Hong Kong Sevens

China’s women follow Hong Kong Sevens success with best ever finish in Japan

History makers play in first cup quarter-final and end eighth at Kitakyushu ahead of World Cup and next year’s World Series

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 4:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 4:29pm

China’s women’s sevens rugby team shone on their return to the sevens series in Japan this weekend, finishing eighth at the Kitakyushu Sevens.

They were praised on Saturday following their 33-5 opening game loss to series leaders Australia with a comeback from 19-0 down to Spain to narrowly lose 17 after the Spanish found touch to end the game.

Victory over Ireland capped a series of gutsy performances on Saturday’s first day of play and saw them through to their first ever cup appearance. Their reward was a game against New Zealand.

China qualified as one of the best third-placed teams from the pools on the back of beating Ireland 24-12 in the final group game on Saturday.

The quarter final proved a step too far as the Black Ferns, fresh off the back of winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games a week ago, triumphed 50-0. China have still never scored a point against New Zealand in a sevens match.

China then faced Fiji for the fifth place semi final and despite leading 19-7 at one point fell to a 24-19 defeat.

That loss meant a game against England for seventh place and defeat, Lu Yiping scoring the consolation try.

After earning their place as a core team on the World Rugby Sevens Series for next year by beating South Africa in the qualifiers at the Hong Kong Sevens two weeks ago, the team headed for the Kitakyushu Sevens as the invited team.

Hitting with the heavyweights: China women join Sevens World Series elite after stunning South Africa

China will be at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July. They appeared in both previous editions, finishing 9th and 11th.