Rough draw for China's rugby Sevens
Updated: 2011-09-23 07:50
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - China's men's rugby Sevens team faces a daunting task to pick up world ranking points after it was drawn with regional powerhouse South Korea in the group stage of this weekend's Borneo Sevens tournament here.
South Korea won the recent Shanghai Sevens event and knocked out the host's run for the crown in the quarterfinals. Another such defeat in its Group A match-up on Saturday would virtually end China's hopes of reaching the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens next year.
Meanwhile, defending champion Hong Kong was drawn with Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and Brunei in Pool B of the second and final ranking tournament of this year's HSBC Asian Sevens Series. The region lost in heart-breaking sudden-death overtime to South Korea in the Shanghai final.
Third-ranked Japan, whose 15-a-side team is competing at the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand, is the top seed in Pool C, which also features Kazakhstan, the Philippines and the UAE. The seedings for the 12-team competition at the 35,000-capacity Likas Stadium were based on the results of the Shanghai Sevens.
Each team will play a round-robin competition within its pool on Saturday, while day two will feature knockout matches to determine the winner and also the final ranking for the 2011 HSBC Asian Sevens Series. The top-ranked teams will be in a strong position to qualify for invitations to the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens in March 2012.
Mukhtar Hussain, CEO of HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad and Global CEO HSBC Amanah, said: "The Borneo Sevens is the final ranking event in this year's HSBC Asian Sevens Series, so the stakes are high this weekend and we can expect exciting clashes between the best national teams from across the region.
"The HSBC Asian Sevens Series was designed for the region's top teams to help develop their potential through regular international competition.".