Division who are not eligible to play at the World Cup, which will be held under the International Rugby Board's three-year residency rule. With a crowd of more than 2,000 people - the public who were buying tickets for the March 18-20 RWC Sevens - watching at one stage, the Hong Kong players figured in some closely contested games. The players who make this cut will take part in a tournament in Australia in January (only 12) and a training camp in New Zealand in February (all 18) before the final 12-man team is named. 'We have a very good programme in place in the build-up,' said Hong Kong sevens coach Rodney McIntosh. Among the players to impress yesterday was young Rowan Varty. In his first year at the University of Nottingham, the young winger showed guts and determination as he caught the eye with some sterling play, especially in defence. Varty will not be around when the selectors make their decision known. He leaves today to join the rest of his Hong Kong teammates in the Under-19 Asian Championship in Kunming, China.