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Japan plays Singapore during the ARFU Asian Rugby 7s Round 1 on August 23, 2014 at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Xaume Olleros / Power Sport Images
Hong Kong eye Asian Games gold after home success in Asian Sevens Series

24 Aug 2014
Hong Kong, China: Hosts Hong Kong swept to a resounding 40-0 victory over South Korea to clinch the opening leg of the ARFU Asian Sevens Series on Sunday. Buoyed by a large crowd at the Hong Kong Football Club, the home team put down a marker that they would be serious gold medal contenders at the Incheon Asian Games next month with a comprehensive display that blew surprise finalists Korea out of the water.

Korea had stunned Japan in the semi-finals, powering their way to a 28-21 victory to knock the defending Asian sevens champions out of the Cup final for the first time since the Shanghai Sevens in the inaugural year of the Asian Sevens Series in 2011.

But the Koreans looked leaden-footed in the final, and Hong Kong - led by try-scoring machine Tom McQueen - ran in six tries to win the first of the three-legged series this year. Korea had knocked out Philippines 29-12 in the quarterfinals, while Japan had held off a gutsy challenge from China before emerging 19-7 victors.

Hong Kong booked their berth in the final with a sweeping 38-0 win over Singapore in their first game of the day before holding off a spirited challenge from Sri Lanka to win 21-0. Japan rebounded to win bronze 42-12 over Sri Lanka.

The men’s series will now move to Malaysia, where the second leg will be played on September 6-7 at the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The next and last women’s tournament will coincide with the third leg of the men’s series in Beijing on October 18-19.

In the women’s competition, China ran in six tries as they out-muscled hosts Hong Kong 38-7 to press home their credentials as Asia’s number one sevens team.

China booked their berth in the final with a hard-fought 19-12 win over Kazakhstan but then turned on the style in the final to sweep past the home team easily.Hong Kong had earlier pulled off a major shock by defeating Japan 10-5 in the semi-finals. Two second-half tries by Aggie Poon and Amelie Seure helped the hosts to a stunning win over Japan.
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