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Enthralling First Day @ Hong Kong Tens

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Top seeds Samurai, the always dangerous HSBC Penguins and the all-star BGC Asia Pacific Barbarians headline a strong GFI HKFC Tens Cup quarter-final line up following an enthralling first day at Hong Kong Football Club.

Samurai, who lost last years final 10-0 to the Aliens, posted wins over Newedge Dragons and Pakuranga Pythons to top Pool A to set up a last eight meeting with local side Tradition Valley. The recently crowned 2010/11 HKRFU G4S Domestic League Grand Champions lead Hong Kongs hopes after overpowering Devils Advocate Wanchai Warriors 83-0 and the Irish Vikings 24-7.

Despite a below-par 21-7 win over the HKRFU Chairmans X in the final game in Pool H, the Frank Hadden coached HSBC Penguins will face the Wild Titans, who provided the biggest upset of the first day with a 8-7 win over seventh seeded French raiders KIR Club Pyrenees to top Pool G after also beating Hong Kong Football Club representatives, Newedge Club.

The most important thing is to get through to the quarter-finals and we have achieved that. We werent entirely happy with the way that we performed in the last game, but it has been a long day and to be last on is a bit of a challenge mentally, said former Scotland coach Hadden of his two-time runners-up. We are looking forward to the second day; it looks like it will be a fantastic day. All the quarter-finals in the Cup are going to be really tight affairs; there are some top quality rugby players on show. We are here to win this tournament, we have had too many semi-finals and finals in the past. We need to win the silverware and we are determined to win the silverware. We know we have to improve on the first days performance, but we also know we are capable of that.

The BGC Asia Pacific Barbarians survived a nervy final game in Pool F to see off the spirited challenge of the Glen Ella coached Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team 17-7 to set up a quarter-final with New Zealand Legends.

The Barbarians will need to keep a careful eye on Willie McGoon, who topped the scoring charts with five tries in two games as the New Zealand Legends beat China Agricultural University 63-0 and Scatterlings 48-0 for the only unblemished record of the first day.

It was a good day, but the last game was a reality check, said World Cup winner Gregan, the worlds most capped player with 139 appearances for Australia. But it will set us up for the second day very well.

Niue Wanderers made an impressive tournament debut with power and pace the key to a 19-5 win over the Champion Systems Overseas Old Boys and a hard-fought 21-14 victory over the Australian Country Invitational to top Pool C. They complete the quarter-final line-up against Malaysias Borneo Eagles, who won the Plate last year.

Ellas Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team are now strong contenders for the Plate alongside the HKRFU Chairmans X, the Hill & Associates Hong Kong Barbarians and Pakuranga Pythons as well as ousted seventh seeds KIR Club Pyrenees.

We pushed the Barbarians right to the last minute of the game and I am very proud of my boys. They looked like they were out of it a couple of times, but they backed each other up and played well, said Ella, who won four caps for Australia between 1982-1985. I knew they had that in them. They might not have the same reputation as some of the Barbarians, but they have got a lot of heart and they showed it. But it is one thing getting up for those type of games, but in these types of tournaments you need to be up for every game so hopefully they will have plenty still in the tank.

The GFI HKFC Tens is taking place at the Hong Kong Football Club (public, non-member entrance is through the Hong Kong Jockey Club Museum Entrance to Happy Valley). Entry was free on Wednesday and costs just HK$100 today.

See also: 2011 Hong Kong Sevens Ready for Kick-Off

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