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Penguins in ‘seventh heaven’ at GFI HKFC Tens


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GFI HKFC Tens 2013

HSBC Penguins celebrate their win in the Cup Final on Day 2 of the GFI HKFC Tens 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong. Photo by Aitor Alcalde / The Power of Sport Images


“Australian winger Richard Hooper scores last-minute try set up by England Sevens star James Lightfoot-Brown to secure dramatic 21-14 Cup final win over Samurai”

Hong Kong; March 21, 2013: HSBC Penguins finally won the GFI HKFC Tens at the seventh attempt after beating ULR Samurai International 21-14 in a fiercely fought Cup final at Hong Kong Football Club.

Australian winger Richard Hooper outsprinted the Samurai defence to touch down a last-minute grubber kick by England Sevens scrumhalf James Lightfoot-Brown, who had sprinted over 50 metres along the right touchline after making a break from a scrum near his own 22.

The two teams had been locked at 14-14 at half-time after Penguins scored through Australian flanker Dylan Sigg and former Hong Kong scrumhalf Johnny Gbenda-Charles, set up by Sigg. Samurai drew level each time through breakaway tries, first by Paula Tikomainaivalu and then through scrumhalf Kelemedi Bola.

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Dylan Sigg (left), an exhausted Richard Hooper (#14) and England Sevens player Chris Brightwell (right) celebrate HSBC Penguins’ 21-14 win over ULR Samurai International in the GFI HKFC Tens Cup final. Photo: The Power of Sport Images.

The top-seeded BGC APB All Stars – earlier knocked out by Penguins in the Cup quarter-finals – won the Plate after crushing fifth seeds Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, whose side featured six Scotland Sevens internationals.

Lloyd McDermott Warriors of Australia won the Bowl, while an Irish Vikings side featuring England Sevens duo Dan Bibby and Ollie Marchon won the Shield.

The Cup final was a clash of two famous invitational teams both seeking to win the title for the first time in their seventh appearance, but it was the second-seeded Penguins who were left celebrating after a thrilling end-to-end contest clinched by Hooper’s dramatic try, with only 23 seconds left on the clock.

“I’m buggered … I’m absolutely blowing … I can’t stop smiling. James is a classy player, so I knew he’d get the ball to me somehow and it couldn’t have worked out better. It was a last-ditch effort, but we got there in the end,” said the 22-year-old Hooper, who just before his winning try had made a last-ditch tackle to prevent Samurai scoring by the corner flag.

“Everyone’s put in so much, so to be part of this victory means a lot. We’ve bonded quickly and the team has gone from strength to strength. It’s a great club to be a part of. It means a lot to me, but I know it means a lot to them.”

Lightfoot-Brown, who kicked 10 conversions over the two days, had a standout tournament along with England Sevens teammate Chris Brightwell, who scored five tries.

“I just saw a bit of space on the blind side, but I ended up having to pull out of the sprint as he was catching me. I saw Rich on the inside, thought I’d give it a go and he got there in the end. He’s pretty quick. To go that quick at that time of the game is pretty impressive,” said the slightly built 19-year-old.

“We’ve had a lot of dinners with the club talking about how they really want to win it, so it’s amazing for Chris and I to win it on our first trip. Now, we just hope England can go well at the weekend and win the Sevens.”

Team manager Craig Brown immediately phoned Penguins co-founder Alan Wright to inform him of the victory, which followed two final losses in 2007 and 2008, a Plate win in 2009 and three straight semi-final defeats.

GFI HKFC Tens 2013

Richard Hooper follows James Lightfoot-Brown’s kick before touching down for the winning try. Photo: The Power of Sport Images.

“I think Alan will be doing cartwheels down the streets, which is not bad for an 83-year-old,” said Brown, who included Lightfoot-Brown, Brightwell, Sigg and captain Reece Robinson among the team’s outstanding performers.

“They scored two breakaway tries, but I thought we made two well constructed team tries. When they almost scored at the end, we thought, what can we do from here. Then James, cheeky little bugger that he is, made a break and Richard followed up to just beat the Fijian to the ball.”

ULR Samurai International fielded 15 Fijians and Australian flanker Lala Lam in their bid to win the Cup, but suffered a Cup final defeat for a second time, after losing to Aliens in 2010.

Penguins knocked out top seeds BGC APB All Stars 7-5 in the quarter-finals, through a pushover try by Brightwell and a conversion from out wide by Lightfoot-Brown. Penguins then beat Malaysian giants Cobra 22-17 in the semi-finals with tries by Sigg, Chris Walker, Brightwell and Robinson.

Samurai beat the all-New Zealand Tradition YCAC 19-12 in the semi-finals. Samurai raced to a 19-0 lead at half-time through Pio Tuwai and a brace by Nasoni Roko before withstanding a second-half onslaught by the seventh seeds, led by tries by Jed Brown and Jack Wilson.

In the Plate final, Fijian winger Joe Lilidamu touched down four times to finish as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 tries as the APBs lifted the second-tier trophy, a year after winning the Cup. Coach Tana Umaga vowed the team would bounce back next year.

“We’re happy to take the Plate, but hopefully we can take back the main title next year. If I’m available I’d like to come back. We’ve got a good group of guys, but I suppose we need to step up,” Umaga said.

“The standard has definitely improved from last year. We came up against some great defences and people very determined to do well. It’s great for the teams and the tournament and I think it’ll just keep getting better and teams need to be prepared. We’ll have to have a think about how we approach this week next time.”

Lloyd McDermott Warriors, made up of Aboriginal Australians, beat German side Freshfields Wild Titans 26-5 in the Bowl final to collect their first silverware at the event after losing in the finals of the Plate in 2011 and Shield last year.

Rugby league star Michael Lett and former Australia Sevens player Arthur Little each scored six tries over the two days, while Little also made 12 conversions.

