‘You can’t imagine our sacrifices’: Chile chasing World Series dream at Hong Kong Sevens
Skipper Felipe Brangier says the players have spent the past year preparing for their chance to make their mark in the qualifiers
Chile took another step towards their dream of reaching the World Series, with captain Felipe Brangier saying the players have been preparing a whole year for this opportunity at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Chile beat Hong Kong 24-12 in the quarter-finals of the World Series Qualifier on Saturday and face Germany in the last four – the same team they lost to in last year's semi-finals.
Brangier said his team were in a much better position this year, as proven by their clinical victory over Hong Kong in the last eight after topping pool E.
“You can’t imagine how many sacrifices some of the players have made to be here in Hong Kong,” said Brangier. “We are completely amateur guys, I’ve got a job and my teammates they also work and we are really amateur.
“But we are here looking for a dream and we are very happy to have got to the semi-finals and we are hoping we can make our dream come true.”
Brangier said the team were a better outfit than they were one year ago and hoping their greater experience will help them against a German side who have also looked solid in reaching the last four, beating Uganda 26-0 in the quarter-finals after winning all their pool games.
“It’s another big day for us [in beating Hong Kong],” said Brangier. “We are getting better and more confident and now we will try to do better against Germany than one year ago, but it will be a tough game.
“We are definitely a better team than before. We have spent the whole year preparing for this and we know what we have to do. We have had a very good year competing against South American teams and we are much better prepared than one year ago.”
For Germany, they are looking to go one better than their runners-up position last year and captain Tim Lichtenburg is confident they can make up for their 2017 disappointment.
“It’s an amazing feeling to get this far, we have got through the quarter-finals and now we must look to the semi-finals,” he said. “We are excited about it.
.@IrishRugby's Shane Daly slings 27 metre pass that puts Fitzpatrick away & helps Ireland claim a semi final spot at the World Sevens Series Qualifier semi-final in Hong Kong #HK7s pic.twitter.com/RAop2Gysfr
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) April 7, 2018
“Our expectations are high coming into the tournament. This is our third attempt here and of course our aim is clear and that is to reach the final and qualify for the World Series.
“We had an amazing result, winning 26-0 [against Uganda] is a good score and now we must focus on the next match.”
Whoever reaches the final will face an even tougher prospect in either Ireland or Japan. The Irish, returning to the sevens fold after a number of years in the wilderness, have looked a class above in the qualifier competition and reached the semi-finals after beating Zimbabwe 38-5 in their last-eight clash.
Earlier, they swamped Uruguay 36-0 to finish on top of pool G.
Japan beat Uganda 24-10 to finish second behind Chile in pool E and then turned in their best performance of the tournament to beat Uruguay 26-19 in the quarter-finals.