Metro sound early warning with sweep of group rivals
Defending champions Fortis New Zealand Metro put on an awesome display of try-scoring power as they stormed into the Cup quarter-finals of the GFI HKFC Tens yesterday.
The top seeds comfortably won all three of their pool matches on the opening day at Football Club.
Metro, who are going for their third title in a row, overwhelmed China Agricultural University 101-0, Hill & Associates Hong Kong Barbarians 39-0 and Yorkshire Windows International Panthers 68-0 to top pool A.
"It was difficult to judge anything from the first game but it was a lot more physical against the Barbarians and that gave us a bit more structure to play to," said Metro manager Barry Gallagher.
"The goal for our third game was to finish on a good note and we were happy to keep our line intact.
"We just have to take every game as it comes because there are plenty of good teams here."
The Hong Kong Barbarians, with Samoan World Cup legend Brian Lima in their ranks, still qualified for the Cup quarter-finals with wins over the Panthers (12-7) and China Agricultural University (28-0).
The second-seeded Penguins - the elite UK-based touring team - were also hugely impressive, notching three wins to head the pool B standings. Penguins beat Multiplex Marauders from Dubai 83-0, Kukri Cardiff University 47-7 and Borneo Eagles 36-0.
"We've picked up an injury in each of our three games - one is definitely out and the other two are probably out, so it's been a hard day for injuries, but that's part of rugby," said Penguins director of rugby Craig Brown.
"We always felt the last game against the Eagles was going to be our toughest and that's how it turned out.
"A lot of our tries came from our defence because we were pinning them down, making them work hard and capitalising on mistakes."
Aliens, the third seeds from New Zealand, took time to find their form but still registered three wins to top pool C. But fourth seeds Davetalevu from Fiji - Cup semi-finalists a year ago - failed to reach the Cup rounds this time after losing twice in pool D. HSBC New Zealand Legends won the pool with a 100 per cent record.