“The guys worked very hard prior coming to Hong Kong. We didn’t play that well on the first day, but we improved as the guys got used to each other and the speed of the game,” said coach Glen Ella, the former Wallaby who won the Hong Kong Sevens four times.

“Michael Lett was outstanding for us at outside and Arthur Little was consistent in every match. We had three injuries to our forwards, so our forwards busted a gut in each game and they deserve massive credit.”

England Sevens duo Dan Bibby and Ollie Marchon both scored tries as Irish Vikings beat first-timers Lloyd’s of London 22-5 to win the Shield, the side’s fourth trophy after Plate wins in 2003 and 2007 and a first Shield in 2010.

Bibby, playing as a centre, and winger Marchon both finished the tournament with five tries each and helped deliver a rewarding present to player/coach Andy Douglas, appearing in his 17th consecutive GFI HKFC Tens and 13th for Vikings.

“We knew that Mike McLean, the guy who set up Irish Vikings with Andy, passed away after last year’s Tens, so we said before this game that we were playing for him. We really wanted to help the guys win some silverware,” Marchon said.

“We were disappointed to get knocked out of the Bowl, but we’ve found out this is not a morning team and that they seem to pick it up in the afternoon. A week ago we were sat in London and not coming to Hong Kong and now we’re here, loving it.”

“The atmosphere was incredible,” Bibby added. “When the crowd get behind you, it really gives you that extra step. I’ve really enjoyed the Tens format and I’ve enjoyed setting up Ollie for his tries.”

In the early afternoon, youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity, played a 10-a-side exhibition match against a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles.

The 2013 GFI HKFC Tens was broadcast live on Now Sports 3 on Wednesday (2.15pm-9.00pm) and Thursday (3.00pm-8.45pm) and Now Sports will also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

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March 22, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | , , | Leave a comment

GFI HKFC Tens DAY 2 Results

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FINAL Results from Day 2 of the GFI HKFC tens 2013

( Updated at 01:50NZDST 22/03/2013 )

Thursday, 21st March 2013
25 RESULT Bowl
Quarter Final
Lloyd McDermott Warriors Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers 44 – 0
26 RESULT Bowl
Quarter Final
Irish Vikings Newedge Club 5 – 28
27 RESULT Bowl
Quarter Final
Freshfields Wild Titans Lloyds 17 – 0
28 RESULT Bowl
Quarter Final
A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Rwanda 26 – 0
29 RESULT Cup
Quarter Final
BGC APB All Stars HSBC Penguins 5 – 7
30 RESULT Cup
Quarter Final
Cobra Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees 12 – 0
31 RESULT Cup
Quarter Final
ULR Samurai International Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians 10 – 0
32 RESULT Cup
Quarter Final
Tradition YCAC Borrelli Walsh Australian Country 12 – 0
33 RESULT Shield
Semi Final
Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers Irish Vikings 0 – 65
34 RESULT Shield
Semi Final
Lloyds Rwanda 41 – 0
35 RESULT Bowl
Semi Final
Lloyd McDermott Warriors Newedge Club 33 – 10
36 RESULT Bowl
Semi Final
Freshfields Wild Titans A-Trade Overseas Old Boys 24 – 19
37 RESULT Plate
Semi Final
BGC APB All Stars Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees 59 – 5
38 RESULT Plate
Semi Final
Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Borrelli Walsh Australian Country 27 – 19
39 RESULT Cup
Semi Final
HSBC Penguins Cobra 22 – 17
40 RESULT Cup
Semi Final
ULR Samurai International Tradition YCAC 19 – 12
41 RESULT Shield Final Irish Vikings Lloyds 22 – 5
42 RESULT Bowl Final Lloyd McDermott Warriors Freshfields Wild Titans 26 – 12
43 RESULT Plate Final BGC APB All Stars Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians 41 – 00
44 RESULT Cup Final HSBC Penguins ULR Samurai International 21 – 14

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS and SCHEDULE

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APBs out of Cup after England duo inspire Penguins victory

IMG_5715medSecond seeds HSBC Penguins beat top-seeded BGC APB All Stars 7-5 in a pulsating Cup quarter-final, leaving last year’s champions (pictured) to battle for the second-tier Plate in their third appearance in the GFI HKFC Tens.

England Sevens duo Chris Brightwell and James Lightfoot-Brown supplied the first-half try and conversion respectively for the Penguins, who had finished second in Pool B after losing to Tradition YCAC on Wednesday evening

Brightwell’s try followed a strong lineout drive in the far-right corner midway through the first half before Lightfoot-Brown kicked a superb conversion from near the right touchline.

Lightfoot-Brown looked set to extend the lead in the second half when he ran 60 metres to the tryline, but the 19-year-old scrumhalf fumbled the ball when trying to touch down.

After play restarted, APBs flyhalf Elvis Seveali’i – replacing suspended playmaker Orene Ai’i – performed a sublime chip-and-catch over the Penguins backline within his own 22. The former Samoa international ran to the halfway line before kicking out wide for Fijian winger Joe Lilidamu to collect and touch down in the right corner.

However, Seveali’i failed to convert and the defending champions were unable to claw back the deficit in the final minutes.

The victory helped Penguins earn a measure of revenge after losing to the APBs in extra-time of their Cup semi-final encounter in 2011.

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March 21, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | | Leave a comment

Umaga’s APBs to face Penguins in GFI HKFC Tens quarter-finals

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Tradition YCAC  play A-Trade Overseas Old Boys on Day 1 of the GFI HKFC Tens 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong. Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / The Power of Sport Images

Hong Kong; March 20, 2013: Defending champions BGC APB All Stars topped Pool A, but will have to face two-time finalists HSBC Penguins in Thursday’s quarter-finals after the second seeds lost 21-7 to Tradition YCAC in the final Pool B match.

