Captain Colin Bisley was delighted after the Hill and Associates Hong Kong Barbarians pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the 20-year history of the GFI Hong Kong Tens last night.
The Barbarians outclassed the PricewaterhouseCoopers International Panthers - whose squad included three World Cup-winning Wallabies - in the final game of the day at Hong Kong Football Club.
'You raise your game when you're playing guys of that calibre,' said Bisley after the 27-0 win. 'You don't want to let anyone down so you just get out there and try your hardest. It capped a great day for us. We had three matches and didn't concede a point, so all credit to our defence.'
The Barbarians - comprising senior players and overseas professionals from several Hong Kong First Division clubs - stormed to victory with tries from Justin Temara, Nick Hewson, Olly Sosene and Mark Goosen, with Manu Laiataua adding a last-gasp penalty.
The Panthers squad contained three players from Australia's victorious 1999 World Cup team - Joe Roff, Toutai Kefu and Matt Cockbain - plus several other Japan-based professionals and Sydney first graders.
The Barbarians' victory, added to earlier wins over the Black Watch and Laxton PLA, saw them finish top of pool D.
Next up today will be a Cup quarter-final against pool C runners-up WDA Cardiff University.
Barbarians coach Semi Iafeta added: 'I thought the boys played extremely well. We definitely have a lot of respect for Cardiff, but hopefully we can stick to our winning ways and give the fans some more entertainment.'
Aliens, the two-time defending champions from New Zealand, finished top of pool A after three straight wins. After opening with victories over Japanese team Acorns (57-0) and Hong Kong's Alvarez and Marsal DeA Tigers (29-0), the top-seeded Aliens were pushed hard by the Irish Vikings in a bruising encounter before running out 26-5 winners.
'The Vikings were very physical and certainly tested our mettle,' said Aliens coach Willie Los'e. 'That game was just what we needed - it was perfect preparation for the Cup quarter-finals.
'Overall, considering we have a mostly new squad with a bunch of guys who didn't know each other before this trip, I'm really proud of the way they've come together and played.'
Second seeds New Zealand Metro were hugely impressive yesterday with three big victories that left them top of pool B. Metro beat the Standard Chartered Bank Asian Cavaliers 54-0, followed up with a 78-0 thrashing of China Agricultural University and rounded off a high-scoring day with a resounding 66-0 success against Japanese side Sumitomo Tamariva.
'We were very pleased with our performance,' said Metro manager Barry Gallagher. 'We've got a few young guys and they showed a lot of talent, played some good rugby and racked up a lot of points.'
HSBC New Zealand Legends, seeded third, topped pool C after winning a hard-fought final game against Cardiff University, 24-5. The Legends now face a mouth-watering Cup quarter-final against the wounded Panthers.
Sixteen teams are taking part in the Tens. The two-day tournament ends today with knockout matches in four competitions - the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield.
Admission to the Tens is $200 and passes can be purchased at the public entrance, which is located to the side of the Hong Kong Jockey Club headquarters next door to Football Club in Sports Road, Happy Valley. Action begins at 10.40am with the Bowl quarter-finals.
Pool A: Aliens 57 Acorns 0, Irish Vikings 36, DeA Tigers 5, Aliens 29 DeA Tigers 0, Irish Vikings 7 Acorns 5, Acorns 29 DeA Tigers 5, Aliens 26 Irish Vikings 5.
Pool B: NZ Metro 54 Asian Cavaliers 0, Tamariva 17 CAU 5, NZ Metro 78 CAU 0, Tamariva 12 Asian Cavaliers 7, Asian Cavaliers 7 CAU 26, NZ Metro 66 Tamariva 0.
Pool C: NZ Legends 44 CBRE Club 0, Cardiff University 22 Overseas Old Boys 0, NZ Legends 54 Overseas Old Boys 0, Cardiff University 48 CBRE Club 0, CBRE Club 7 Overseas Old Boys 15, NZ Legends 24 Cardiff University 5.
Pool D: International Panthers 47 Laxton PLA 0, HK Barbarians 45 Black Watch 0, International Panthers 59 Black Watch 0, HK Barbarians 31 Laxton PLA 0, Laxton PLA 26 Black Watch 5, International Panthers 0 HK Barbarians 27.
Pool A: 1, Aliens; 2, Irish Vikings; 3, Acorns; 4, DeA Tigers.
Pool B: 1, NZ Metro; 2, Tamariva; 3, CAU; 4, Asian Cavaliers.
Pool C: 1, NZ Legends; 2, Cardiff University; 3, Overseas Old Boys; 4, CBRE Club.
Pool D: 1, HK Barbarians; 2, International Panthers; 3, Laxton PLA; 4, Black Watch.