Mon, Sep 07, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan finish last in China Sevens

By Grant Dexter  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Chien Lee Ssu-hsiao, second right, runs with the ball during their Asian Rugby Sevens Series Bowl semi-final against the United Arab Emirates at the Qingdao Tiantai Stadium in China yesterday.

Photo: Courtesy of Kao Ping-sen, TWRUGBYPIX.com

A sound defeat in their Asian Rugby Sevens Series Bowl semi-final against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) left Taiwan in a scrap to avoid last place at the Qingdao Tiantai Stadium in China yesterday, a challenge that also proved too much for them.

Japan and China, Taiwan’s pool opponents, played in the men’s Cup final, with Japan beating China 28-12, though China were in contention well into the second half.

Taiwan were beaten by the UAE 24-12 in the morning, scoring two tries — by Huang Po-wei and Tsai Cheng-hsuan — to the UAE’s four from a brace by Ian Overton, as well as tries to Christopher Marshall and Mogamat Kenny.

Huang kicked one conversion.

In the playoff for 11th and 12th position, Thailand overcame a soggy field and some sloppy ball handling to cruise to a 21-7 win, dodging the wooden spoon.

The game did not start well, with Taiwan’s Chien Lee Ssu-hsiao kicking a penalty dead, resulting in a scrum to Thailand rather than an attacking opportunity for the non-offending team.

Penalties and dropped balls dominated the first half, which began shortly after a downpour saturated the ground. Neither team showed much capacity for beating the opposing defense, though Thailand had the lion’s share of possession and territory.

Thailand opened the scoring in the second half with a try and a conversion, making it 7-0 with just over four minutes remaining. Two more converted tries by Thailand in quick succession were scored against a tired-looking defense.

Wei Li-han scored a consolation try on the stroke of full-time, with Lin Chun-nan converting from in front.

Warongkorn Khamkoet, Khomchak Chakrabandhu Na Ayudhaya and Pannapat Pooltharat dotted down for Thailand.

The UAE went on to win the Bowl final 15-7, defeating Singpaore.

Earlier, Japan beat South Korea in their Cup semi-final 21-5, while China scored an upset over Hong Kong, winning 21-17 in their quarter-final before overcoming Sri Lanka in their semi-final 22-12. Hong Kong won all three Asian Rugby Sevens Series tournaments last year.

In the Plate final, Hong Kong beat Kazakhstan 27-0.

Hong Kong downed China in the women’s Cup final 24-15.

The three-tournament series is to see the bottom-ranked team over the whole season relegated, while the three top-ranked teams who have not already got an Olympic spot are to book a ticket to a qualifying tournament for the Rio de Janeiro Games next year.

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