YCAC, the seventh seeds, will face Pool A runners-up Borrelli Walsh Australian Country, who lost a tense, bruising encounter against the APBs after forward Tim McGann was red carded midway through the second half.

ULR Samurai International won all three of their games to top Pool C and will face Pool D runners-up Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, while Pool D winners Cobra of Malaysia will face sixth seeds Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees of France.

The top-seeded APBs and eighth-seeded Australian Country were locked in a scoreless encounter until McGann was sent off following an altercation with Orene Ai’i, who went on to set up both tries as the champions made the most of the one-man advantage.

GFI HKFC Tens 2013BGC APB All Stars play Rwanda on Day 1 of the GFI HKFC Tens 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong. Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / The Power of Sport Images

Ai’i, the IRB Sevens Player of the Year in 2005, made a break down the left flank before releasing USA captain Todd Clever to score. Ai’i then put through a clever grubber kick for Fijian winger Filipo Nakosi, who ran in his sixth try of the day.

The all-action Clever paid tribute to their Australian opponents, who saved their best for their last game of the day.

“Country were great, as they got us out of our game plan, took it to us and were physical. After the red card, it turned out to be a good five minutes for us,” Clever said.

“We’re going to go for it again. It’s a real privilege playing with these guys, with all the Samoans, Tongans, Fijians and Kiwis, and I’m just proud to pull on the APBs jersey.”

YCAC quickly took control of their eagerly awaited contest with Penguins with first-half tries by Jack Wilson, a New Zealand Sevens player last year, and Jed Brown.GFI HKFC Tens 2013

BGC APB All Stars play Rwanda on Day 1 of the GFI HKFC Tens 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong. Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / The Power of Sport Images

England Sevens scrumhalf James Lightfoot-Brown pulled a try back in the second half after a great break by flanker Dylan Sigg, but powerful centre Seta Tamanivalu ran in a third try for YCAC as the all-New Zealand squad secured top spot in Pool B.

YCAC captain Kane Hancy remains on course for his fourth Cup victory in four tournaments, having captained Tradition Valley in 2011 and won with Metro in 2007 and 2008, when he was named Player of the Tournament both times.
“Our gameplan was just to be aggressive, hit them up front, get our runners going, then send it wide out for our wingers like Jack and Seta. The guys were aggressive on the rucks in defence and on quick ball retention, and that’s the key in 10s,” said Hancy, who has won every game he has played in the competition.

YCAC  upset second seeds to set up clash with Australian Country,while Samurai and Cobra top their pools”

“It was pretty much the perfect day and hopefully it’s the perfect day tomorrow. We’re going to approach each game the same way we approached Penguins. I want to keep that clean slate and I’m confident, but there’s four or five teams that can beat anyone, so we’ve got to be on top of our game every game.”

In the bottom half of the draw, Irish Vikings – whose backline features England Sevens duo Dan Bibby and Ollie Marchon – have emerged as strong contenders after only finishing third in Pool D on goal difference after drawing 19-19 with the Scottish Barbarians.

The pair then inspired the 13th seeds to a 21-14 win over 10th-seeded Lloyd’s of London after winger Marchon ran in a 60-metre try to seal the match.

“We came here to make a difference, so we’re hoping to win all our games tomorrow. We finished the day with a win and the boys are keen for silverware, so we want to help,” said Marchon, who played for England Sevens in the UAE and South Africa legs at the end of last year.

“It’s a lot more physical than sevens, a lot more breakdowns, so it’s tough to get your head round the game, but I’m enjoying it.”

Vikings will face hosts Newedge Club in the Bowl quarter-finals. Lloyd McDermott Warriors tackle Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers of Shanghai, Freshfields Wild Titans of Germany face Lloyd’s, while A-Trade Overseas Old Boys go up against crowd favourites Rwanda.

Thursday’s knockout matches start from 10.15am and culminate in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions. Spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match at 1.35pm, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

‘Silverbacks’ score first tries at GFI HKFC Tens

The Rwanda team unite ahead of their tournament debut at the GFI HKFC Tens, which concludes at Hong Kong Football Club on Thursday.BGC APB All Stars play Rwanda on Day 1 of the GFI HKFC Tens 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club, Hong Kong. Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / The Power of Sport Images

Despite eventually losing 31-12 to Borrelli Walsh Australian Country in their second Pool A match, Rwanda scored their first points through Habumugisha’s first-half try, which was greeted by huge cheers from the crowd.

Late in the second half, the hard-working Otim outpaced the Aussie team’s defence to touch down and crown a courageous performance against last year’s Bowl winners.

“When I saw the line, I saw one guy coming up to catch me, but I said, it doesn’t matter, I just have to go. If I’m caught, someone is supporting me,” Otim said.

“It was very good to play in front of a big crowd supporting us. They’ve never seen us play before, but now they’re shouting ‘Let’s go, Rwanda’, so we want to give them something back.”

Otim said the team were enjoying playing in front of a big crowd and were delighted to bounce back from an opening 55-0 loss to BGC APB All Stars, the defending champions coached by Tana Umaga and packed with experienced internationals, including three former All Blacks.

Alan Otim (left) and Moise Habumugisha (right) scored Rwanda’s first tries as the national team made their tournament debut in the GFI HKFC Tens at Hong Kong Football Club.Rwanda raised the roof at Hong Kong Football Club when scrumhalf Moise Habumugisha and centre Alan Otim scored the team’s first tries on their tournament debut at the GFI HKFC Tens at Hong Kong Football Club.

“We have come a long way with the boys and now we are here, meeting world-class players,” Otim said.

“It feels good to score against teams and players who have been playing rugby for a long time and who have played in much better tournaments and against better teams than us.”

