China impressed on day one of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifier in Hong Kong, winning all three of their pool matches to book a place as one of the top seeds in the quarter-finals.
China finished first in the pool to set up a quarter-final with Papua New Guinea after beating Brazil 31-5 in the pool decider. Yang Min gave China an early lead before Wang Yu Wang (2), Yu Xiaoming and an outstanding try from Chen Keyi put the game beyond doubt.
While Hong Kong recorded a dramatic victory over Kazakhstan in their last pool match, the damage had been done in their opening two defeats and both of these two Asian teams missed out on the quarter-finals.
The hosts ended their day on a high to the delight of the home crowd in an end-to-end match. Darya Tkacheva scored her third and fourth tries of the day but Hong Kong hit back through Natasha Olson-Thorne to bring them within two points at the break before Poon Hoi Yan struck early to give the hosts the lead, and ultimately the win.
Against Hong Kong, China ran out to an early 12-0 lead after tries from Keyi and Min. Liu Xiaoqian added her second of the day in the second half, before Hong Kong bagged their first try and the biggest cheer of the day through Nam Ka Man.
Tries from Karina Proskurina and Tkacheva helped Kazakhstan open up a 10-0 lead, but Bianca Silva scored after the hooter had sounded for half-time before Brazil overturned the deficit to inflict a second defeat on Kazakhstan winning 17-10.
In their opening pool match Gao Yueying gave China the lead against Kazakhstan before Tkacheva hit back to draw the scores level at half-time. In what was a very tight encounter between two physical sides, it was Xiaoqian who scored the winner. After sustained pressure and incredible defence, the fresh-legged substitute ran through a tired Kazakhstan team to score under the posts for a 14-7 victory.
For Hong Kong it was a tough day at the office. They lost to Brazil in their opening match 38—0 after two tries apiece from Silva and sub Rafaela Zanellato helped the hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games to a comfortable win.
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series
China v Papua New Guinea
Belgium v Brazil
Wales v South Africa
Kenya v Argentina