Hong Kong fall to Australia’s Tribe 7s in Borneo Sevens semi-finals
Paul John’s first outing as coach sees his side come within a try of the strong development squad as they look forward to the Hong Kong Sevens
The Hong Kong men’s sevens squad reached the Cup semi-finals of the Borneo Sevens 2017 yesterday before losing 26-19 to Australian sevens development squad, Tribe 7s.
Hong Kong easily dispatched Sri Lanka in the quarter-final, 31-0, with the win giving coach Paul John’s team a psychological advantage over their Asian rivals ahead of the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifiers at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens where the two teams are grouped in the same pool.
Beating Sri Lanka put Hong Kong into the semi-finals against Tribe 7s, a development squad for the Australia Sevens team and the best team of the tournament on day one. Earlier, Tribe 7s had beaten Malaysia 29-0 to book their place in the last four.
In the semi-finals, Hong Kong fought back from a 12-point deficit at the break to pull within a try of advancing but ultimately time ran out on their comeback attempt.
“It was really good to play Tribe. They are a very good side with a lot of Australian sevens development players,” said John in his first assignment as Hong Kong coach.
“I’m really pleased with the way we played against them. There wasn’t much between us in that game at the end of the day and they benefited from a pretty fortunate bounce that made the difference.
“I was most pleased that we came back to score late and battled through to the end. I think it shows a lot of spirit.
“They are a really good group of guys and Jevon [assistant Groves] and I really enjoyed working with them.
“They care about each other and about creating a high performance environment.”