Rwanda finished the opening day with a 41-0 loss to Lloyd McDermott Warriors and will compete in the quarter-finals of the bottom half of the draw on Thursday.

2013 GFI Hong Kong Tens  Schedule/Results

Match Time Stage Team 1 Team 2 Result
Wednesday, 20th March 2013
1 Result Pool A BGC APB All Stars Rwanda 55 – 0
2 Result Pool A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Lloyd McDermott Warriors 12 – 10
3 Result Pool B HSBC Penguins Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers 55 – 0
4 Result Pool B Tradition YCAC A-Trade Overseas Old Boys 22 – 0
5 Result Pool C ULR Samurai International Newedge Club 52 – 5
6 Result Pool C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Freshfields Wild Titans 24 – 17
7 Result Pool D Cobra Irish Vikings 26 – 0
8 Result Pool D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Lloyds 20 – 0
9 Result Pool A BGC APB All Stars Lloyd McDermott Warriors 26 – 12
10 Result Pool A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Rwanda 31 – 12
11 Result Pool B HSBC Penguins A-Trade Overseas Old Boys 29 – 5
12 Result Pool B Tradition YCAC Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers 66 – 0
13 Result Pool C ULR Samurai International Freshfields Wild Titans 26 – 0
14 Result Pool C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Newedge Club 17 – 10
15 Result Pool D Cobra Lloyds 28 – 0
16 Result Pool D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Irish Vikings 19 – 19
17 Result Pool A Lloyd McDermott Warriors Rwanda 41 – 0
18 Result Pool B A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers 55 – 0
19 Result Pool C Freshfields Wild Titans Newedge Club 33 – 5
20 Result Pool D Lloyds Irish Vikings 14 – 21
21 Result Pool A BGC APB All Stars Borrelli Walsh Australian Country 10 – 0
22 Result Pool B HSBC Penguins Tradition YCAC 7 – 21
23 Result Pool C ULR Samurai International Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees 7 – 0
24 Result Pool D Cobra Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians 12 – 7
Thursday, 21st March 2013
25 21 Mar 10:15 Bowl
Quarter Final
Lloyd McDermott Warriors Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
26 21 Mar 10:40 Bowl
Quarter Final
Irish Vikings Newedge Club
27 21 Mar 11:05 Bowl
Quarter Final
Freshfields Wild Titans Lloyds
28 21 Mar 11:30 Bowl
Quarter Final
A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Rwanda
29 21 Mar 11:55 Cup
Quarter Final
BGC APB All Stars HSBC Penguins
30 21 Mar 12:20 Cup
Quarter Final
Cobra Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees
31 21 Mar 12:45 Cup
Quarter Final
ULR Samurai International Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians
32 21 Mar 13:10 Cup
Quarter Final
Tradition YCAC Borrelli Walsh Australian Country

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March 21, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | Leave a comment

Six Sevens players boost Scottish cause at GFI HKFC Tens


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Scotland Sevens squad players (left-right) Liam Steele, Callum Anderson, Alex Glashan, Lewis Young, Jack Ferguson and Joe Nayacavou will represent Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians in the GFI HKFC Tens at Hong Kong Football Club on March 20-21.

Scottish Barbarians face tough Pool D clashes against Malaysian giants Cobra, Lloyd’s of London and Irish Vikings side featuring England Sevens duo

Hong Kong; March 19, 2013: Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians will field six current Scotland Sevens players and Kiwi player/coach Craig Hammond in their 16-man squad for the two-day GFI HKFC Tens, which kicks off at Hong Kong Football Club on Wednesday.

Scrumhalves Alex Glashan (18) and Jack Ferguson (20), centres Lewis Young (21) and Callum Anderson (25), fullback Liam Steele (24) and Fiji-born forward Joe Nayacavou (27) will all play for the fifth seeds and act-as back-up for Scotland in this week’s Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Nayacavou is one of two Fiji-born ‘Joes’ in the forwards along with former Fiji A prop Joe Nabou, one of six Hong Kong Scottish players in the squad. Kowloon captain Matt Stockdale and Alex Baddeley, Chris Mason and Ryan Meacheam of domestic champions Valley round out the squad.

The six Scotland Sevens players are all appearing in Hong Kong for the first time, while Glashan represented Scotland in the Gold Coast and Dubai legs of the current HSBC Sevens World Series. The teenager was eager to try to help the Scottish Barbarians improve on last year’s debut, when they reached the Plate final.

“We’re all really looking forward to it as a few of the Scotland Sevens guys played out here last year and said it was a great way to play against some really talented players from all over the world, some different styles of rugby,” said Glashan.

“I know they played Tana Umaga’s guys (BGC APB All Stars) in the pool stage, so hopefully we’ll get a draw that puts us against some tough teams and challenges us a wee bit.”

Scottish Barbarians are in Pool D with fourth seeds Cobra of Malaysia, first-timers Lloyd’s of London and an Irish Vikings side featuring England Sevens players Ollie Marchon and Dan Bibby.

Hammond, 34, will lead the team to crown a first season in charge of Hong Kong Scottish after arriving last summer from Nottingham, where the tough-tackling flanker captained the Green and Whites a record 227 times during an 11-year stay.

“It’s a good opportunity for some of our Hong Kong Scottish guys and other local club players to mix with these Scotland Sevens guys. Last year, the side didn’t have time for a real training, but we’ve had Monday and Tuesday together this time,” Hammond said.

“I might have the chance to pull on the boots and have a runaround, which is good as it’s a pretty renowned tournament. Everyone talks about the Hong Kong Tens. There have been some pretty good players over the years and there’s a lot again this year.”

Cobra captain Craig Clare is one of six Kiwis including 21-year-old sevens specialist Mark Atkins brought in to boost the historic Malaysian club, whose squad also contains Malaysia internationals, three resident Fijians and French flanker Remi Espitalier.

