Land Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament 2008
weekend of 3rd and 4th May saw 16 rugby teams from all over
Thailand and other parts of the world descend on Pattaya for
the ninth running of the Chris Kays Memorial 10’s Rugby
Tournament. The setting was again at The Horseshoe Point Resort,
which was in perfect condition. Raimon Land were once again
the principal sponsors of the Tournament and everything kicked
off in great style at the Northpoint Development with one
of Raimon Land’s now world renowned parties, held in
conjunction with the sailors here for the Top of The Gulf
Regatta. Despite the fact that due to local elections there
was a forecast of a “ dry “ weekend the tone was
set for the whole weekend and there wasn’t a dry throat
in the place!! Our hosts at Horseshoe Point had done a great
job and the organizers had oiled all the necessary wheels
so the tournaments progressed smoothly from start to finish.
the first time ever a junior section was introduced and an
Under 18 tournament was very hotly contested with teams from
Bangkok and the Provinces battling the local boys from Regents
School ( a detailed report on this tournament appears elsewhere
in this paper ). This years main tournament was to be contested
by 16 teams with a very strong local and academic bias as
there were no less than five university teams in the field
some tournament newcomers and many old friends. The Thai Barbarians,
who were the champions in 2006 returned after a one year hiatus
and there was strong representation from the expatriate teams
in Bangkok The Southerners were as usual favourites from this
group but the Old Bangkok Bangers had found some young Bangers
and they had impressed with their fitness and energy. The
British Club, perennial crowd favourites the Bangkok Japanese
and the Phuket Vagabonds rounded out the domestic challenge.
We also welcomed back the boys from Bognor RFC in the guise
of “ Werthers Originals “ led by the mighty Steve
Worthington, who celebrated his 40th birthday during the tournament.
Another new / old side were the Red Dot Rebels from Singapore
they certainly won all the awards for their original and highly
coloured hairstyles and were fine performers on the field.
We also had a pick up side formed mainly by ex Australian
Navy personnel combined with Panthers “ The Buccaneers
quality of the rugby was of the highest level throughout and
there were some very special displays during the weekend.
All likely protagonists assembled at Horseshoe Point at 09:30
am on the Saturday morning and the organizers tent was besieged
by team captains anxious to know when would be their turn
to take to the lush turf of Horseshoe Point. Unflappable as
ever tournament organizer Graham Macdonald with his dour assistant
Wayne “ Blowfly “ Oganoski soon had everything
sorted out play commenced under the control of David Viccars
and his merry band of referees including Peter Tann and Dave
Smith from Hong Kong, Bruce Birchall from U. K., Frikkie Van
Wyk from South Africa and of course our contingent of referees
from the Thailand Rugby Union Khun Bancha and Khun Chaiyan.
I guess that they did a good job as none of them were drowned
in the pool on Sunday night.
sixteen teams were divided into 4 groups and Saturday’s
games were played in a round robin format to determine the
ranking for the various tournaments. Conditions were perfect
and hard and fast running rugby was the order of the day.
There were strong performances from the Southerners Gold,
the British Club and the Thai Barbarians with Werthers Originals
and the Red Dot Rebels threatening to gatecrash the cup party.
There were also strong performances from the Bangkok Japanese
and the Young Bangers to qualify for the cup quarter finals.
University, Cholburi University and the Buccaneers were all
favoured for the Plate, with the hosts the Pattaya Panthers,
Sarakham University and the Phuket Vagabonds expected to vie
for the Bowl.
After a hard days play, cooling off in the pool was obligatory
and due to the election restrictions we dispensed with the
traditional Quaic and a huge party was put on by the “
Fat Landlord “ of Jamesons. For a dry night there were
some mighty hangovers to be seen the following morning. The
early rounds of the Junior Tournament were played early on
Sunday morning to allow the old fellas to sleep in but some
of the hardier souls were there to support the youngsters.
With a slightly later start the order of play was in some
doubt ?? However Captain Quirke had everything under control
and the knockout phase commenced with few complaints. Partying
had definitely taken it’s toll in general but on the
home side in particular and several other teams were also
short on resources. Tired limbs were anointed and strapped
and the quest for Cup, Plate and Bowl got under way. Many
first time losers were surprised to find that they then had
to play more games than if they had won as a trickle down
was enforced. Again there were some superb performances and
some very close encounters with not a few surprises.
the youngsters had shown their paces it was on to the main
tournament and the men ground their way through a very heavy
schedule that finally weeded the weak from the strong. The
Cup quarter finals saw some very good and hard games and eventually
Thai Barbarians, Young Bangers, The British Club and Southerners
Gold progressed to the semi finals, which arguably produced
the finest rugby of all with Southerners Gold overcoming the
Young Bangers in a very hard and tense match that went right
down to the wire. The British Club fought gallantly against
the resurgent Thai Barbarians, who were coming on to their
game at just the right time British Club finally capitulated
and this meant a repeat of the 2006 final between those old
foes Southerners Gold and the Thai Barbarians. It was an absolutely
cracking final in which youth and superior fitness eventually
triumphed over age and experience. The Thai Barbarians recaptured
the title in style narrowly winning a hotly contested final
14 : 7.
