All Blacks trio boost BGC APDs bid for fourth GFI HKFC 10s title

All Blacks trio boost BGC APDs bid for fourth GFI HKFC 10s title

BCG Asia Pacific Dragons celebrates after winning the 2015 GFI HKFC Tens at the Hong Kong Football Club on 26 March 2015 in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Xaume Olleros / Power Sport Images

Defending champions BGC Asia Pacific Dragons have recruited former All Blacks Jimmy Cowan, Carl Hayman and Isaac Ross in their bid to win a fourth GFI HKFC 10s title. Photo: PSI. BCG Asia Pacific Dragons celebrates after winning the 2015 GFI HKFC Tens at the Hong Kong Football Club on 26 March 2015 in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Xaume Olleros / Power Sport Images

Jimmy Cowan, Carl Hayman and Isaac Ross will make their GFI HKFC 10s debut for defending champions BGC Asia Pacific Dragons at Hong Kong Football Club next week .

March 30, 2016: Former All Blacks Jimmy Cowan, Carl Hayman and Isaac Ross will star for the BGC Asia Pacific Dragons (APDs) at next week’s GFI HKFC 10s as the side bid for a third successive Cup title and a fourth overall at Hong Kong Football Club.

After winning in 2012 and beating Tradition YCAC in the last two finals, the APDs are attempting to become only the fourth team to win the Cup for three straight years and match New Zealand Metro, Fijian side Magicians and New Zealand Forces Southeast Asia.

Cowan is looking forward to his return to Hong Kong, where he played for New Zealand against Australia in the 2008 and 2010 Bledisloe Cups, scoring a try in the latter.

The 34-year-old scrumhalf will make his GFI HKFC 10s debut just two months after representing the APDs against Australian Super Rugby side Western Force in a 15-a-side pre-season match in Perth, where Ross was among his teammates.

“It’s great to be playing for the BGC Asia Pacific Dragons in the GFI HKFC 10s for the first time. This is a big year for us, as we played played Western Force in February and in June we play the World Club 10s in Mauritius,” said Cowan, part of New Zealand’s World Cup-winning team in 2011.

“Isaac also played against the Force and I played with Carl in the All Blacks, so it will be great to team up with them in Hong Kong, as everyone’s vying for spots to be on the plane to Mauritius.

“Obviously there’s the added pressure at Hong Kong Football Club as we are defending champions, but we’re looking forward to the challenge and and it looks like we’ve got a good squad. I played in the Bledisloe Cup in Hong Kong twice and scored a try in the second match, so hopefully I can contribute again this time. I’m looking forward to going back.”

Cowan won 51 caps for the All Blacks and was still playing Super Rugby last year, for the Blues, having spent 10 years with the Highlanders and two seasons with Gloucester. Ross, 31, played for Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs, and won eight caps before moving to Japan’s Top League in 2011.

Hayman established himself as one of the world’s best props while winning 45 caps from 2001 to 2007 before playing for Newcastle Falcons (2007-10) and Toulon (2010-15), helping the French giants win the European Champions Cup for the past three seasons.

The APDs squad also features four former 10s champions, including former Fiji scrumhalf Emosi Vucago from the 2014 side. Tongan prop Sione Lea and flying wingers Joe Lilidamu – the 10s’ top try scorer in 2013 – and Shannon Chase are retained from last year, when the speedsters scored five and three tries respectively.

Former Tonga centre Rocky Havili and North Harbour back rower Anthony Matoto, who has played for Tonga at the Hong Kong Sevens, are among the squad’s newcomers along with young Fijian backs Avete Daveta, Aminio Nasera and Aseri Vatuinaruka.

Reuben Parkinson, the 42-year-old former Japan centre who played at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, is the successor to former head coach Tana Umaga, who guided the APDs to their titles in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Hale T-Pole, who competed in his second World Cup for Tonga last year, will be assistant coach for a second year after playing for the APDs in their first four appearances. Justin Marshall, New Zealand’s most-capped scrumhalf, will be the team’s Ambassador.

The APDs have been the tournament’s most high-profile side since their debut in 2011, when Wallaby legend George Gregan skippered a squad featuring Marshall, Christian Cullen, Rico Gear and tournament MVP Viliame Satala to the final.

Marshall, Australia icon George Smith and long-time Tonga captain Nili Latu were the APDs’ winning captains in 2012, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Renowned as the world’s best annual 10-a-side tournament, the GFI HKFC 10s has long attracted the game’s top players including seven of the New Zealand team who won the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Conrad Smith, Jerome Kaino, Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Sam Cane and Charlie Faumuina.