“This mix has worked for Cobra and it’s a good culture experience for us. We haven’t had as much time together for this as we do in Malaysia, but a lot of us have played together in the Cobra 10s so we know each other, which helps,” said Clare, who has formerly completed in Hong Kong for New Zealand Legends.

“All of the pool games look pretty tough for us, so whoever turns up on the day will win. We’ll try our best.”

Cobra host the annual Cobra 10s, but Clare believes the team will have to step up their game as they make their Hong Kong debut.

“The standard of the Tens here is a bit higher than in Malaysia and by the looks of things, it has got even better over the years, especially with Tana Umaga’s team. They looked pretty stacked. They’ll be one of the teams to beat and Samurai are obviously full of the Fijians, so they’ll be quite hard. Penguins are always quite hard.”

Chris Harker, Chairman of the GFI HKFC Tens Organising Committee, said the ‘arms race’ for top players had intensified in recent years and produced more top-quality sides bidding to win the Cup, one of four trophies on offer.

“The GFI HKFC Tens has risen notably in standard and depth over the last couple of years and we have more genuine contenders for the Cup each year. Tana Umaga and the APBs will again start as favourites, but Penguins, Samurai, Cobra, YCAC and the Scottish will all fancy their chances,” Harker said.

“The fact we have current England and Scotland Sevens players, fringe New Zealand and Fiji Sevens players, and a wide range of current and former internationals from across the world shows how keen all the teams are to win.”

Top seeds BGC APB All Stars headline Pool A and will play Australian side Borrelli Walsh Australian Country and Lloyd McDermott Warriors, and bottom-seeded Rwanda, the first national team to compete in the tournament.

Pool B features second-seeded HSBC Penguins, Tradition YCAC, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys and Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers of Shanghai.

Third seeds ULR Samurai International headline Pool C and will play against Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees of France, Freshfields Wild Titans of Germany and hosts Newedge Club.

Pool games on the Wednesday will be held from 11.00am-9.00pm, while Thursday’s knockout matches run from 10.15am-8.30pm, culminating in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions.

The event will be broadcast live on Now Sports 3 on Wednesday (2.15pm-9.00pm) and Thursday (3.00pm-8.45pm). Now Sports will also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

Entry is free on the Wednesday, while on the Thursday, spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match on the Thursday, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles at 1.35pm, before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

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March 19, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | , | Leave a comment

Umaga’s APBs have to “work harder” to defend GFI HKFC Tens

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20130318_BGC-APB-All-StarsStar-studded champions kick off title defence against Rwanda, with former Scotland boss Frank Hadden leading rugby minnows on their tournament debut

 Hong Kong; March 18, 2013: Head coach Tana Umaga has said the BGC APB All Stars will have to “work harder” to make up for the loss of Nemani Nadolo as they defend their title at this week’s GFI HKFC Tens, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at Hong Kong Football Club.

Nadolo was named Player of the Tournament last year after scoring 11 tries, including two in the final, but the giant Fijian winger had to withdraw from the APBs squad after he was called up to represent Fiji Warriors in Australia.

Umaga, who coached the APBs to victory last year, said his top-seeded side would have to gel quickly, with a host of core regulars mixing with nine tournament debutants in the 16-player squad.

“Nems was huge for us last year, there’s no two ways about that. He saved us in a few games. It just means our boys will have to work a bit harder, not having that back-up with Nems trying to pull them out of something,” said Umaga, who scored 36 tries in 74 tests for New Zealand, playing 21 as captain.

20130318_BGC-APB-All-Stars-train“However, these guys are quite experienced and with that experience comes a bit of competitiveness. I’m sure once the whistle blows, that fire will start burning brightly in them. We’re the defending champions, so we want to defend our title.”

Playmaker Orene Ai’i, Tonga flanker Hale T-Pole and former Japan captain Takuro Miuchi are playing in their third straight Tens for the APBs. USA captain Todd Clever, Samoa’s World Cup captain Seilala Mapusua and Oxford captain John Carter return from last year’s winning squad.

Rico Gear, who scored 11 tries in 19 tests for New Zealand, is back from the 2011 campaign and will be joined by fellow former All Blacks Marty Holah and Anthony Tuitavake, both making their debut. However, Umaga is hoping some of the younger players will step up and make their mark.

“We have some new, good-quality players coming in, some new faces like Joe Lilidamu and Filipo Nakosi, who are both young Fijians,” Umaga said.

“It’s quite a big stage now, because of what the Hong Kong Tens has become, how it’s perceived. It’s going to be good for some of the younger players we’ve brought in to really experience what it’s like to play in front of big crowds, under pressure.”

20130318_Frank-Hadden-RwandaUmaga was hugely supportive of Rwanda’s debut in the tournament after they competed for three years in the more social Kowloon RugbyFest and said the team would benefit from the step up in standard. The APBs will play Rwanda in the opening match on Wednesday, with Australian sides Borrelli Walsh Australian Country and Lloyd McDermott Warriors also playing in Pool A.

“Personally, having been in this game for a long time, it’s just great for your sport that it’s now played across such a vast area, especially with the background of Rwanda, because they’ve had some difficult times in the past, more difficult than most,” Umaga said.

“But that’s what this game brings – it brings spirit, togetherness, collectiveness. Those are the good values of our great game and they’ve been shown to be working in some really tough areas.

“Hopefully these guys enjoy it, take the experience back and share that when they get back home. With the Rwandans, they’re a tough lot. We’ve seen what the Kenyans have done in Sevens, how professional they are, so we’re not expecting much different from these guys. It’s going to be a good first hit-up for us.”

Frank Hadden, the former Scotland coach, will coach Rwanda and admitted the tournament would already have been tough enough without being grouped with the champions, but that the experience would prove invaluable for the young rugby nation.

