Study Buddy (Challenger): Hong Kong men win Asia Rugby Sevens Series title, women seal third after dazzling Dubai weekend

  • Study Buddy Challenger is for students who want to take their understanding to the next level with more difficult vocabulary and questions that will test their inference skills
  • Check your reading comprehension using the questions below or in the linked Kahoot! game
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After winning the Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2021, Hong Kong men’s rugby sevens team have sealed a 2022 Rugby World Cup in Dubai. Photo: Asia Rugby

Content provided by British Council

Read the following text and answer questions 1-9 below:

[1] The Hong Kong men’s rugby sevens team emerged as champions of Asia in Dubai earlier this month, securing top seeding for the 2022 Asian Games while also qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals. The women, meanwhile, won the bronze at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series and will be seeded third for Hangzhou.

[2] The men beat South Korea convincingly 33-7 in the final, having already booked their place in the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in South Africa by beating China in the semi-finals.

[3] Korea had built steam throughout the weekend, beating Japan in their semi-final to also book a World Cup spot. It was also another chance for the city to settle accounts after Korea’s sudden death win in the Olympic qualifiers two years ago. The Hong Kong men were all business as they compiled a composed and convincing victory.

[4] Korea scored the opener, with Hong Kong allowing only their second try of the weekend, before powerful wide man Max Denmark levelled on five minutes. After that, it was one-way traffic as Hong Kong wreaked havoc at the restart. Russell Webb’s moon shot kicks allowed time for onrushing forwards to pressure the Koreans.

[5] A fortunate bounce was well collected and finished by local favourite Cado Lee Ka-to from 40 metres out, pushing the lead to 14-7. Mike Coverdale scored soon after, and his try was just reward for another weekend of relentless graft and tackling.

[6] Lee collected his brace in the second half with a well-weighted grubber kick and dribble behind Korea’s rush defence. Key man Webb used a similar ploy to break the defence late for Pierce Mackinlay-West to extend the lead at the final whistle. Coach Paul John’s team lifted the cup against a balmy Dubai evening to claim the top seed for their gold medal defence at next year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou.

[7] In the women’s event, coach Iain Monaghan’s side responded well from their disappointing loss to Japan in the semi-finals – missing out on a World Cup spot – to finish third with a 12-10 win over Kazakhstan.

[8] Chloe Chan put Hong Kong on the board midway through the opening half with Rosie Wright converting to take it 7-0. Kazakhstan took the half-time lead with well-worked tries from opposing wings, both of which were hectored by Chong Ka-yan to keep the scorers out of conversion range, which would prove crucial later on.

[9] A clinical restart in the second saw Hong Kong turn over the bigger Kazakhs on their own try-line, with both teams squandering plays before Monaghan’s side pushed up to the five-metre line. Co-captain Melody Li Nim-yan shuttled the ball out of the ruck to winger Chong to score in the corner, taking the 12-10 lead with four minutes to go. Hong Kong’s conditioning, class and composure shone in the final moments, while Kazakhstan’s penalty count and poor decision-making mounted.

[10] The win puts Hong Kong as the third seeds at next year’s Asian Games.
Source: South China Morning Post, November 21


Play a Kahoot! game about this story as a class or with your friends by clicking on the link here.

Or play on your own below to test your understanding:

1. Which two events are the Hong Kong men’s rugby sevens team eligible for after their latest win according to paragraph 1? (2 marks)

2. Find a word or phrase in paragraph 3 that means “made progress”.

3. What does the phrase “all business” in paragraph 3 suggest about the Hong Kong men’s rugby team?

4. What does the phrase “one-way traffic” in paragraph 4 imply about the game between South Korea and Hong Kong?
A. The Hong Kong team was dominating it.
B. The Hong Kong team was struggling to keep up.
C. The South Korean team was way ahead of Hong Kong.
D. The South Korean team was very close to winning the game.

5. What does the “final whistle” in paragraph 6 signify?
A. start of the game
B. half-time break
C. pausing a game
D. end of the game

6. How did the Hong Kong women’s team lose their chance to compete in the 2022 World Cup?

7. Which of the following can replace “squandering plays” in paragraph 9?
A. struggling to contain
B. ending up in a tiebreaker
C. making unnecessary moves
D. none of the above

8. Decide if the following statements are True, False or Not Given in the text.
(i) The Hong Kong men’s rugby team had already qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 before their game with South Korea.
(ii) Cado Lee Ka-to was named most valuable player of the game.
(iii) Mike Coverdale was the only player in the Hong Kong men’s team who did not score a try.
(iv) The South Korean men’s team had defeated Hong Kong in a qualifier event in the past.

9. Which genre of sports article does this text fall under?
A. feature
B. profile
C. season preview
D. none of the above

Hong Kong men’s rugby sevens team celebrate after their win at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series. Photo: Asia Rugby


1. 2022 Asian Games and 2022 World Cup finals
2. built steam
3. They were very serious about the game. (accept similar answers)
4. A
5. D
6. They lost to Japan in the semi-finals.
7. D
8. (i) T; (ii) NG; (iii) F; (iv) T
9. D

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