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Rugby: Hong Kong suffer shock loss in Sevens World Series qualifier

Rowan Varty scored Hong Kong's second try as the hosts led Brazil12-5, but eventually suffered a shock loss in the opening match of the HSBC Sevens World Series qualifier. Photos: Power Sport Images for HKRFU.

Rowan Varty was one of Hong Kong’s two try scorers, but the hosts lost to Brazil. Photos: HKSPA.

March 27, 2015: Hong Kong’s bid to earn a core spot on the HSBC Sevens World Series suffered a setback when they started with a shock 17-12 loss to Brazil in Pool E of the 12-team qualifier, held as part of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.


Brazil took an early 5-0 lead through Martin Schaefer after a fumble by Hong Kong scrumhalf Alex McQueen, but the hosts looked to have taken control of the game when tries from centre Rowan Varty – in his 10th Hong Kong Sevens – and winger Tom McQueen put them 12-5 up at half-time.


However, Brazil kept pressing in the second half and after Hong Kong lost their own lineout, Andre Silva eventually touched down after chasing his own kick through, with a successful conversion making it 12-12. Schaefer then scored a last-minute winner after Hong Kong failed to catch the ball from the kick-off.


Hong Kong coach Gareth Baber said the defeat came down to individual errors and a failure to wrap up the game when on top.


“It was a little bit of individual error, more than anything,” Baber said. “The guys are disappointed, but we weren’t where we quite needed to be. Brazil were up for it and it was a good, physical encounter, which we thought we would get, but we didn’t have the tools to close it out.”


Winger Tom McQueen scored Hong Kong's first try against Brazil.

Winger Tom McQueen also scored against Brazil, but the hosts lost 17-12 in the HSBC Sevens World Series qualifier.

Despite an unimpressive performance littered with mistakes, Baber was still confident the team could still earn a place in Saturday evening’s quarter-finals.


“Obviously the ego gets a battering because we want to go out and win every game, but unfortunately that’s not to be on this occasion,” Baber said.


“We’ve been here before. We were in a similar situation in Borneo when we lost a group match to Tonga and we’ve got to come out and front up again.”


Baber said Hong Kong’s immediate mission was to beat Mexico in their second match on Friday before taking on Uruguay on Saturday in their final pool match.


“The players are hurt, but they’ve got a job to do. They’ve got to get themselves together and come back out and play in an hour and a half,” Baber said.


“We’ve got to bounce back, like you always do when you take a loss. Fortunately, we get a chance to do something about it in an hour and a half’s time. Two wins in our next two matches is our objective.”

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