the Plate it was obvious that both of the foreign sides Werthers
Originals and the Red Dot Rebels would set the pace however
Kasetsart University and the Buccaneers had other ideas and
there were some very closely fought encounters. The overseas
visitors did prevail and we saw a cracking final which in
an exact reversal of the Cup Final saw age and experience
win out over youthful exuberance, fitness and outrageous hair
styles!! Werthers Originals giving Steve a wonderful birthday
present by winning the plate. Bognor will be back to try and
go one better next year and we are sure that Red Dot will
return to add flair to the tournament.
competition for the bowl was by contrast much easier than
last year’s marathon, which probably helped the home
team led by that wiley old campaigner Eoin Quirke to manage
his meager resources and squeeze by ABAC/ Burapha in a tight
semi final and battle to the Bowl Final. In a pulsating final
against Sarakham University the experience and bulk of the
hosts saw them home to win a very tight game with a late converted
try. The Panthers had finally won a trophy.
the final whistle everybody crashed into the pool and the
presentations were made to all trophy winners by Jim Howard
the Chairman of Pattaya Panthers RFC and Henri Young the Marketing
Director of Raimon Land. Ray and Lin Kays ( Chris’ parents
) were also on hand to assist and Ray presented the prestigious
Chris Kays Award, for the person contributing most to the
tournament on and off the field, to the Panthers own Paul
Crouch, who on the Sunday played a phenomenal 9 games for
5 different teams!!! The best Player of the Tournament was
presented to Mr. “ Peng “ from the Thai Barbarians.
Finally everybody took of to the Ocean Marina where Raimon
Land hosted the closing party of the sailing / rugby weekend.
vote of thanks is due to all the organizers supporters and
sponsors without whom a tournament like this could not happen
Raimon Land, MBMG International, AGS Four Winds, Hamptons
International, Jamesons Irish Pub, G4Ssecuricor, Mackenzie
Smith Law, Cranes & Equipment Asia Ltd., Contract Resources
Asia, WMS Thailand, The Comcon Group and of course Horseshoe
Point for supplying the venue and the Pattaya Mail for printing
the tournament programme.
KAYS MEMORIAL UNDER 18’S TOURNAMENT 2008
the first time this year a youth section was introduced into
the Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament and an Under 18 Championship
was included. Five teams from around Thailand took part. The
Regent's School, Pattaya, played in the Pattaya Panthers’
colours; the other teams competing were: the Bangkok Lions,
Chalermprakiat School (Roi Et), Pathumpittayakom School (Ubon
Ratchatani) and Suravittakarn School (Surin), The participation
of the Thai schools was coordinated by Khun Sutham, who works
tirelessly to introduce the game of rugby to all areas of
the Kingdom. The devotion of the Thai boys was demonstrated
by the fact that those from Chalermprakiat traveled down from
Roi Et overnight and arrived just before the tournament kicked
off and in many cases the boys all contributed towards the
The tournament was played as a round-robin, with each team
playing the other four teams, followed by a final between
the two best teams. The early games demonstrated the strength
of the teams from Isan, particularly Suravittakarn, who looked
powerful in the forwards and quick in the backs.
Local team The Regent's played very well, considering this
was only their second competitive Rugby Union outing: despite
losing all four of their games, they were rarely outclassed
and competed well with some stronger and much more experienced
sides. Their forwards were strong and well organised around
the breakdown and competed well in the set pieces. Bryan Virgino
De Leon impressed with some immensely powerful running and
strong tackling throughout, while both Sonam Tshewang and
Steven Hansen proved difficult to stop with the ball in hand.
Jamie Sturley worked tirelessly at hooker, and both Chris
Wermelin and David Gibbon played with commitment and energy
Sean Salt was a commanding figure at scrum half, providing
reliable ball to the backs and making a few good runs himself.
Josh Hambling, drafted in from Garden School, played well
at fly half, often beating his opposite number in attack and
making some good tackles; he scored a well-worked try against
Pathumpittayakom. The centre pairing of Michael Tenisch and
Bandith Boonyeun provided a strong midfield, with some effective
breaks and good defence. On the wing, Raymond Fongdavirat
provided pace and proved difficult to stop. Support was provided
by a committed James Sarginson and Tilmans of ISE.
After the group stages, the two best teams were Chalermprakiat
and Suravittakarn. The final was a very hard-fought affair
and the much heavier Suravittakarn boys were in command for
most of the game. Suravittakarn were leading 5-0 and looked
like taking the trophy, however, Chalermprakiat managed to
score a try in the dying seconds of the game and were successful
with the resulting conversion and thus emerged as the winners
the final score being Chalermprakiat 7 to Suravittakarn 5.
Thanks should go to Corin James of the Regents School who
organized the tournament and to Khun Sutham of the Thai Rugby
Union for coordinating the participation of the Thai Schools.
It is hoped that in future years the youth division of the
Pattaya 10s will be expanded with other age groups getting
involved and more teams.
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