“This team faces a lot of challenges, up against professional players who know the game inside out. These boys are just so keen to make progress and it’s a wonderful opportunity for them,” Hadden said.

“I admire their ambition. They felt they needed a tougher challenge this year and I’m delighted to help out in any way I can. I worked with these guys in Rwanda a couple of years ago and it’s a real honour to be back to help them this year.

“The whole purpose is to make progress. We want them to finish better players than when we started. At the end of two days of the GFI HKFC Tens, I think they’ll be delighted with the progress they’ve made.”

Dave Hughes, the team’s assistant coach and who has organised Rwanda’s tours to Hong Kong, said captain Benjamin Makombe and ‘flier’ Vincent Kamali are among the side’s leading lights.

“The players have such desire and drive, and they’ve been thinking about and talking about the tournament for weeks. We’re just trying to get our heads straight for the big opening game against the APBs on Wednes20130318_Rwandaday,” Hughes said.

“I think it’s great to have Frank with us and it shows the ambition of the team. Any team in this tournament would be lucky to have Frank as coach and the fact he has chosen us shows us how far we’ve come.”

Pool B features second-seeded HSBC Penguins, Tradition YCAC, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys and Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers.

Third seeds ULR Samurai headline Pool C and will play against Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees of France, Freshfields Wild Titans of Germany and hosts Newedge Club.

Malaysian club Cobra are making their tournament debut in Pool D, with Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, newcomers Lloyd’s of London and Irish Vikings.

Pool games on the Wednesday will be held from 11.00am-9.00pm, while Thursday’s knockout matches run from 10.15am-8.30pm, culminating in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions.

The event will be broadcast live on Now Sports 3 on Wednesday (2.15pm-9.00pm) and Thursday (3.00pm-8.45pm). Now Sports will also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

Entry is free on the Wednesday, while on the Thursday, spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match on the Thursday, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles at 1.35pm, before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

Full Draw Day One

Time Pool Team vs Team
11:00 A BGC APB All Stars Rwanda
11:25 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Lloyd McDermott Warriors
11:50 B HSBC Penguins Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
12:15 B Tradition YCAC A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
12:40 C ULR Samurai International Newedge Club
13:05 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Freshfields Wild Titans
13:30 D Cobra Irish Vikings
13:55 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Lloyd’s
14:20 A BGC APB All Stars Lloyd McDermott Warriors
14:45 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Rwanda
15:10 B HSBC Penguins A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
15:35 B Tradition YCAC Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
16:00 C ULR Samurai International Freshfields Wild Titans
16:25 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Newedge Club
16:50 D Cobra Lloyd’s
17:15 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Irish Vikings
17:40 A Lloyd McDermott Warriors Rwanda
18:05 B A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
18:30 C Freshfields Wild Titans Newedge Club
18:55 D Lloyd’s Irish Vikings
19:20 A BGC APB All Stars Borrelli Walsh Australian Country
19:45 B HSBC Penguins Tradition YCAC
20:10 C ULR Samurai International Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees
20:35 D Cobra Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians

www.hongkongtens.com

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March 18, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | | Leave a comment

Two-time MVP Kane Hancy leads YCAC bid for GFI HKFC Tens glory

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Sevens specialists Jack Wilson, Iopu Iopu and Seta Tamanivalu among young Kiwi stars representing Japan’s oldest sports club

Hong Kong; March 15, 2013: Three-time winner Kane Hancy will captain newcomers Tradition YCAC at next week’s GFI HKFC Tens at Hong Kong Football Club.

Jack Wilson and Iopu Iopu, who both represented New Zealand on the HSBC Sevens World Series last year, are also part of an impressive squad dominated by young Kiwis, including Fiji-born centre Seta Tamanivalu.

Simon Ryan will coach the seventh-seeded YCAC (Yokohama Country and Athletic Club) two years after the Japan-based New Zealander masterminded Tradition Valley’s win in the 2011 Tens, when his side upset favourites BGC APB All Stars in the final.

“I like the fact we’ve got a core of players with plenty of tournament experience who hate losing. It’s great to have a leader with Kane’s experience and ability. He has a massive heart for a wee fella,” Ryan said.

“Jack’s also back from the 2011 team and he has since played for New Zealand Sevens in a few IRB tournaments. He can double as a back or a forward and be devastating in either role, while Iopu and Seta are two exciting talents from the New Zealand Sevens wider squad.”

Hancy, who captained Tradition Valley in 2011, is seeking a fourth Tens title. The flyhalf, who plays under Tana Umaga at Counties Manukau, was Player of the Tournament in 2007 and 2008 after helping New Zealand Metro to victory both years, each time beating HSBC Penguins in the final.

Wilson, 23, was also in the winning side in 2011. Last year, the Bay of Plenty flanker represented Samurai on the first day of the Tens before he was called up by Gordon Tietjens and made his New Zealand debut at the Hong Kong Sevens, running in an 80-metre try in the semi-final win over South Africa.

Wilson also played at the 2011-12 series-ending event in London last May and has recently played wing while on loan to Saracens in the English Premiership.

Iopu, 21, made his All Blacks Sevens debut at last October’s Gold Coast Sevens in Australia and in January the flanker was part of the New Zealand Emerging Sevens team selected by Tietjens that competed in the Uprising 7s in Lautoka.

Tamanivalu, 20, was also part of the squad in Fiji after a year in which the highly rated youngster helped Taranaki finish fourth in the ITM Cup Premiership.

Fullback Sam Monaghan, 24, and flanker Jed Brown, 22, will also be ones to watch at Hong Kong Football Club after helping Canterbury win the ITM Cup Premiership. The YCAC squad also includes Hancy’s clubmate Mark Selwyn, who was part of the Counties side that won last year’s ITM Cup Championship final to earn promotion.

