Hong Kong 7s Round-Up
March 29, 2003

The Pool competitions of the 2003 Credit Suisse First Boston Hong Kong Sevens have been completed with Kenya surprising five-time Hong Kong winners Australia to advance to the Cup Championship.

A strong victory over China helped Hong Kong reach the Plate competition for the second consecutive year. The Cup, Plate and Bowl Championships of the 2003 Credit Suisse First Boston Hong Kong Sevens will be played tomorrow (30 March 2003).

Pool D became the Pool of Death for Australia and China as some of the most exciting games in today's competition were from this group with Kenya beating Australia 15 - 12 and Hong Kong upending China 26 - 7.

China displayed their talents early on in the match, as Xu Hui (No.9) dispossessed Hong Kong's Andrew Wong Kee (No.6) and sprinted more than 70m to take the lead. But the experienced Hong Kong side regained control behind strong performances from its veteran players with successive tries from Carl Murray (No.7), Andrew Wong Kee (No.6), captain Paul Dingley (No.1) and Kris Marin (No.3).

Hong Kong successfully qualified for the Plate Championship, and will play Canada tomorrow at 11:58am. China will play in the Bowl Championship against Malaysia tomorrow at 10:08am.

The climax of the day's play came in the Australia-Kenya final pool match. Australia took the lead but Kenya replied when Australian Captain Ed Carter was sin binned. Australia scored another try at the start of second half but was again matched by Kenya. The atmosphere at the Stadium was electric as an upset looked likely. Kenya triumphed after a late penalty gave them a 15-12 win over their more fancied opponents.

With their greatest success in their first performance in the Hong Kong Sevens for 17 years, Kenya will proceed to the Cup Championship and play against Pool E winner South Africa.

Australia and Tonga will join the other Pool winners including New Zealand (Pool A), defending champion England (Pool B), Fiji (Pool C) and Samoa (Pool F) to play in the Cup Championship tomorrow.

Ugo Monye scored six tries in two outings as England reached the quarter-finals of the Credit Suisse First Boston Hong Kong Sevens today.

The NEC Harlequins wing struck four times in the first half of a 43-5 win against Taiwan and then scored two more in an impressive 42-7 win against Tonga.

England are likely to face Australia in tomorrow's quarter-final after the Wallabies were surprisingly beaten by Kenya to qualify as one of two best runners-up from the group stages.

Monye, a 20-year-old from Islington, has already been marked out as a major star of the tournament by New Zealand Sevens expert Eric Rush.

"Ugo's not just fast; he's strong as well - so we'll definitely have to look out for him," said Rush.

England's other tries in their win against Taiwan came from Tony Roques (Saracens), Rob Thirlby (Rotherham) and John Howard (Northampton Saints). Simon Amor (Gloucester) kicked four conversions and Howard one.

Tonga were expected to make England work harder but were cut to pieces as Monye's two tries were followed by scores from Richard Haughton (Saracens), Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons) and skipper Phil Greening (London Wasps). Amor kicked five conversions.

In other news from today's competition, New Zealand's Karl Te Nana, the Best & Fairest Player of the 2000 and 2001 Hong Kong Sevens scored his 100th try in IRB Sevens, becoming the IRB Sevens second-top scorer behind Australia's Peter Miller.

25,060 spectators attended today to enjoy the best sevens rugby in the world. More exciting matches are expected in tomorrow's competition, which kicks off at 9:46am, at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Time Group Team Score Team Score
1046 A Namibia 35 v Malaysia 10
1108 B Tonga 50 v Singapore 0
1130 C Canada 21 v Russia 19
1152 D Kenya 31 v China 7
1214 E Scotland 38 v Sri Lanka 0
1236 F Wales 40 v Netherlands 12

1258 A New Zealand 57 v USA 7
1320 B England 43 v Chinese Taipei 5
1342 C Fiji 59 v Japan 7
1404 D Australia 26 v Hong Kong 7
1426 E South Africa 47 v Korea 7
1448 F Samoa 28 v Cook Islands 12

1510 A USA 45 v Malaysia 5
1532 B Chinese Taipei 35 v Singapore 12
1554 C Japan 28 v Russia 14
1616 D Hong Kong 26 v China 7
1638 E Korea 50 v Sri Lanka 0
1700 F Cook Islands 50 v Netherlands 0

1722 A New Zealand 46 v Namibia 0
1744 B England 42 v Tonga 7
1806 C Fiji 33 v Canada 12
1828 D Australia 12 v Kenya 15
1850 E South Africa 31 v Scotland 0
1912 F Samoa 43 v Wales 5

Time Team Team
0946 USA v Sri Lanka
1008 Malaysia v China Bowl Quarter-Finals
1030 Russia v Netherlands
1052 Singapore v Japan

1114 Scotland v Chinese Taipei
1136 Wales v Cook Islands Plate Quarter-Finals
1158 Canada v Hong Kong
1220 Korea v Namibia

1245 March Past

1315 New Zealand v Tonga
1337 South Africa v Kenya Cup Quarter-Finals
1359 Fiji v Samoa
1421 Australia v England

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