IRB Sevens World Series - Hong Kong
Big guns rampant in Hong Kong
March 26, 2010
Chinese Taipei's Wang Kuo-Feng is handed off by New Zealand's Zar Lawrence © Getty Images
The tries flowed like fans through the turnstiles on day one at the marquee Hong Kong leg of the IRB Sevens World Series, with all the big teams turning on the style in some lopsided encounters.
Fiji absolutely hammered Thailand 82-7 in Pool C, and no one knew what was more amazing - the fact that Fiji racked up 82 points in 14 minutes, or that Thailand ran in a try.
Judging by the crowd's cheer, it was Sarayuth Thiengtrong's score that impressed the most. Setefano Cakau bagged a hat-trick for the Fijians, who had eight different try-scorers.
With only the two best runners up joining the six Pool winners in the quarter-finals, points difference was at a premium. New Zealand took full advantage of their Friday meeting with Chinese Taipei, running in nine tries in their 59-5 Pool B victory.
Samoa thrashed Italy 40-12 in Pool A, while Australia top Pool D thanks to a 45-12 win over China. Pool E's top seeds England continued the trend with a 45-0 spanking of Hong Kong, making them unpopular with the home faithful, before Kenya rounded out the six floggings with a 51-7 scoreline over Korea.
Friday's meetings between the top seeds and the bottom seeds certainly produced some one-sided contests, but the remainder of the matches between the 'middle' teams in each group were far more gripping.
The ever-improving United States held on to beat Portugal 17-10 in the other Pool C clash after taking an early two-try lead. In Pool A, Argentina beat Russia by the same margin, 19-12.
France edged out Scotland 12-7 in the lowest-scoring match of the day, before Canada and Wales grabbed gripping 12-10 victories over Tonga and Japan respectively, making it lean picking for the Asian sides on day one. Reigning champions South Africa closed the opening round of games with a comfortable 28-15 victory over Zimbabwe in Pool F.