— Gold Coast 7s (@GoldCoast7s) October 8, 2014
New Zealand, led by their popular captain DJ Forbes, lifted the Cup once again at the 2014 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tournament with a crushing 26-7 victory over England. This was their eleventh title. In truth, this was one game too many for a valiant England who tackled ferociously in the first half, but couldn’t live with the Kiwis in the 2nd 10 minute spell.
The 31-year-old Captain was instrumental in their victory- he was omnipresent, popping passes for tries, landing the ball over the try line himself, and doing the hard graft in the rucks and the mauls as the rain teemed down. The HK Met Office had warned of an impending Black Storm- their forecast was spot on.
It was a worthy victory in difficult conditions against a well drilled England side. NZ coach Gordon Tietjens explained later that “..we’ve got all the flair and the fast guys out wide. But this was definitely a 12-man performance.”
With this important Cup win, NZ rip back the top spot in the HSBC Sevens World Series from the Boks.
“It was a great, great victory in challenging conditions against a good England team,” said Tietjens.
Ben Lam was always a threat, and the speedster Tim Mikkelson was showing off his signature Twinkle Toes, and as the Black Storm hit, the Kiwis moved fast to kill the game in the second half: professional to the last.
England have some fast feet in their team, but the All Blacks managed to keep them penned in. English hearts got a lift when Lam was given a yellow and moped off to the Naughty Step with 5 minutes to go. But even with the Man Over advantage, they were unable to crack NZ’s defence. An excellent Marcus Watson hit a gap and grounded the ball, only for the referee to blow for a forward pass.
When the meteorological Black Storm hit, and the rain teemed down, the New Zealanders called time on the game early, and stopped England from making any more plays.
NZ now lead South Africa by 7 points in the IRB Sevens World Series. The next stop is Glasgow, which USA 7s speed merchant Carlin Isles has recently made his home. After that, it’s the Middlesex Sevens in London- so it’s all to play for.
England coach Simon Amor was happy with his tournament, albeit disappointed not to have gone the whole way. His side had defeated South Africa, Fiji, Argentina, Portugal and Canada, and only tripped up at the end. This was not to be their year.
In the end, New Zealand were worthy winners of another fantastic Hong Kong Sevens Tournament. Roll on 2015!
New Zealand come out worthy 26:7 winners over England in a bruising final. In the end it was one game too many for the English side who couldn’t defeat the All Blacks despite playing 7 men against 6 for 2 minutes of the match.
“No Time For Losers, as New Zealand Are The Champions……Of The World”
Everyone’s talking about South Africa this year. But Fiji laid down a marker at the Tokyo7s over the weekend that should have all of the Big Boys reassessing their game plans for the Hong Kong Sevens.
If you want to whet your appetite for what’s going to be happening this year at the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens, then take a look at this video- the official IRB Tokyo7s Day 2 Summary. There are some serious speedsters in these teams!
And let’s not forget New Zealand, England, Australia, Samoa and Kenya, with Argentina, Canada, Wales, France, Scotland and the US snapping at their heels.
It’s going to be a good ‘un, we can feel it in our bones!
Wahhh, what a day! A flowing day- for the rugby, the crowds, the singing and, of course, the beer.
The big news from the 2nd day at the Hong Kong Sevens today was that Samoa beat England 14-12 in a match of former champs to go through to the Hong Kong Sevens rugby knock out stages unbeaten, as do defending champion New Zealand and Fiji.
Paul Perez went over first for Samoa right on halftime and then Alafoti Fa’osiliva added the extras to take them to 14-5. England scored another try at the end of the game but Tom Mitchell’s missed conversion from the first try cost them in the end. Where’s Wilkinson when you need him to slot over the afters?
Still, a close contest, and it just goes to show that there is not much in it when you get to this level. Samoa will now enjoy an easier passage through the final day, though to be honest there are no easy games and they will still have to contend with a wounded pride of 7 fellas with green jerseys from the tip of Africa.
Samoa topped Pool A and will play the South Africans, who lost to the Kiwis earlier on.
The NZ/RSA scoreline was 19-10 and the All Blacks also scalped Wales 24-7 to top Pool B. The boys from the Valleys will have another shot at them in the quarter finals on Sunday. Wales edged through despite only netting one win against the American Eagles.
Fiji brushed aside all competition in Pool C by beating Australia 22-5 and France 26-12, with Metuisela Talebula scoring 2 tries in both games. Not much to say there is there? A standard day at the office for the Pacific Islanders. They’ll be flinging the ball about as usual when the last day kicks off.
Allan Fa’alava’au scored 3 tries for the Aussies in a 29-14 win over 6 Nations wooden spooners Scotland, who did get a fine scalp later on by beating France 14-12 with Sean Kennedy’s end of time effort. Sterling effort, as they say.
Fiji play Argentina in the quarterfinals, and the Wallabies take on the Auld Enemy (hang on, that’s what the Scots call them isn’t it?)- so sunglasses required to cope with the Tequila Sunrise strip that the English boys are playing in. The Aussies will be hoping for a few Campese moments and the English will be hoping to emulate the English women who won the Ladies competition today (well, they are ladies off the field anyway).
The other big noise producer in the stadium was Hong Kong’s match against China, which the S.A.R. won comfortably. S.A.R. I hear you say? That’s Special Administrators of Rugby, if this excellent tournament is anything to go by.
Day 2 Highlights. Shared With Thanks From irbsevens.com