APB win Shield at Hong Kong Tens
Tana Umaga and fellow coaches Filo Tiatia and Chester Williams took their defending champion APB team back to Hong Kong to defend their title; however the star studded team ended up winning the Shield after losing to old rivals the HSBC Penguins in the quarter finals of the GFI HKFC Tens.
The event held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the famous Hong Kong Sevens is in its 28th year and attracts rugby stars from all over the globe.
The APB team sponsored by BCG was a combination of Samoans, Tongans, Fijians, Kiwis and other internationals. The team included former All Blacks Marty Holah, Anthony Tuitavaki, Orene Orene Ai’i, Tonga flanker Hale T-Pole, former Japan captain Takuro Miuchi, USA captain Todd Clever, former Samoa skipper and Wesley College student Seilala Mapusua and Oxford captain John Carter.
The highly entertaining event re unites former rugby friends however there is a highly competitive focus to the competition. The APB team had no physiotherapist with the side so the players had to strapped themselves. (shown in photo)
Reflecting on his team’s performance, Tana Umaga said “We made too many errors and the HSBC Penguins defended well, were committed at the breakdown and were very aggressive at the ruck which put us under pressure.”
Umaga is keen to return to re-capture the title his team held in 2012. Also at the tournament were players from Tana Umaga’s Counties Manukau Steelers: Kane Hancy, Mark Selwyn, Josh Van Lie shout, and Sean Reidy.
While Hong Kong, Umaga caught up with Wales and British Lions legend Scott Gibbs and Australia great Mark Ella.