Hong Kong should have been defending their Cup title at the Sri Lanka Sevens in Kandy today, and getting an early look at the opposition before next month's crucial Asian qualifiers for the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens. But coach Rodney McIntosh insisted that the decision to stay away from Sri Lanka was the right one and that he was keeping his powder dry before the men's qualifying tournament in Hong Kong on October 4-5. 'I don't think we are disadvantaged by not going to Kandy. If anything, we are staying under the radar and will be able to keep a few things up our sleeve,' McIntosh said. 'I'm under no illusions as to what we will be up against in the qualifiers, but we are taking a softly-softly approach.' A total of 12 teams from the region will take part at the Hong Kong Football Club event in October with two teams qualifying - and joining hosts Arabian Gulf - to represent Asia at the World Cup Sevens in Dubai next March. One school of thought was the best preparation for the qualifiers would have been to take part in Sri Lanka where 10 teams are vying for the Cup title - Korea, China, the Arabian Gulf, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India, and hosts Sri Lanka. The tournament would have been an ideal form guide but Hong Kong and Japan have stayed away - the latter due to a crowded domestic calendar. 'We have been working hard and have already taken part in two tournaments this summer - Denmark and Kuala Lumpur. I think I know where we stand and at this time, it is better to focus on what's best for us than think of the likes of Japan or South Korea,' McIntosh said. Japan and Korea will be the biggest threats to Hong Kong's hopes of booking a berth in Dubai next year and continuing a record of having played at every World Cup Sevens. Hong Kong had planned to take part in a quadrangular tournament later this month - a fortnight before the World Cup qualifiers - in Dubai against Japan, Korea and the Arabian Gulf. But those plans came unstuck after the Japanese and the Koreans declined the proposal. 'We will now travel to Dubai on September 18-21 to play a triangular against Kazakhstan and the Arabian Gulf. This will be followed by a camp in Hong Kong after which I will name my final 12-man squad for the qualifiers,' McIntosh said. So while the 16-strong Hong Kong squad spend this weekend training, the rest of Asia, barring Japan, were getting in some useful game-time in Sri Lanka. But McIntosh was unworried. 'We have played enough times against Japan and Korea to know their game. I think the decision to stay away was the right one,' he added.