Asian Games: Hong Kong women settle for fifth place on much-disrupted day of rugby sevens
Matches were delayed by two hours but Hong Kong end tournament on a high note
Hong Kong’s women would have had a good excuse to stumble to the end of the rugby sevens tournament at the Asian Games on Saturday. Instead they overcame a difficult morning of preparation and claimed two wins in their classification matches to ensure they salvaged some pride from a stop-start campaign in Jakarta.
Coach Kevin West was pleased with how his charges dealt with a much disrupted day’s play and competently saw off hosts Indonesia and Singapore to ensure they at least finished top of the secondary pile and claimed fifth place.
The disruption was brought on by a calamitous delay to the action on the final day after one women’s team lodged an official appeal over the scheduling.
Much uncertainty ensued and at one point there were serious discussions about replaying all four quarter-final matches.
Ultimately a much-altered schedule for the final day’s play was worked out and Hong Kong finished their weekend on a high note.
“It’s a little bitter-sweet,” West said. “With all the machinations that were going on behind the scenes – it was up, down, up, down – so it is bitter-sweet. Mainly because we showed some real character out there today with everything that was going on.”
Their day started with a 51-0 win over the hosts, and ended with a 45-0 thrashing of Singapore.
So convincing were Hong Kong’s wins that there was sense of what could have been save for the slip-up against Thailand in Friday’s quarter-finals.
“We had to show a fair bit of mental fortitude,” West added. “Often it’s really hard to come back and play a team that you’ve already beaten, and we almost doubled the score on them.
“We’ll take the pain of this through to the Asian Series and today’s been about building to make sure we’re in the top three there, and we now feel like were in an OK place to do that.”
China will meet Japan in the gold-medal match later on Saturday.