A LACK of concentration was the downfall for the Samurai International side as they bowed out of the Hong Kong 10s rugby tournament Cup final on Thursday night.
The Pio Tuwai-captained side lost 14-21 to HSBC Penguins in an even duel at the Hong Kong Football Club grounds at Happy Valley.
It was a night to remember for the Sailosi Naiteqe-coached side which is laced with all Fijian players like Marika Vunibaka, Pio Tuwai, Iliesa Keresoni, Josua Tuisova, Saula Rabaka and Kelemedi Bola.
Penguins had players like Willie Ripia, Wull Helu, Nemia Soqeta, former England sevens reps James Lightfoot-Brown and Chris Brightwell.
Both teams were locked 14-all at the break.
Samurai had several scoring opportunities in the final five minutes of the game. However, they gave away possession in the final minute which bit them in the end.
Australian winger Richard Hooper outpaced the Samurai defence to touch down a last-minute grubber kick by Lightfoot-Brown, who had sprinted over 50 metres along the right touchline after making a break from a scrum near his own 22.
Samurai coach Naiteqe was gracious in defeat.
"I salute the boys for their fine effort. This is the first time Samurai is made up of all Fijian players and I think to reach the final is a milestone for us," he said.
"We did not stick to the game plan in the final two minutes which really cost us the game. We gave away possession and it turned out sour against us. If only we maintained possession and in the final minute I believe it could have been another story."
Samurai's tries were scored by Paula Tiko and Kelemedi Bola who made an impressive line-break from the scrum to score under the post.
Rabaka was successful with both conversion attempts.
Samurai beat the Scottish Barbarians 10-0 in the quarter-final and edged Tradition YCAC 19-12 in the semi-finals.
The top-seeded BGC APB All Stars — earlier knocked out by Penguins in the Cup quarter-finals — won the Plate after crushing fifth seeds Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians, whose side featured six Scotland Sevens internationals.
Lloyd McDermott Warriors of Australia won the Bowl, while an Irish Vikings side featuring England Sevens duo Dan Bibby and Ollie Marchon won the Shield.