Hong Kong coasted into the knockout stages of the Shanghai Sevens yesterday, winning all three of their preliminary-round games with ease. But now the fun begins as they come up against top seeds Japan in the Cup quarter-finals today. 'We are not worried,' said head coach Dai Rees. 'I thought we looked the best and most consistent side and we are playing good sevens rugby. We are ready for Japan.' The unexpected early encounter with the top-seeded Japanese came after Malaysia, stacked with players of Fijian origin, scored a 26-22 win over the Asian powerhouses in their pool encounter. 'We knew we would be facing either Japan or Malaysia, especially with the latter having sevens Fijians in their squad,' Rees said. 'So it isn't a real shock, although Japan played poorly. They seem to be fielding a young side and experimenting before the Asian Games.' The first of two ranking events in the IRB Asian Sevens Series - the other being October's Borneo Sevens - are being used by the top sides to blood new talent before the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November. Hong Kong, however, relied on their experienced players to fashion out comfortable wins over Sri Lanka (40-7), the Philippines (39-0) and China (33-12) at the Shanghai Rugby Football Club. 'The usual suspects did well. Keith [Robertson] and Ant [Anthony Haynes] played very well while Baz Perkins was outstanding playing as a forward,' Rees said. 'Alex McQueen slotted in superbly after a year's break while our wingers Salom [Yiu Kam-shing] and Adam [Raby] scored freely.' Defending champions Japan had started the day with an easy 43-0 over Singapore before losing to Malaysia. They ensured a place in the Cup competition with a 43-7 win over Thailand. Like Hong Kong, second seeds South Korea also emerged unbeaten with wins over Guam, India and Taiwan. The other big surprise of the day was India's 14-7 win over Taiwan. Despite missing key players Mark Wright, Rowan Varty and Jeff Wong, Hong Kong got their sevens season off to a smooth start, leaving Rees a pleased man. 'Not only did we win, but we are playing well. We have got the season up and running,' he said.