The HSBC Penguins returned to Hong Kong for another crack at wining the Hong Kong Football Club 10s on the 5th attempt. A similar week to previous trips was arranged with a mixture of trainings, playing in the HKFC 10s, coaching local school children, attending the fabled HSBC function at HQ, supporting the Ladies Long Lunch and of course wandering up to the national stadium to watch the IRB Hong Kong 7s.
The team trained well with the usual rustiness on day one given the travel and the fact this was the first time this team had ever trained together. Coaches McKittrick and Hadden set out the tactics for the tournament including the defensive strategies. The team worked well in adapting and refining these.
As per usual, the HKFC 10s attracted some great teams with no easy games once the quarter finals started. The teams semi final pitted stars of yesterday against possible stars of tomorrow. The HSBC Penguins came out of the blocks too slowly and allowed the Asia Pacific Barbarians (captained by Justin Marshall) to get a lead which we could not pull back. Credit to the team for giving it 100% in the semi-final and nearly making it.
On the Monday evening, Mark McCombe and his HSBC colleagues hosted a cocktail function for the Penguin party which included the HSBC Penguins, the King Penguins, Penguin officials and supporters. A very pleasant evening was had by all.
The team showed great character by coaching 80 youngsters from Sandy bay RFC. Many of the squad had not coached before and equipped themselves well in planning and executing sessions for youngsters aged from 8 to 12.
To wrap the week up the team visited the world famous Hong Kong 7s and absorbed the atmosphere of one of the great sporting events.
HSBC Penguins 83 v 0 Playmore Devils Advocate
HSBC Penguins 21 v 7 Hong Kong Chairman’s X
HSBC Penguins 17 v 7 Wild Titans (GER)
HSBC Penguins 10 v 17 Asia Pacific Barbarians
Ash Moeke – 34 (1T, 13C, 1P)
Andrew Williams, Paul Ngauamo – 20 (4T)
Nasoni Roko – 15 (3T)
Frae Wilson – 10 (2T)
Adam McGrevey – 7 (1T, 1C)
Joel McKenty, Paula Kinikinilau, Andrew Higgins, Sam Cottam, Jordan Smiler – 5 (1T)
Points for 131, points against 31
Back Row: John McKittrick (Coach - former Cook Is, USA and Nth Harbour 7s coach), Roelof Smit (Waterkloof, Blue Bulls Academy, Borland Craven week team), Sam Hayes-Stevenson (Takapuna, Canterbury B, Crusaders Dev), Adam McGrevy (Rangataua, Bay of Plenty 7s), Paula Kinikinilau (Alhambra-Union, Otago), Takerei Norton (Linwood, Canterbury), Paula Ngauamo (Burnside, Canterbury, Crusaders Dev, NZU20), Matthew Graham (East Coast Bays, Nth Harbour Dev, NZ U20), Andrew Higgins (Exeter, Bath, England 7s & A), Jack McPhee (Glenfield, Nth Harbour XVs & 7s, NZ 7s), Sam Cottam (Christchurch, Canterbury U21 & B, Crusaders Dev)
Front Row: Craig Brown (Manager), Joel McKenty (Kamo, Northland, Waikato, Chiefs Development, NZ U16), Frae Wilson (Wainuiomata, Wellington 7s & XVs, NZ U20), Nasoni Roko (Waimanu, Natisori, Fiji 7s & XVs), Jordan Simler (Hautapu, Waikato 7s & XVs - Captain), Ash Moeke (Mid Western, Northland, Auckland), Andrew Williams (Marist St Josephs, Savaii Samoa, Samoa), Frank Hadden (Coach - former Edinburgh and Scotland coach)
In transit: Hang Kek Kang (Assistant Manager) and Callum Wootten (Liaison Officer)