An Overview of the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens
The 2019 Hong Kong sevens tournament was held between the 5th and the 7th of April 2019 and was the 44th edition of the competition. Fiji went on to win the tournament with a 21-7 victory over France in the final. Sixteen teams took part in the tournament, 15 of the core series teams and one invitee in Portugal.
Pool A included Japan, Scotland, Samoa and South Africa with South Africa getting three wins from 3 in order to top the group. Samoa joined them in the cup knockout stages while Japan and Scotland qualified for the Challenge Trophy quarterfinals. Pool B saw France and Argentina finish first and second respectively while Canada and newcomers Portugal reached the Challenge Trophy knockout stage.
Pool C was arguably the toughest group with the 3 of the best sevens teams of all time in the same group in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. Kenya were the unlucky team to join this group of death, however, only reached the Challenge Trophy knockout stage alongside Australia. Fiji and New Zealand finished first and second respectively to make the Cup quarterfinals. UK teams Wales and England joined the USA and Spain to make up Pool D. England and the USA finished in the top 2 while Spain and Wales both made the Challenge Trophy knockout stage.
The Challenge Trophy knockout stages saw Scotland and Japan go all the way to the final where Scotland emerged victorious 26-24. The Cup quarterfinals saw the USA beat South Africa, Fiji beat Argentina, Samoa beat England and France beat New Zealand. The Semi-finals then saw Fiji and France fight their way to the final beating off the USA and Samoa respectively.
American speedster Carlin Isles finished at the top of the try-scoring leaderboard by adding nine tries to his name. This meant he finished in second place of the points scoring leaderboard too, which is an incredible accomplishment for a non-kicker. The title of the top points scorer went to Japan’s Katsuyuki Sakai who scored 50 points throughout the duration of the tournament.