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BGC APBs Beat Saracens 22-20 in Chartis Cup 2012 in Hong Kong

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[HD video below and High Res Pics HERE] A last-gasp penalty from replacement centre Elvis Seveali'i gave the BGC APBs a hard-fought 22-20 win over English club Saracens in the Chartis Cup in Hong Kong on Saturday night (9 June).

The Samoan international kept his cool and slotted the simple kick from almost in front of the posts after Saracens were penalised by Japanese referee Taku Otsuki for being offside as they defended their line.

BGC APBs coach Pat Lam was delighted with his invitational teams effort in the star-studded charity match, which was played in humid conditions in front of a crowd of around 10,000 at Hong Kong Stadium.

Weve got guys who have flown in from all over the world and they are at different stages of their season or off-season, he said. So for them to come together and put in a performance like that, after just a couple of training sessions, against a very good Saracens team, was awesome. It just shows what you can achieve when you have quality players all over the field.

Lam said there had been no debate about kicking the penalty rather than keeping the ball in play and going for a try. The game was over, so you might as well go for goal and take the win, he said. We could have kicked a penalty five minutes before the end but, in the spirit of the game, we went for the try. But with no time left, you have to go for goal.

Saracens captain John Smit was unhappy with the referees decision but accepted the result. That is what happens when the game goes to the wire, said the 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks captain. But overall its been a fantastic experience coming to Hong Kong.

Former All Black winger Rico Gear was the BGC APBs most potent weapon, running in two tries and setting up his teams first score for 100-cap Wales hero Martyn Williams.

The heat made it tough out there, said Gear. There were some tired bodies and a few mistakes, but we showed a lot of pride. Weve got some top international players in our team and you always want to put in a good performance.

Saracens took an early 7-0 lead when hooker Jamie George touched down from a rolling maul, flyhalf Nils Mordt adding the conversion, but the BGC APBs turned it around with scores from Williams and Gear, both converted by flyhalf Orene Aii.

A superb breakaway try from Saracens Hong Kong-born winger Nathan Earle, converted by Mordt, brought the 2011 Premiership champions level and a penalty from Mordt ensured they reached half-time 17-14 ahead.

Gears second try, early in the second half, gave the BGC APBs a two-point lead and it stayed that way until six minutes from time when another Mordt penalty put Saracens 20-19 ahead. It looked like the English team would claim victory in their first ever match in Asia but a final push from the BGC APBs resulted in the penalty award and the winning kick from Sevealii.

Apart from Gear, the BGC APBs line-up contained three other All Blacks in Mils Muliaina 100 caps and a World Cup winner last year Jerry Collins and Troy Flavell. Other big names included England No.8 Nick Easter, Samoa centre Seilala Mapusua and former Japan captain Takuro Miuchi.

The Saracens team included two England internationals, scrumhalf Richard Wigglesworth and lock Hugh Vyvyan, the latter playing his final game after a 16-year career.

Ive played more than 350 professional games, Im coming up to 36 and the body cant take it any more, said Vyvyan. But to play here, in one of the iconic stadiums of world rugby, is fantastic and I can say to my kids when were watching the Hong Kong Sevens in years to come, that Ive played here.

Part of the proceeds from the Chartis Cup will go towards the Royal Project office in Thailand, under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to renovate schools hit by flooding last year.

The Chartis Cup 2013 will take place in Tokyo before returning to Hong Kong in 2014.

See also: 74 High Resolution Pictures from the action at the Chartis Cup 2012.

Chartis Cup 2012 - Interview with Chartis Asia Pacific Chairman, Mr Les Mouat

See more: Videos

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