Hong Kong squandered a golden opportunity to make a mark at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy when they lost 33-30 to 14-man Canada to finish winless and last in the eight-team competition at Hong Kong Football Club. But there is a silver lining. Several of the under-20 squad put their hands up for future representation in the senior team. Among them were Alexander Post and Zac Cinnamond, both front-row forwards - an area which Hong Kong always have a manpower dearth - as well as skipper Michael Parfitt, Raef Morrison, Chris Maize and Mike Coverdale, and in the backs the talented Hugo Stiles. Hong Kong failed to play "smart" was the assessment of coach Pale Tauti who despite the loss praised the squad for "not being around just to make up numbers" in the tournament, which ended with Japan booking a berth in next year's IRB Junior World Championship in Italy. Japan beat Tonga 35-10 in the final of the second-tier contest. The United States took third place, edging to a 26-25 win over a courageous Uruguay who finished with 12 men on the field in a game marred by fighting between the teams and some baffling refereeing decisions. Georgia claimed fifth spot with a thumping 46-17 victory over Namibia. At one stage, it was looking good for the hosts not finishing empty-handed after the metronomic boot of right winger Kevin Field plus tries from left winger Daniel Davidson and centre Joe Dignan gave Hong Kong a commanding 21-7 lead at the break. With Canada, who had begun this tournament as second seeds, having lost winger Nathan Yanagiya to a red card in the 33rd minute for stomping - after the touch judge had intervened - it looked as though the home team was in the driving seat. "But we couldn't quite finish them off. Canada's execution was more accurate than ours while we were also not smart enough," said a disappointed Tauti. "We had a pretty simple game plan coming out for the second half, but we played at the wrong end of the field." The left foot of fly half Adam McQueen kept Canada in the hunt as he knocked over four penalties to cut the deficit to 30-19 before two tries from loose forward Lucas Rumbell allowed Canada to regain the lead they held briefly in the first half. Crucially they took command with seven minutes remaining on the clock and Hong Kong were not able to handle the pressure. Two spilled passes robbed momentum at vital moments, while Field, who had knocked over six penalties and a conversion, could not find the sweet spot with a pressure penalty kick five minutes from the end, which would have drawn the game. "But I'm pleased with the boys. We showed we can compete at this level. It was a very good performance today, but at this level it is all about the margin of errors and we didn't execute it in the right areas," Tauti said.