November 29, 2015
Japan Wins Asia Women’s Rugby Sevens Qualifier
Photo: World Rugby
Japan entered the second leg of the Asia Women’s Rugby Sevens Qualifier in Japan as the favorite to represent Asia in the Olympics. Three weeks earlier in Hong Kong, they won the Cup with a 22-0 victory over Kazakhstan. Hong Kong came in third with a 12-7 win over China. Guam came in fifth after a 21-5 win over Sri Lanka.
These same teams face off in Tokyo, but only Japan, Kazakhstan, or Hong Kong can win the overall qualifier. Hong Kong would need to win the second leg, with neither Japan or Kazakhstan in the Final. Japan won both head-to-head matches against Kazakhstan, so they would need to lose both matches against Kazakhstan in order to go to a tie breaker, point differential.
Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier – Japan
Pool play opened on day one with nine matches. A key match came in round two as Kazakhstan won against Hong Kong and in round three as Japan also beat Hong Kong. Although two more pool round will occur in day two, Hong Kong has been eliminated from winning the qualifier. That will come down to Japan and Kazakhstan in the last pool match.
Japan against Kazakhstan was circled prior to the second leg of the qualifier as the key match. As mentioned earlier, Kazakhstan must win against Japan in both pool play and beat Japan again in the Cup Final. That would create a tie with both teams for both legs of the qualifier and then the tie breaker would be point differential. Any thing less will have Japan qualifying for the Olympics. Kazakhstan would then be part of the Olympic repechage and need to win that tournament in June to qualify.
Kazakhstan created some drama for the cup final when they beat Japan 7-5 in the last Pool play match. They would meet again in the final and would need to win by 23 points or more to qualify for Rio.
In the Cup Final Japan struck first from a Chiharu Nakamura try that was converted by Yume Okuroda and would lead Kazakhstan 7-0 at halftime.
The score was evened early in the second half from a Kundyzay Barktybayeva try and Koishybayeva conversion. However with two minutes left, a Mifuyu try for Japan that was converted again by Okuroda, sealed the match and a spot at the Olympics.
Kazakhstan will have one last chance to qualify for Rio in the Global repechage in June. China and Hong Kong will also be part of this tournament by virtue of their 3rd and 4th place finishes at the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier.
Japan joins host Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Colombia, United States, France, South Africa, Fiji who have qualified for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Repechage winner will gain the last spot at the Olympics.
The Repechage will include Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Kenya, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kazakhstan, China and Hong Kong.
Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier-Japan
Pool – Round Robin
Japan 20-7 China
Kazakhstan 34-0 Sri Lanka
Hong Kong 38-0 Guam
China 36-7 Sri Lanka
Japan 39-0 Guam
Kazakhstan 29-5 Hong Kong
Guam 7-22 Sri Lanka
Kazakhstan 14-0 China
Japan 27-5 Hong Kong
Japan 49-0 Sri Lanka
Hong Kong 7-17 China
Kazakhstan 36-0 Guam
Hong Kong 36-7 Sri Lanka
China 57-0 Guam
Japan 5-7 Kazakhstan
5/6th Place: Sri Lanka 12-10 Guam
3rd/4th Place: China 19-10 Hong Kong
Cup Final: Kazakhstan 7-14 Japan
Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier- Hong Kong (Sakura Sevens)
Pool – Round Robin
Japan 7-5 Kazakhstan
China 54-0 Guam
Hong Kong 36-5 Sri Lanka
Kazakhstan 46-7 Guam
Japan 48-0 Sri Lanka
China 0-5 Hong Kong
Sri Lanka 22-7 Guam
China 12-22 Kazakhstan
Japan 36-0 Hong Kong
Japan 53-0 Guam
China 47-7 Sri Lanka
Hong Kong 12-20 Kazakhstan
Sri Lanka 7-31 Kazakhstan
Hong Kong 29-0 Guam
Japan 5-12 China
5/6th Place: Sri Lanka 5-21 Guam
3rd/4th Place: Hong Kong 12-7 China
Cup Final: Japan 22-0 Kazakhstan