Rugby sevens event draws record crowd

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 December, 2006, 12:00am

Sixteen teams and a record crowd of around 4,000 turned out for the Savills Professions Sevens rugby tournament yesterday as rival teams from the corporate world challenged each other in the name of charity.

The event, now in its 24th year, raised more than HK$500,000 yesterday and beneficiaries will include the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, the China Coast Community, the Fu Hong Society, Enlighten Hong Kong, Riding for the Disabled and the DSD Foundation.

Reigning champions Morgan Stanley beat Goldman Sachs 24-17 in an evenly matched final, but the winners were pushed hard. Earlier, Goldman Sachs defeated Macquarie Securities 22-5 in one semi-final, and Morgan Stanley beat Citigroup 26-0 in the other.

The Player of the Tournament award went to Ed Sisterson who played for Morgan Stanley. Try of the Tournament went to Hong Kong representative Colin Bisley, who usually plays for the Hong Kong Cricket Club and yesterday turned out for Citigroup. It was the first time Citigroup had participated in the Professions Sevens.

Pippa Laxton, of Laxton Marketing which runs the event, said: 'Colin Bisley is an awesome player who showed that not only is he a great player at 15s, as evidenced by his recent play for Hong Kong at the World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Korea. Today he showed his skill with an excellent try for Citigroup in the quarter-final.'

Commentator Carlos Sabugueiro, regional director for Zurich International Life, said: 'Having commentated for the past six years, this year exceeded all expectations, with record attendance, and hopefully the fund-raising will also exceed the record with over HK$500,000 raised.'

Companies that took part in the tournament covered the property, finance, legal, accounting and insurance industries and included hosts Savills, Citigroup, CLSA, HSBC, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Jardine Matheson, Swire Pacific, Zurich International Life, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Johnson Stokes & Master, Credit Suisse, GFI Securities and Macquarie Securities.

The sevens tournament was established by the former chairman of Savills, David S. Davies, and is run in an alliance with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.