Since GFI began its title sponsorship in 2006, the 10s has featured Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima and Israel Dagg (2008), Bob Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Justin Marshall (2011, 2012), Mils Muliaina (2012), Marty Holah (2013), George Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (2014), Todd Clever (2012, 2013, 2015) and Rico Gear (2011, 2013, 2015).

Along with GFI, other sponsors in 2016 include Allied World, Natixis and Rugby Pass (gold sponsors), DHL, Q-Net, Swire Properties and Withers (silver), Cashmaster, CBRE, CPA Global, EY, Markel, Structure Tone and Tricor (bronze), Pure Blonde (official beer), Highland Spring (official water) and Tsunami (official apparel). Make-A-Wish Hong Kong is this year’s official charity.

For more information, visit:
Website: www.hongkongtens.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HKFC10s
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GFIHKFC10s
Instagram: www.instagram.com/gfihkfc10s
#HK10s #WorldsBest10s

Press release distributed by i3 Sports on behalf of GFI HKFC 10s


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China national team among four debutants at GFI HKFC 10s

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China, two Australian sides and UAE-based Projecx Waterboys freshen up the world-famous 10-a-side invitational, which will kick off its fourth decade at Hong Kong Football Club next month

March 21, 2016: The China national team, competing as CRFA Gladiators, will compete in the GFI HKFC 10s for the first time from April 6-7. Jiang Liwei, one of several members of the 2014 Asian Games squad, will captain the side.

China Agricultural University, who competed from 1996 through 2012, and Shandong province, who competed last year, were among previous Chinese teams at the annual 10-a-side event at Hong Kong Football Club.

The King’s College at The University of Queensland and Melbourne-based XBlades Rowzy Pegasi are also among debutants at the tournament’s 31st edition along with Projecx Waterboys, a Dubai-based side with British management.

CRFA Gladiators, the 14th seeds, and King’s College at UQ (10th) will both compete in Pool C, which also features third seeds Penguins, the 2013 champions, and sixth seeds UBB Gavekal, who represent Top 14 club Union Bordeaux Begles but whose squad this year is dominated by players from South Africa and New Zealand.

Tournament Director Craig Wootten said: “The GFI HKFC 10s has a strong line-up this year with the return of the ‘big four’ of BGC Asia Pacific Dragons, Tradition YCAC, Penguins and Samurai, plus some interesting new teams to freshen up the tournament.

“CRFA Gladiators are a very exciting addition. We had CAU compete for 17 straight years and then we had Shandong last year, but this is the first time we’ve had the China national team. We’re also very happy to welcome King’s College of The University of Queensland, who will be young and fit, and fellow newcomers XBlades Rowzy Pegasi and Projecx Waterboys.”

Top seeds BGC Asia Pacific Dragons – champions in 2012, 2014 and 2015 – start their sixth GFI HKFC 10s campaign in Pool A against tournament stalwarts Irish Vikings, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys and Devils Own Shanghai Rugby.

Second seeds Tradition YCAC, runners-up for the past two years, head Pool B featuring Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles, last year’s semi-finalists, first-timers XBlades Rowzy Pegasi and GFI East Africans, who are competing for the second year.

Fourth seeds Samurai, finalists in 2010 and 2013, compete in Pool D with KIR Club Pyrenees, Projecx Waterboys and hosts Natixis HKFC, who have played in every edition from the inaugural 10s in 1986.

Renowned as the world’s best annual 10-a-side tournament, the GFI HKFC 10s has long attracted the game’s top players including seven of the New Zealand team who won the 2015 Rugby World Cup – Conrad Smith, Jerome Kaino, Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Sam Cane and Charlie Faumuina.

Since GFI began its title sponsorship in 2006, the 10s has featured Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima and Israel Dagg (2008), Bob Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Justin Marshall (2011, 2012), Mils Muliaina (2012), Marty Holah (2013), George Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (2014), Todd Clever (2012, 2013, 2015) and Rico Gear (2011, 2013, 2015).

Along with GFI, other sponsors in 2016 include Allied World, Natixis and Rugby Pass (gold sponsors), DHL, Q-Net, Swire Properties and Withers (silver), Cashmaster, CBRE, CPA Global, EY, Markel, Structure Tone and Tricor (bronze), Pure Blonde (official beer) and Tsunami (official apparel). Make-A-Wish Hong Kong is this year’s official charity.

For more information, visit:

Website: www.hongkongtens.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HKFC10s

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GFIHKFC10s

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gfihkfc10s

#HK10s #WorldsBest10s


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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.

www.hongkongtens.com

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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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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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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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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

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