YCAC are in Pool B with second-seeded HSBC Penguins, whose squad includes England Sevens duo Chris Brightwell and James Lightfoot-Brown and Tonga winger Will Helu.

Pool games on the Wednesday will be held from 11.00am-9.00pm, while Thursday’s knockout matches run from 10.15am-8.30pm, culminating in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions.

The event will be broadcast live on Now Sports 3 on Wednesday (2.15pm-9.00pm) and Thursday (3.00pm-8.45pm). Now Sports will also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

Entry is free on the Wednesday, while on the Thursday, spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match on the Thursday, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles at 1.35pm, before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

Full Draw Day One

Time Pool Team vs Team
11:00 A BGC APB All Stars Rwanda
11:25 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Lloyd McDermott Warriors
11:50 B HSBC Penguins Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
12:15 B Tradition YCAC A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
12:40 C ULR Samurai International Newedge Club
13:05 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Freshfields Wild Titans
13:30 D Cobra Irish Vikings
13:55 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Lloyd’s
14:20 A BGC APB All Stars Lloyd McDermott Warriors
14:45 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Rwanda
15:10 B HSBC Penguins A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
15:35 B Tradition YCAC Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
16:00 C ULR Samurai International Freshfields Wild Titans
16:25 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Newedge Club
16:50 D Cobra Lloyd’s
17:15 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Irish Vikings
17:40 A Lloyd McDermott Warriors Rwanda
18:05 B A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
18:30 C Freshfields Wild Titans Newedge Club
18:55 D Lloyd’s Irish Vikings
19:20 A BGC APB All Stars Borrelli Walsh Australian Country
19:45 B HSBC Penguins Tradition YCAC
20:10 C ULR Samurai International Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees
20:35 D Cobra Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians

www.hongkongtens.com

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March 15, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tens | , | Leave a comment

All Blacks trio lead APBs attack, Irish Vikings add England Sevens duo

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Defending champions face two Aussie sides on day one in revised pools

GFI HKFC Tens 2012 - Day 1Hong Kong; March 14, 2013: Tana Umaga will have three former All Blacks in his squad as the top-seeded BGC APB All Stars defend their title at next week’s GFI HKFC Tens, where they’ll now face two Australian sides on Wednesday after the pools were revised following Nadroga’s withdrawal.

Meanwhile, England Sevens playmaker Dan Bibby and winger Ollie Marchon have been added to the Irish Vikings squad for the Hong Kong Football Club event, which concludes on Thursday.

Flanker Marty Holah, the former Chiefs and Ospreys flanker who played 36 tests for New Zealand (2001-06), and centre Anthony Tuitavake, who won six caps in 2008, will make their event debuts for the APBs. Rico Gear, who scored 11 tries in 19 tests for New Zealand (2004-07), returns after helping the side reach the 2011 final.

USA captain Todd Clever, Tonga flanker Hale T-Pole, former Japan captain Takuro Miuchi and Englishman John Carter are all back from last year’s winning squad. Seilala Mapusua, Samoa’s 2011 Rugby World Cup captain, and Kiwi playmaker Orene Ai’i, the 2005 IRB Sevens Player of the Year, also remain.

Umaga, who scored 37 tries in 74 tests (1997-2005), guided the APBs to victory last year and this year will work alongside former Hurricanes teammate Filo Tiatia, capped twice by New Zealand in 2000. South African hero Chester Williams, a 1995 Rugby World Cup winner, will manage the side.

Irish Vikings have raised their expectations after confirming the addition of Bibby and Marchon, a huge boost for player/coach Andy Douglas, the former Singapore international who leads his men into battle for the 13th straight year.

Bibby, 21, first represented England in Glasgow and London last May and has played in the last four events on the 2012-13 HSBC Sevens World Series, including in England’s victory in Wellington last month. Marchon, 24, made his debut in Dubai and also played in the following week’s event in Port Elizabeth.

“Both ‘Bibbs’ and Ollie were in the England squad in Dubai and there were several former and current Vikings playing there in non-IRB competitions,” said coach Andy Douglas, who will be making his 17th appearance at the GFI HKFC Tens.

“I think Ben Ryan was keen for them to get some game time in Hong Kong and they will be useful additions to a backline that already includes Jeremy Manning and Jacob Botica.”

The tournament’s seeding and pools were revised after fourth seeds Nadroga were replaced by Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers of Shanghai, who have been ranked 15th.

The APBs remain in Pool A with 16th seeds Rwanda and have been joined by Borrelli Walsh Australian Country and fellow Aussie side Lloyd McDermott Warriors. Pool B comprises second-seeded HSBC Penguins, newcomers Tradition YCAC, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys and Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers.

sam10

In Pool C, third seeds ULR Samurai International will face Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees, Freshfields Wild Titans of Germany and hosts Newedge Club. Pool D features Malaysian club Cobra, Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, Lloyd’s of London and Irish Vikings.

“All of the 16 teams are looking forward to next week’s event, which has raised the bar in terms of the number of top-class players participating in increasingly competitive squads,” said Tournament Director Craig Wootten.

“We’re delighted that Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers were able to confirm their participation at such short notice and we’re now all looking forward to hosting the 28th GFI HKFC Tens.”

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Entry is free on the Wednesday, while on the Thursday, spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match on the Thursday, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from Los Angeles at 1.35pm, before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

Pool games on the Wednesday will be held from 11.00am-9.00pm, while Thursday’s knockout matches run from 10.15am-8.30pm, culminating in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions.

