It’s rugby week again in Hong Kong and I was at Hong Kong Football Club for the GFI Rugby 10s.
The returning champions Biarritz Gavekal (formerly UBB Gavekal) came into the tournament looking to make it three wins in a row. Out to stop them were 3 time finalists (since 2013) Tradition YCAC, local team Hong Kong Football Club and UK based touring side Grove Penguins. Filling out the remaining tournament berths were 4th seeds and tournament debutants Mourant Fiji Army, Samurai International RFC, Asia Pacific Dragons, A-Trade Overseas Old Boys, Kir Club Pyrenees, Project X Waterboys, HK Scottish Exiles, the Classic Wallabies, Hunter & Boo East Africans, Tiger Rugby, Irish Vikings and the Shanghai RFC Silver Dragons.
Biarritz Gavekal suffered had a shaky start to their title defence with a surprise 14-12 loss to Projectx Waterboys on day one. However the top seed recovered and battled through an intense cup semi-final against Tradition YCAC, winning 12-5 and setting up a finals showdown with 3 times finalists, but never winners, Samurai International RFC.
The champions went 7-0 down to Samurai before levelling with a try by Penikolo Latu and a conversion from out-wide by Nick Smith. Their second try soon followed courtesy of Glenn Preston before a try from Hong Kong-based Karetai Williams (conversion by Jason Robertson) settled the contest 19-7.