DAY 2 HONG KONG 7s: SAMOA SHUTS OUT ARGENTINA TO TOP POOL A
An action packed day two of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens delivered a few surprises in the Qualifier tournament, whilst the Core Series was dominated by the big teams.
New Zealand topped Pool B after beating Wales and then edging out South Africa in a closely fought battle for top spot. Fiji maintained their dominant form from Friday all through Saturday with comfortable wins against France and Australia.
Samoa and England played off in the last game of Day 2 with Samoa taking the spoils and top place in Pool A with a 14-12 win.
The results provide a tantalising prospect for Sunday, with some exciting match ups in the Quarter Finals. Top ranked Fiji will take on Argentina and will meet the winners of old rivals England or Australia in the Semi Final. New Zealand and Samoa could be set for a heavyweight Semi Final clash if they can come through against Wales and South Africa respectively.
In contrast, the Qualifier Tournament has seen some of the favoured teams falter, whilst others have thrived in the capacity-packed atmosphere of Hong Kong Stadium, in anticipation of gaining one of the three coveted places for the HSBC Sevens World Series in 2012/13.
None more so than Hong Kong, who humbled Tonga early in the day before running away as convincing winners against neighbours China, 29-5. They head Pool D, ahead of Tonga who saw off a spirited Uruguay in their last match. Hong Kong Assistant Coach Alex Gibbs was happy with the team's performances, "I was particularly impressed with the composure and decision making. At times we have been down to 6 players, but we fought well and made the right decisions at the right time".
In Pool E, Canada slipped up early in the day against Zimbabwe, but came though against Spain, 10-7, to top the Pool.
After early morning scares against Guyana and Japan, Portugal and Russia went head to head for top spot in Pool F with Portugal clinching first place with a 17-10 win.
The standings leave the Qualifier Tournament with all to play for for the eight teams who progressed. Hong Kong finished the top ranked side and will play eighth ranked and major rivals - Japan. Other Pool winners Portugal and Canada, face off against Zimbabwe and Russia respectively leaving Spain versus Tonga in the other quarter final.
Day 2 Results:
Russia 14 - 12 Guyana
Spain 21 - 5 Philippines
Uruguay 26 - 29 China
Australia 29 - 14 Scotland
South Africa 15 - 7 USA
England 21 - 17 Kenya
Portugal 26 - 22 Japan
Canada 21 - 24 Zimbabwe
Tonga 7 - 26 Hong Kong
Fiji 26 - 12 France
New Zealand 24 - 7 Wales
Samoa 27 - 0 Argentina
Japan 38 - 5 Guyana
Zimbabwe 21 - 17 Philippines
Hong Kong 29 - 5 China
France 12 - 14 Scotland
Wales 42 - 7 USA
Argentina 19 - 7 Kenya
Portugal 17 - 10 Russia
Canada 10 - 7 Spain
Tonga 33 - 12 Uruguay
Fiji 22 - 5 Australia
New Zealand 19 - 10 South Africa
Samoa 14 - 12 England
In the IRB Women's Challenge Cup Hong Kong, played at the Hong Kong Stadium, England scored in the final seconds to clinch the title against a resilient Australia.
Semi Final - Canada 12 - 22 England
Semi Final - Australia 33 - 0 USA
Final - England 15 - 10 Australia
Cathy Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012 media release