Top Seeds Survive Scare at GFI HKFC 10s. Nate Ebner Impresses

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BGC Asia Pacific Dragons almost embarrassed by 12th seeds A-Trade Overseas Old Boys, Nate Ebner touches down for Samurai, while debutants Projecx Waterboys and King’s College at UQ upset seedings to move into Cup quarters

Hong Kong; April 6, 2016: Top seeds BGC Asia Pacific Dragons survived a scare against 12th seeds A-Trade Overseas Old Boys before topping Pool A and continuing their quest to win a fourth GFI HKFC 10s title in five years.

The APDs beat Devils Own Shanghai Rugby 48-0, but then found themselves a try down against Overseas Old Boys, having been reduced to nine men early in the match following a yellow card for former All Blacks scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan.

An Apete Daveta try and Emosi Vucago conversion gave the defending champions a 7-5 lead before an Old Boys side featuring former New Zealand Sevens player Zar Lawrence almost pulled off the win with an attempted drop goal, which sailed wide.

The APDs restored their confidence in their final pool match by beating Irish Vikings 31-0 to the relief of captain Isaac Ross, one of three former All Blacks in the team along with Cowan and towering prop Carl Hayman.

We had a champagne win in the first game against the Shanghai team, but we had a bit of a scare against the Overseas Old Boys,” said the 31-year-old Ross, who earned eight caps for the All Blacks before moving to play in Japan’s Top League in 2011.

BCG Asia Pacific Dragons (in red) defeat Devils Own Shanghai Rugby (in grey) 48 to 0 during day 1 of GFI HKFC Rugby Tens 2016 on 06 April 2016 at Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano / Power Sport Images

BCG Asia Pacific Dragons (red) defeat Devils Own Shanghai Rugby. Photo Juan Manuel Serrano / Power Sport Images

They came out firing and were really gunning for us. We need those sort of games to get us ready for day two. We executed well in game three and we’re really proud of the way the guys bounced back.

The 2012, 2014 and 2015 champions will play seventh seeds Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles in the Cup quarter-finals, while second seeds Tradition YCAC topped Pool B and will face Old Boys, who upset eighth seeds Irish Vikings 5-0 in their Pool A opener.

Nate Ebner, the 2015 Super Bowl champion trying to secure a place in the USA Rugby Sevens side for this year’s Olympics, scored a try in Samurai’s 33-5 win over Projecx as he impressed on his first day of competitive rugby since 2011.

Mike Friday, head coach of USA Sevens, was among those in the stands keeping an eye on the 27-year-old, who recently took a leave of absence from the New England Patriots to pursue his Olympic dream.

I always like to come to the 10s, just because it’s a great event first and foremost. It’s a phenomenally competitive tournament and it’s a bit special for us this year because we’ve got an eye on Nate Ebner, one of our up-and-coming Eagles,” Friday said.

He’s trying to make the transition from Super Bowl winner to compete in the Olympics this year and this is stage one of his rugby comeback, so to speak. He’s done well, some good positional work in his defence and he’s gone over for a try, so I’ve been pretty impressed with what Nate’s done today.

Samurai International (in white) defeats Natixis HKFC (in white and black stripes) 29 to 0 during Day 1 (Pool D) of GFI HKFC Rugby Tens 2016 on 06 April 2016 at Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano / Power Sport Images

Ebner scores for Samurai International (white) in win vs Natixis HKFC (blue stripes)  Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano / Power Sport Images

The fourth-seeded Samurai topped Pool D after two wins and a 12-12 draw against Kir Club Pyrenees in the day’s final match, while third seeds Penguins topped Pool C with three wins.

Debutants Projecx Waterboys from Scotland and King’s College at The University of Queensland both upset higher-seeded opponents in their pools to reach the Cup quarters.

Projecx, seeded ninth, upset fifth seeds Pyrenees 12-7 in their opening Pool D match, while King’s College beat sixth seeds UBB Gavekal 19-0 and CRFA Gladiators 31-12 in Pool C on their way to securing a place in the last eight.

Day 1 Results & Day 2 schedule: http://www.hongkongtens.com/match.php?cid=1 (also attached in Excel file)
Day 1 Pools: http://www.hongkongtens.com/match.php?cid=4

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.

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

ENDS

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

PR & Media: i3 Sports
Contact: John Higginson, Director of Communications, i3 Sports
Tel: +852 2459-1655; Mob: +852 6626-1443; Email: john@ii-int.com

Tournament Organiser: Laxton Events
Contact: John Aikman, Events Director, Laxton Events
Tel: +852 3616-6453; Mob: +852 9849-1018; Email: john@laxtonevents.com

About GFI HKFC 10s
Hong Kong Football Club has hosted the 10s every year since it was first staged in 1986 to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary. Now in its 31st year, the GFI HKFC 10s is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Hong Kong Sevens and is also sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU). GFI Group, a leading provider of brokerage services and trading support products, has title sponsored the event since 2006. The tournament traditionally attracts many stars of the game, including seven of the New Zealand squad that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In the past decade, the tournament has featured Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima and Israel Dagg (2008), Bob Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi, Beauden Barrett and Sam Cane (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Justin Marshall (2011, 2012), Mils Muliaina (2012), Marty Holah and Nehe Milner-Skudder (2013), George Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (2014), Todd Clever (2012, 2013, 2015) and Rico Gear (2011, 2013, 2015). Website: www.hongkongtens.com

About GFI Group Inc.
Founded in New York in 1987 and acquired by BGC Partners in 2015, GFI Group Inc (GFI) provides competitive wholesale market brokerage services in a multitude of global over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange listed cash and derivatives markets. Over more than 25 years, GFI has expanded both organically and through acquisitions into a broad range of markets, including fixed income derivatives, cash fixed income, emerging market financial products, energy and commodity derivatives, and equities. GFI employs more than 2,100 people with additional offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Cape Town, Santiago, Bogota, Lima, Dubai, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Calgary, Los Angeles and Sugar Land (TX). GFI provides services and products to over 2,600 institutional clients, including leading investment and commercial banks, corporations, insurance companies and hedge funds. Its brands include GFISM, GFInet®, CreditMatch®, GFI ForexMatch®, EnergyMatch®, FENICS®, Starsupply® and Amerex®. Website: www.gfigroup.com

About Make-A-Wish Hong Kong
Make-A-Wish Hong Kong was founded in 1989. It was registered as a charity in Hong Kong in 1998 (registration number: 91/5366) and became a member of Make-A-Wish Foundation International, which has its headquarters in the USA. We are the world’s largest wish-granting organization and have 39 affiliates serving over 50 countries and territories. Collectively we have realized 350,000 children’s wishes worldwide since 1980, on average one wish completed every 21 minutes. Make-A-Wish Hong Kong grants one special wish to children aged between three and 17 with life-threatening medical conditions, in Hong Kong and Macau, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. To date, we have granted over 1,600 wishes. We are dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true. Website: www.makeawish.org.hk; Facebook: www.facebook.com/MakeAWishHK; Instagram: www.instagram.com/makeawishhk

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RWU Co-host Johnathan Wicklow Barberie is the contrived Kiwi rugby personality who can't go ANYWHERE without being asked for an autograph. He always obliges... Matt McCarthy handles the more serious interviews and handles the RWU Sports Desk.

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