Pattaya Rugby Report - Chris Kays Pattaya International 10’s 2006
Horseshoe Point


    
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The annual migration of the rugby loving fraternity to Pattaya’s own green fields is now behind us. Cracking good fun it was too. They came from the UK, from the middle east, from Taiwan and Hong Kong, from Singapore and Malaysia, from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, even from Naklua and Jomtien. The nationalities were as diverse as the range of talent on offer, and the game of rugby on the Eastern Seaboard is once again the richer for their visit.

From Thursday evening 5th May, sixteen teams from around the globe assembled for the seventh staging of the Pattaya International 10’s. The tournament was enhanced by the presence of Harry Roberts, ex Springbok hooker who kindly agreed to come to Thailand to pass some coaching expertise on to local sides. He was also convinced to star for the home team in the competition.

Friday night saw official registration at Jameson’s the Irish Pub, a key tournament sponsor, and offered the first chance for the teams to eye eachother up. It was clear that that the Tsin Chu Whistlers from Taiwan would be offering the keenest intellectual challenge! The seeds of tactics were sown – and liberally watered.

Dawn rose on Saturday morning over the picturesque grounds of the HorseShoe Point Resort, tournament home once again, with little hint of the mayhem to follow. The grounds were wonderful with shade provided by CR Asia and AGS Four Winds. The opening game saw the local Pattaya Panthers pitted against the Kaysie Crusaders, a side from Abby RFC in the UK, formed to honour past Pattaya Captain Chris Kays in whose honour the tournament is held. The Panthers looked the part in new kit from Mickey Price’s MJ X-Sport but despite Friday night, the Crusaders under captain Mattew Kimpton triumphed and the Panthers sights were lowered. The pool games advanced with the rugby fast and hard, refereed brilliantly by Dave Viccars and his team of International talent including Frykke Van Wykke, Sid Schilling, Matthew Oakley, Alistair Cummings, Dave Williams and super refs from the Thai RFU. As the knocks took their toll the squads were patched up by K.Reine and her very Professional team from the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.

The organiser’s tent was a haven of efficiency. Malcolm Clare and Blowfly’s calm belied the pace of events proceeding to schedule. Any minor squeaks were immediately lubricated by Graham McDonald, MD of MBMG and Hamptons, key tournament sponsors. Russel Jay and MAD located next door added tremendously to the atmosphere and helped communication with the ever present K.Wanchai of Jamesons on the scoreboard. On the field there were some notable contests. Ratcha Navy vs. the Hsin Chu Whistlers, Bangkok Japanese vs. Dr, Jon Maxwell’s Uni RFC Hong, Kong, Southerners vs. Chiang Mai Suas, and the British Club vs. the Singapore Cricket Club proving the picks of the pool games. After a break for the inclement weather the fist days play concluded with Hsin Chu Whistlers, Ratcha Navy, Southerners, Chiang Mai Suas, Uni RFC HK, BKK Japanese, Tanner De Wit Nomads and the British Club qualifying for the cup competition. Abbey, Tequila Mocking Birds, Kasetsart Uni, and SCC made up the plate, and our own Panthers, Doha Dogs, Young Blood and Lard Krabang Uni made the bowl competition. The Ratcha Navy were playing some fantastic rugby and would be difficult to stop.

Following play the annual Quaich began, seeing all teams enjoying Pattaya's nightlife. Starting off around the pool at Horseshoe Point, then moving on towards Jameson's where everybody was treated to Abbey Rugby Club dressed up as Officers and Gentlemen, The Telawi Girls gave a startling dance display from the Cowboy days, whilst The Panthers came as their own pink Cheer Leaders. The Quaich then moved onto Tim's Bar, Tequila Reef and finally Kilkenny on Walking Street.

The following day with more to feel a little delicate over than the heat, battle was recommenced. In the Ladies Cup The Wontoks over came the Lion Reds in the Final. Special thanks to Karen Brent for her organisation.

The Cup quarter finals saw some good rugby with the Navy, Chiang Mai, Southerners and Hsin Chu progressing. In a great game the Hsin Chu Whistlers led by Ben Hall overcame the Southerners in the first semi and the Navy proved too strong for a brave Chinag Mai side to make up the other final spot. The spirited Hsin Chu side could not match the Navy’s ruthlessness in the final and the Ratch Navy were well deserved champions of the Pattaya International 10’s 2006.

In the plate Abbey found their legs and went through to play the SCC in the final, running out eventual winners with some good scores from big men out wide not least Pottsie on the wing!?. The Panthers had a win at last on Sunday morning against the popular Doha Dogs, but were overcome in the bowl final by a talented young Lard Krabang Uni Side.

The events were captured for evermore by Donald Ang and his ESPN/STAR team who seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we enjoyed their company, and have promised to return in greater numbers next year. Brunhilde Shultz captured the event in stills and her shots will soon be available at www.pattayapanthers.com.

The Prize Giving was held around the attractive Horseshoe Point, Pool Side, hosted by Panthers club Chairman Jimmy Howard, where the prestigious Chris Kays Memorial Trophy was presented to the person that everybody feels has contributed most to the tournament both on and off the field. This was awarded to Ultan Peters of the Southerners for outstanding work both at rugby and drinking. The award was made by Ray Kays, Chris’ father. The player of the tournament award went to Siam Pong (Yam) the Number Ten for Ladkrabang University. Much merrymaking followed and then back to Jamesons, the Irish Pub where Kim Fletcher laid on a proper welcome for all the walking wounded.

A huge thanks to all involved from Jim Howard, Mark Coombs and Eoin Quirke, tournament organisers. Please support our sponsors: MBMG Hamptons, Jamesons, AGS Four Winds, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, CR Aisa, Raimon Land, Chubb, Envirotech International, Bluescope Lysaght, K Tech, MJ X Port, Tenderloins, Manpower, Swissair, Pattaya Mail.

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