UAE's Shaheen win Shield at Bangkok Sevens
UAE Rugby's Shaheen, a development squad comprising predominantly Emiratis, created history at the Bangkok Sevens when they edged out Philippines 22-17 to claim the Shield.
The Philippines, also fielding a developmental squad, led 17-5 at the mid-point of the second half before the UAE Shaheen roared back with two tries and two successful conversions to tie the match at 17-all in the 12th minute.
The Shaheen placed a final flourish on the match in the 14th minute as they touched down at the buzzer to clinched the Shield 22-17 against a higher-ranked team.
It was a sweet triumph for the UAE side avenging their 24-17 loss in their opening pool match to the same opposition.
UAE advanced to the final after going down 29-12 in the Bowl semifinal against Pakistan while the Philippines were beaten by Laos 17-10 in the other semifinal.
Hong Kong swept to an emphatic 31-0 victory over Japan in the Cup final to emerge champions at the HSBC Asian Sevens Series tournament, postponed from last November due to the floods which hit the Thai capital.
Hong Kong fly-half Keith Robertson bagged a hat-trick while Anthony Haynes and Ross Armour also crossed the line as Hong Kong dominated a Japanese outfit missing their top players who were on national duty at the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas.
Robertson’s three tries and three conversions accounted for 21 of Hong Kong’s 31 points in the final.
“This is a great performance from us. While Japan might not have had their best side out here, they have great depth and this team is made up of fulltime professionals. It is always satisfying to beat them,” said Hong Kong National Coach Dai Rees.
Hong Kong, who had been dominant in throughout the tournament, swept into the cup final with wins over Laos (43-0) in the quarter-finals and Thailand (29-14) in the semi-finals.
In a re-match of pool play, Thailand was again the only team in the tournament to manage to put points on the board. Over the weekend Hong Kong racked up an impressive tally of 254 points for and just 21 against.
Japan had booked their berth in the Cup by defeating the Philippines 38-5 in the quarter-finals and Malaysia 31-0 in the semi-finals.
The other finals today proved equally exciting with the Bangkok Sevens attracting several of the up and coming teams in Asian sevens.
In a tight plate final, Malaysia edged the hosts Thailand after being drawn 7-7 at the half. It wasn’t until the 14th minute that Malaysia dashed the hopes of the home supporters with a converted try that put them onto the winner’s podium 14-7.
The two teams making their debut on the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, Laos and Pakistan, reached the Bowl final ahead of more experienced teams.
After posting 10 points against Japan to open their HSBC Asian Sevens Series history, Laos recorded several creditable performances. Their run to the Bowl saw them upset the higher-seeded Philippines 17-10 in today’s Bowl semi final.
Pakistan, also on its Series debut and with eight new caps in the side, lost its captain Umer Butt and most experienced Sevens player to injury in the 29-12 semi-final win over UAE Shaheen.
Laos quickly turned Pakistan’s lack of experience to their advantage recording a resounding 38-5 win to take home the Bowl on their first ever competition on the HSBC Asian Sevens Series.
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