Rugby Report - Raimon Land Chris Kays Pattaya International
eighth running of the Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament
took place on the 5th & 6th May 2007 at the magnificent
setting of The Horseshoe Point Resort, which despite the weeklong
rain was in near perfect condition. With the sponsorship of
Raimon Land the Tournament reception was held in fine style
at the Northpoint Development and this set the tone for the
year’s tournament saw a feast of great play from all
the teams who took part.
The Ladies touch tournament was very hotly contested both
on and off the field. Tournament newcomers the Nomads Bullettes
from the Philippines were particularly impressive and in their
first overseas tour they finished as runners up to the very
experienced Southerners Ladies from Thailand.
The girls from the IPS Stars, who are all studying at Physical
Training College, also impressed with their fitness and energy
and were fine performers despite finishing empty handed. A
mention should be made of the hometown ladies The Pattaya
Panties whose numbers have been decimated by transfers and
maternity calls, they played gallantly with many first timers
in their ranks and improved with every game. If they can keep
this spirit alive then next year they could be vying for honours.
This years Men’s tournament had less international representation
than in past years. This is in part due to the rising popularity
of the 10’s form of the game - the Jakarta 10’s
being staged on the same weekend. The quality of the rugby
however was not affected with last year’s winners the
Ratcha Navy returning to defend their crown and there were
some very special displays during the weekend.
All likely protagonists assembled at Horseshoe Point at 9:30am
on the Saturday morning and the organizers tent was besieged
by team captains anxious to know when their turn would be
to take to the green sward. Unflappable as ever, tournament
organizer Graham Macdonald with his dour assistant Wayne “
Blowfly “ Oganoski sorted out the schedule and some
teams were chivvied along and others were told to be patient.
Eventually everybody was calmed down and play commenced under
the control of David Viccars and his merry band of referees
including Peter Tann and Dougie Shearer from Hong Kong, Bruce
Birchall from U. K., Chris Donovan and Dave Williams and of
course our contingent of referees from the Thailand Rugby
Union, Khun Thamanoon, Khun Amorn and Khun Chaiyan. Testament
to their performance is that none of them were drowned in
the pool on Sunday night!
There were fourteen teams and Saturday’s games were
played in a round-robin format to determine the ranking for
the various competitions. Apart from the one minor downpour
conditions were perfect, and hard and fast running rugby was
the order of the day.
The opening game saw, as is now tradition, the home team Pattaya’s
own Panthers hosting last year’s winners. Jim Howard,
the Panther’s chairman, kicked off the opener to start
the 2007 tournament, and made way for captain Eoin Quirke
to lead the Panthers onwards.
There were strong performances from the Southerners Gold,
the British Club and the Ratcha Navy with Nang Len and the
Tanner de Wit Nomads from Hong Kong threatening to gatecrash
the cup party. The Bangkok Japanese and the Vientiane Buffaloes
looked likely contenders for the plate along with the hosts
the Pattaya Panthers.
After a hard day’s play, cooling off in the pool was
obligatory and then it was off on the Quaic with all of the
teams determined to outdo the others with their outfits, performances
and drinking and generally to take a good look at the offerings
of Pattaya’s famed nightlife.
The center of the Quaic activities was Kilkenny Irish Pub
on Walking Street and some 250 rugby players crowded onto
the back patio ensured the day’s camaraderie continued
late into the evening with old acquaintances renewed and many
new ones formed. Fine performances were seen, but nobody could
match the Nomads Bullettes. These ladies clad in their ‘Babydolls’
were well choreographed and expertly led by Claire Barberis
and Marl Bland. They were a delight to behold and will surely
be back next year to defend their partying title.
As the order of play was in some doubt, everybody was at the
Point early on Sunday - some looking very much the worse for
wear. Partying had definitely taken it’s toll in general
but on the home side in particular who were very short on
resources (and these guys are supposed to know what it is
Tired limbs were anointed and strapped and the final stages
of qualification finally got under way and many first time
losers were surprised to find that they then had to play more
games than if they had won. Again there were some superb performances
and some very close encounters with not a few surprises.
In the Ladies tournament the Southerners rolled over everybody,
much as expected, and finally defeated the Nomads Bullettes
A in a closely fought final. Special mention should be given
to The IPS Stars and the Panties who both played their hearts
out. We were also treated to a demonstration of Ladies contact
rugby played between the Thailand National squad and a Bucks
/ Blacks combination from Singapore and there certainly was
plenty of contact!! The ladies player of the tournament was
Ludy Lacrosse from the Southerners.
Over on the main pitch the men ground their way through a
very heavy schedule that finally weeded the weak from the
strong. The Cup quarterfinals saw some very good and hard
games and eventually Ratcha Navy, Bangkok Bangers Colts, Kasetsart
University and Southerners Gold progressed to the semi finals,
which arguably produced the finest rugby of all with Southerners
Gold sending the Navy to sea and the Old Bangers sending Kasetsart
U back to the classroom. This gave us a cracking final in
which youth and superior fitness eventually triumphed over
age and experience. The people’s favourites Southerners
Gold, well mothered by Neily Weily emerging as Cup Champions.
In the Plate it was obvious that new team Nang Len and ex
Champions British Club would set the pace, however Tanner
de Witt Nomads had other ideas and despite having to delay
their departure to play in the final, they dispensed with
the British Club and then narrowly failed to capture the ultimate
prize when they lost to Nang Len in a very tense and tight
The marathon of the tournament was to battle all the way to
the Bowl Final and the semi finals of the Bowl saw the eclipse
of the hosts and the Bangkok Japanese, leaving Southerners
Black and the Vientiane Buffaloes to battle for the long distance
prize and it was very fitting that the Buffaloes should emerge
as the Bowl Champions.
After the final whistle had blown the presentations were made
to all trophy winners by Jim Howard the Chairman of Pattaya
Panthers RFC assisted by Henri Young the Marketing Director
of Raimon Land.
The best Player of the Tournament was presented to Chris “
Wagga “ Doherty from the Southerners Gold and the Chris
Kays Award for the person contributing most to the tournament
on and off the field was awarded to Marl Bland from the Nomads
The organizers, Jim Howard, Eoin Quirke and Mark Coombs would
like to extend a sincere vote of thanks all the players, supporters
and sponsors - Raimon Land, MBMG International, AGS Four Winds,
Hamptons International, G4Ssecuricor, Mackenzie Smith Law,
Millfield School, K - Tech, Cranes & Equipment Asia Ltd.,
Contract Resources and of course Horseshoe Point for supplying
the venue and the Pattaya Mail for printing the tournament
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