Everything at stake in final ranking event of HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2011
The pools for the Borneo Sevens, the second event on the inaugural HSBC Asian Sevens Series, were drawn today in Malaysia.
The Borneo Sevens will be played this weekend at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
The seeding for the Borneo Sevens is based on the results of last month’s Shanghai Sevens. The Borneo Sevens 2011 features 12 premier Asian teams drawn into three pools of four teams each.
Korea, the winners of the Shanghai Sevens, the inaugural event on the new HSBC Asian Sevens Series (HSBC A7S), are the top seeds for Borneo in Pool A. Hong Kong, defending Borneo champions and beaten Cup finalists in Shanghai, are seeded at the top of Pool B. Japan, the third-ranked team on this year’s HSBC AsianSevens Series, tops Pool C.
Pool A: Korea, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka
Pool B: Kong Kong, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Brunei
Pool C: Japan, Kazahkstan, Philippines, United Arab Emirates
Each team will play a round-robin competition within their pools on day one in Borneo. Day two will see straight knock-out matches to determine the final rankings for the HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2011. The top finishing teams will be in a strong position to qualify for invitation to the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens inMarch 2012.
Mukhtar Hussain, CEO 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.
While Korea remain the undisputed champions of the Shanghai Sevens, winning three consecutive titles including last month’s sudden-death win over Hong Kong in the Cup final, Japan and Hong Kong have been the dominant teams in Borneo over the past two years.
Japan won the inaugural tournament played in 2009, beating Hong Kong in the final. Last year, Hong Kong earned its revenge, pipping the Japanese 31-28 in a rain-sodden final. En route to last year’s Cup final, Hong Kong demolished Korea 43-0 in the semi-finals. It is a performance that the defending champions will be hoping torepeat after the bitter disappointment of their extra-time loss to Korea in Shanghai.
Rugby sevens is growing in popularity around the world following its inclusion in the 2016 Olympics. HSBC’s title sponsorship of the Asian Sevens Series runs from 2011 to 2013. From two ranking tournaments in 2011, the HSBC Asian Sevens Series will grow to three ranking tournaments by 2012 and ultimately to all fourevents being ranking tournaments by 2013.
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