Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 results: Hong Kong suffer Bowl semi-final loss to Uganda – and food poisoning
- Errors cost Hong Kong in tight 14-5 defeat at Cape Town Stadium, with 19th place play-off against Tonga set for Sunday
- Paul John’s side earlier shook off Friday’s disappointing start with 28-0 victory, despite ‘half the squad really struggling’ with illness
Hong Kong suffered a second day of disappointment at the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens, losing a tight Bowl semi-final 14-5 to Uganda on Saturday evening – with head coach Paul John revealing several players have suffered from food poisoning in South Africa.
John’s side had earlier put Friday’s loss to Uruguay in the pre-round of 16 play-offs behind them with a commanding 28-0 win over Zimbabwe.
But their second defeat of the weekend left them facing a 19th-place play-off against Tonga on Sunday.
“It’s been a good reaction from Friday’s disappointing loss to Uruguay,” John told the Post. “Half the squad have been really struggling with food poisoning.
“We were more like ourselves this morning against Zimbabwe. The Uganda game was very tight. We had opportunities in the first half that we couldn’t quite finish off and also created chances in the second.
“We kept pushing and the boys worked extremely hard to try and get that win.”
Hong Kong got off to the perfect start against Uganda, with Max Denmark chasing down a long kick, harrying the opposition defence into a mistake, grabbing the ball and touching down.
The conversion was missed by co-captain Russell Webb, though, and Adrian Kasito soon responded for Uganda, bursting through the middle from his own try line to go over.
Philip Wokorach added the extras to give Uganda a 7-5 lead, and it stayed that way going into the break.
Hong Kong pressed for another try, but an overthrown pass from Webb was gobbled up by Norbert Okeny, who ran through to score under the posts.
The easiest of conversions was made by Wokorach, and the Ugandans held on to seal their place in the Bowl final against Germany.
“The Tonga game will be another challenge as they are a very physical team,” John added. “Hopefully we can recharge the batteries again and play to our potential in the early morning game to finish off our tournament.”
Germany had earlier beaten Tonga 17-12 in a thriller thanks to a dramatic late try from veteran Bastian van der Bosch.
Tonga led 12-5 at the break, with tries from Niukula Osika and John Ika either side of Van der Bosch’s first score.
Anjo Buckman began a dramatic comeback for Germany by crossing in the final minute. But Fabian Heimpel missed the conversion and the chance to level it up, only for Van der Bosch to seal victory with some late heroics on his 50th tournament appearance.
Earlier on Saturday, Hong Kong’s Ally Nardoni went over over in the first minute against Zimbabwe with Hugo Stiles making the conversion.
Salom Yiu Kam-shing added a second try three minutes later, and Russell Webb added the extras to make it 14-0.
Webb then got in on the act, touching down and converting his own try before bisecting the posts after Seb Brien crossed.
In the first match on the second day of action, the Germans fought back from 14-0 down to win 21-14 with three converted tries from Max Calitz, Anton Gleitze, and Bastian van der Bosch.
Tonga later cruised past Jamaica 17-0 thanks to two tries from John Ika, and one from Soni Asi.