The rust was plain to see, but CBRE Hong Kong Football Club had enough savvy to polish off disappointing opponents Tradition Valley in the First Division knockout cup yesterday, winning 21-3. Tries from No 8 Rupert Clarke and winger Adam Raby plus the boot of centre Jamie Hood, who knocked over a conversion and three penalties, gave Football Club the perfect start as they bid to defend their League and Grand Championship titles, plus add this extra 'knockout cup' to their booty. 'We will take this win. It will set the tone for the rest of the season, and it will be a long one,' said Football Club coach Quinton Wrigley. 'Considering that we lost all our games at the Valley 15s, it is nice to start the season proper with a win.' Valley will be happy that their first outing does not have any bearing on the League. Left with a three-week period after changing the League from three rounds to two this season, the union decided to play this new knockout cup so all six teams could fine-tune their games before the league starts on November 8. Valley can certainly do with some tweaking to their game as yesterday's error-ridden performance proved, with butter-fingered handling costing them a few scoring opportunities. 'I hope this is a case of early season rust for us,' said Valley coach Brian Higgins. 'But thankfully these first three weeks will allow us the chance to identify our problem areas. We are not down in the dumps.' The game was niggly as both teams tried to make an early statement, forcing the referee to reach for his yellow card on three occasions - twice to Football Club and once for Valley. Having traded penalties, Club's impressive forwards broke the impasse midway through the first half when from a lineout close in, they rumbled over, resulting in Clarke scoring the first try. Hood converted to make it 10-3. With Valley skipper Justin Temara having an off-day with the boot, missing three first-half penalties, Club held on to the lead at the break. They extended it to 15-3 when Raby dashed 55 metres to score after the ball had been turned over when Temara dropped a pass. Two more penalties from Hood sealed victory for Club who will now move into the semi-finals next week, along with the winners of the other two games and the best loser. At So Kon Po, DeA Tigers defeated Manulife Causeway Bay Rams 31-5, while Synovate HKCC beat InProjects Kowloon 35-10.