The first leg of this 2-leg series for both men and women in the Asia Rugby U20 7’s series took place last weekend July 30 – 31, 2016 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
The 4 women’s teams competed in one pool comprising Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Thailand proved strongest in the Pool matches winning all 3 games with ease: beating Thailand 33-0, Singapore 34-0 and Hong Kong 24-12. Hong Kong had 2 good wins, overcoming Singapore 38-0 and Malaysia 27-0 to finish 2nd in the group.
Thailand and Hong Kong both progressed to the final after strong performances in the semi-finals where Thailand defeating Singapore 34-7 and Hong Kong won against Malaysia 41-0.
The final was very close with Stella Tam chalking up 5 points for Hong Kong early in the game but the remainder of the half was played in open territory. Thailand scoring a converted try early in the second half showing good pace and good support play. Hong Kong tried frantically to take the win but were thwarted at every attempt, leaving Thailand 7-5 winners.
The 10 men’s teams were split into two pools. Pool-A comprised Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and Pool B included Sri Lanka, UAE, Japan, Philippines and Thailand.
Hong Kong started badly, losing 19-10 to South Korea, then picked up their game to beat Singapore 31-10 but suffered a further set back late in the Saturday schedule, losing to Malaysia 26-17. Although Hong Kong won against Taiwan 24-0 on Sunday morning, they were edged out of the Cup competition by South Korea and pool winner Malaysia.
In Pool B, Japan looked all-conquering with 4 good wins and South Korea took 2nd place with 3 wins (losing only to Japan). But in the Semi-finals Sri Lanka overcame Malaysia 29-14 and Japan were beaten 24-19 by South Korea. In the final Sri Lanka won impressively, 38-0. Japan secured 3rd place beating Malaysia 41-0.
Hong Kong won the Plate, beating Taiwan 17-12 in the final.
The 2nd round will be played in Hong Kong on Aug 12-13.