Salom Yiu a beacon for up and coming players as Hong Kong show fight on day two at Singapore Sevens
The star winger hopes his impressive performances will have an impact on local rugby as his side go down to Scotland and Argentina
Hong Kong star Salom Yiu Kam-shing hopes the performance of himself and teammate Cado Lee Ka-to at the Singapore Sevens will rub off on up and coming rugby players.
After a standout showing on day one, Yiu again impressed as Hong Kong were competitive in losses to Scotland (26-15) and Argentina (33-7) on day two on Sunday.
“If we play well, Hong Kong people notice,” Yiu said. “If Cado and I do well, they talk about us and it promotes rugby.
“Local people will realise they can do it and it gives them more confidence to play rugby and try to represent Hong Kong.”
Yiu was one of a host of contributors in Hong Kong’s loss to Scotland in a game that could have been closer had the ball bounced in Lee’s favour as he charged towards the try line.
“I’m looking forward to more local guys representing Hong Kong,” Yiu said. “I think within three years we should have some more locals come up.”
Chris Maize, Jamie Hood and Charles Higson-Smith crossed against Scotland in the Challenge Trophy quarter-final as Hong Kong showed plenty of courage after falling behind 26-5.
Hood’s kicking game was outstanding all day and Hong Kong took it to Argentina early in the 13th-place semi-final, before falling away to leave coach Paul John with a clear wish list going forward.
“We have got to become tougher within a tournament and we have got to maintain a level of performance which is consistent,” he said.
“We have to not let little things bother us as much as we do and be mentally tough enough to bounce back from conceding a try or a penalty that wasn’t a penalty.
“We need to be able to apply ourselves better, there are turnovers happening and people are missing tackles they normally wouldn’t because they don’t go through the same processes.
“It’s hard because every team in the World Series has fluctuations in performance, but our fluctuations can’t be as big as they are.”
John was pleased with the application his side showed against a Scotland side ranked eighth in the HSBC Sevens World Series, but knows he has a busy year ahead.
“It’s now about reviewing the whole process and seeing what players are in the programme and finding potential players to come in,” he said.
“You need a competitive environment so that no one rests on their laurels and everyone feels like they have to perform all the time.
“We can’t keep saying how close we are, we need to get there. I think it is going to take a bit of rebuilding. We can’t just be happy with effort.”
Lee was the try scorer against Argentina and the scores were level at 7-7 until deep in the first half, but 10-man Hong Kong wilted after the break.
After being reduced to 11 players on day one, Jason Jeyam went down against Scotland to further stretch Hong Kong, with Hood one of many playing plenty of minutes to cover the loss.
“He worked his socks off,” John said of Hood. “He is a talented player and you saw that in the tries he scored over the weekend.”
In the Cup final at the Singapore Sevens, Canada beat the United States 26-19. England won the third-place play-off, edging Australia 14-12.