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China Daily Website

Mixed fortune for China at HK Rugby Sevens

Updated: 2012-03-24 20:01
By Dusty Lane In Hong Kong ( chinadaily.com.cn)

One step forward, one step back. And that's OK.

China got its first victory at the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on Saturday, defeating Uruguay, 29-26, at Hong Kong Stadium before losing 29-5 to Hong Kong in the afternoon.

Mixed fortune for China at HK Rugby Sevens
Johnny Zhang 

Coach Johnny Zhang – the highest point-scorer in the event's history with 42 tries – said China came to life after a loss to Tonga in the opener.

"This morning, they played as well as they do in training," he said. "They were more mentally ready. But here, all the teams are so strong."

Li Jialin and Liu Guanjun both scored twice against Uruguay, and it was Liu who got the go-ahead points in the final minute.

Lu Zhuan and Long Hanxiao also scored for China.

The afternoon's game wasn't quite as pretty.

China did hang tough in the first half, going to the break 10-5. But after going down a man in the second half, keeping up with a strong Hong Kong team wasn't meant to be for a team that hadn't played a competitive match in four months.

"We didn't plan to win anything here," Zhang said. "We just wanted to play against the strong teams and get experience and continue to improve."

China will play in the knockout round on Sunday for a chance at the Bowl Trophy, the third-most prestigious of the four trophies that will be awarded. It is scheduled to play Guyana at 9 am in the first match of the day.


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