The event will be broadcast live on Now Sports 3 on Wednesday (2.15pm-9.00pm) and Thursday (3.00pm-8.45pm). Now Sports will also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

Full Draw Day One

Time Pool Team vs Team
11:00 A BGC APB All Stars Rwanda
11:25 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Lloyd McDermott Warriors
11:50 B HSBC Penguins Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
12:15 B Tradition YCAC A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
12:40 C ULR Samurai International Newedge Club
13:05 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Freshfields Wild Titans
13:30 D Cobra Irish Vikings
13:55 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Lloyd’s
14:20 A BGC APB All Stars Lloyd McDermott Warriors
14:45 A Borrelli Walsh Australian Country Rwanda
15:10 B HSBC Penguins A-Trade Overseas Old Boys
15:35 B Tradition YCAC Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
16:00 C ULR Samurai International Freshfields Wild Titans
16:25 C Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees Newedge Club
16:50 D Cobra Lloyd’s
17:15 D Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians Irish Vikings
17:40 A Lloyd McDermott Warriors Rwanda
18:05 B A-Trade Overseas Old Boys Playmore’s Devils-Own Wanderers
18:30 C Freshfields Wild Titans Newedge Club
18:55 D Lloyd’s Irish Vikings
19:20 A BGC APB All Stars Borrelli Walsh Australian Country
19:45 B HSBC Penguins Tradition YCAC
20:10 C ULR Samurai International Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees
20:35 D Cobra Hill & Associates Scottish Barbarians

www.hongkongtens.com

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March 15, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tens | , , | Leave a comment

All Stars face YCAC, Old Boys and Rwanda in GFI HKFC Tens group stage

hktensb

GFI HKFC Tens 2012 - Day 2Mils Muliaina helped the BGC Asia Pacific All Stars win the 2012 GFI HKFC Tens, beating ULR Samurai International in the Cup semi-final (pictured).

The All Stars and Samurai are first and third seeds in the 2013 competition from March 20-21.

Fijian giants Nadroga and Malaysian 10s specialists Cobra go head to head in clash of first-timers in Pool D

Hong Kong; February 20, 2013: Top-seeded BGC Asia Pacific All Stars have been drawn with new entry YCAC of Japan, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys and Rwanda in Pool A of the GFI HKFC Tens, which will be held at Hong Kong Football Club from March 20-21.

YCAC, seeded eighth, joined the 16-team line-up following the withdrawal of New Zealand Legends and are one of five sides competing in the event for the first time. Simon Ryan, coach of Tradition Valley in 2011 when the invitational side upset the All Stars in the Cup final, is coach of the Japanese club.

The All Stars, who won the Cup last year with a squad coached by Tana Umaga and featuring the likes of Justin Marshall, Mils Muliaina and an array of other World Cup stars, begin the defence of their title against an inexperienced Rwanda side, the first national team to compete in the tournament.

Former Scotland boss Frank Hadden has taken on the challenge of coaching the bottom-ranked Rwanda, who will be among the crowd favourites, but face an uphill battle in their event debut after three appearances in the Kowloon RugbyFest.

Second seeds HSBC Penguins, Cup finalists in 2007 and 2008 and semi-finalists for the past two years, will be favourites to top Pool B ahead of Tag Heuer Eyewear Pyrenees of France, Wild Titans of Germany and hosts Newedge Club, winners of the fourth-tier Shield last year.

Third-seeded ULR Samurai International, Cup runners-up in 2010 and semi-finalists last year, headline Pool C and will take on Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, debutants Lloyd’s of England and Irish Vikings.

The Scottish Barbarians will again feature a crop of current Scotland sevens internationals as they look to build on their debut last year, when they reached the second-tier Plate final after coming close to beating the All Stars in the group stage.

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The opening day concludes with a crunch Pool D clash between Fijian giants Nadroga and top Malaysian club Cobra, fourth and fifth seeds respectively and both making their Hong Kong debut. Nadroga won the domestic Digicel Cup for the third time in four years last August, while Cobra were runners-up to Fijian side Daveta in their own Cobra 10s in November.

Australian Country Invitational, winners of the Plate in 2011 and third-tier Bowl last year, and compatriots Lloyd McDermott Warriors round out the line-up, which Tournament Director Craig Wootten believes has raised the bar for the world’s leading 10-a-side rugby tournament.

“The GFI HKFC Tens is known as the best 10s tournament in the world and it continues to get stronger. The standard of teams taking part is getting higher every year, as is the quality of the players they’re bringing,” Wootten said.

“Pool A will be exciting on day one, as the All Stars take on YCAC, while I’m sure there will be a lot of support for Rwanda as they make their tournament debut. Penguins and Samurai will again be strong, but I think everyone will be looking out for the Pool D clash between Nadroga and Cobra, which should be quite tasty.”

Now in its 28th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Entry is free on the Wednesday, while on the Thursday, spectators aged 17 and over are required to make a HK$100 donation to receive the Official Souvenir Programme, with all proceeds going to Operation Breakthrough, the tournament’s Official Charity.

Youngsters from Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on sport as a means to rehabilitate young people, will play in a 10-a-side exhibition match on the Thursday, taking on a visiting ICEF Public Schools side from South Los Angeles at 1.35pm, before the semi-finals of the four trophy competitions.

Pool games on the Wednesday will be held from 11.00am-9.00pm, while Thursday’s knockout matches run from 10.15am-8.30pm, culminating in the finals of the Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup competitions.

For the third successive year, Now TV will broadcast live coverage of Thursday afternoon’s action and also produce a post-tournament highlights show.

GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. Other supporters include UBS (Gold Sponsor), Swire Properties and Allied World Assurance Company (both Silver Sponsors), Heineken (Official Beer) and Tsunami Sport (Official Apparel).

2012-banner1In recent years, the GFI HKFC Tens has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) and Justin Marshall (2011-2012), last year’s winning captain.

Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the annual event since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary.

www.hongkongtens.com

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February 21, 2013 Posted by | Hong Kong Tens | , | 1 Comment

   

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