The Hong Kong men's team have been beaten in their final Pool B match of the 2023 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, with Uruguay running out 24-14 winners in a pulsating contest that ebbed and flowed.
After Mateo Vinals, Felipe Perez and Bautista Basso had put Uruguay in a commanding lead, Hong Kong edged their way back into things.
First, Max Denmark broke free to cross the line on the right flank, then Seb Brien ran through the middle to bring Hong Kong within touching distance of their opponents. With two minutes to go, the score was poised at 19-14.
A final try right at the death clinched it for the South American side, however, as the game finished 24-14, a third defeat in three matches for the tournament hosts despite showing up against all three opponents.
Hong Kong's Russell Webb said the team had to improve in terms of its possession of the ball.
"We work so hard but there just seems to be a common theme at the minute of being two or three tries down before we start to get ourselves back up again,"he said. "We're always going to put on a brave, gutsy performance but we want more than that."
He added: "When we've got the ball in our hands, we are good. We're a good attacking team, we're a good defending team. But when you just have no possession of the ball it takes it out of you."
Also on Saturday evening, Hong Kong's women bowed out of the tournament after losing 21-10 in a play-off against Brazil to decide bottom place.
Chloe Chan, who scored Hong Kong's second try in the match, told RTHK at the final whistle it had been a big final push from the team.
"We said we would come out in our last match and give it all we've got and I think we did that so I'm very proud of all the girls," he said. "We're going to South Africa in two weeks, so hopefully we'll build another level and come away with some wins."
Elsewhere in the tournament, New Zealand set up a quarter-final clash with Argentina, topping Pool D. Australia were the day's surprise losers.
The All Blacks saw off Ireland in their final group game 26-7, to add to wins over Kenya and South Africa. Argentina came second in Pool B, which was won by November's beaten finalists Fiji, who also boast a 100-percent record after seeing off the Pumas in the tricky pool as well as Samoa and Canada.
Fiji face South Africa in the next round.
Elsewhere in the draw France - who qualify automatically for Paris, as hosts - have three wins from three and will face Spain, who stunned USA on Saturday, and the USA face Great Britain, who came second to France in Pool B.
In the women's competition, Australia will face Great Britain in the first semifinal on Sunday afternoon, before New Zealand take on Fiji.
Last updated: 2023-04-02 HKT 23:30