Hong Kong 7s team went winless on day two of the Singapore Sevens but could hold their heads high after losses to Scotland and Argentina.
Their effort in the 26-15 loss to Scotland in the Challenge Trophy quarter-final was particularly impressive and the end result could well have been closer.
Chris Maize, Jamie Hood and Charles Higson-Smith all found the try line as Hong Kong showed plenty of fight to pull back a 21-point margin.
Hood’s chip-and-chase try was a highlight against Scotland, while Cado Lee Ka-to was the try scorer in a 33-7 loss to Argentina.
The final result didn’t do justice to the fight Hong Kong showed in the first half against Argentina and scores were square at 7-7 until just before the break.
Jason Jeyam joined Lee Jones and Ryan Meacheam on the sidelines after suffering an injury against Scotland and Hong Kong simply ran out of legs late against Argentina.
“I saw loads of positives and to be honest I haven’t been disappointed in the boys at all today,” coach Paul John said. “We scored some really good tries this weekend, but I think we switched off a bit at times.
“I thought we got some harsh decisions in the contact area in the first game and gave them three penalties and they were 14 points up on us straight away.
“Second half again, three more penalties and we just can’t get a foothold in the game. But instead of reacting to that by it galvanising us, our heads dropped a little and we dropped off a couple of tackles.”
John now looks to the Asia Rugby Sevens Series starting in August, with many of his players joining the 15s team ahead of the upcoming Asia Rugby Championship.
“We have got to focus on how we get the best potential out of the squad. It’s good to see a few youngsters put their hand up and start to come through,” he said.
“It was great to see Charles [Higson-Smith] and Jack [Capon] having a run.
“There is loads to work on. We can’t keep saying how close we are, we need to get there. I think it is going to take a bit of rebuilding, we can’t just be happy with effort.”
Salom Yiu Kam-shing was one of Hong Kong’s best across the tournament.
“It was okay but not perfect,” he said of his performance. “I made a lot of mistakes and missed tackles but I’m happy I scored tries and created chances for my teammates to score tries.”