Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament 2010
Thai Legends retain title in rugby festival at Horseshoe Point
weekend of May 1-2 was forecast to be ideal for this 10th
edition of the annual Chris Kays Memorial rugby tournament,
the upgraded facilities at Horseshoe Point were in perfect
condition for the expected hordes of players and followers,
and the playing surface looked like a billiard table.
tournament took place despite the ongoing political and economic
problems, which had caused a number of the foreign teams to
withdraw, but still some 15 rugby teams from all over Thailand
and other parts of the world descended on Pattaya to contest
what is now becoming one of the principal 10 a-side tournaments
in the region.
teams had gathered at the Amari Orchid Resort for the registration
where they were royally entertained by the General Manager,
David Cumming, who is a very keen supporter of local rugby.
The Buccaneers a loose gathering of Australians with some
Defence connections were the only overseas side that had braved
the “dangerous conditions” to travel to Thailand
and they were determined to take away some of the silverware!
the junior section had been affected by the prevailing situation,
but despite some late drop outs the Boys Under-18 tournament
went ahead with 7 teams, all from local schools and clubs.
Their tournament was played on Saturday evening and Sunday
morning so the boys had little time to rest. The games were
very hotly contested with teams from Bangkok battling against
the boys from the Provinces.
boys set a very high standard for the men to live up to and
everybody who witnessed the ability and courage of these lads
agreed that the standards are improving very quickly. It is
obvious that with the introduction of an improved diet the
Thai boys are bulking up and are now more than a match for
their foreign counterparts.
tournament was won by the team from Vajiravudh College and
surprisingly the runners up were the Surawittayakrn School
from Surin, last years champions.
to some late withdrawals, the main tournament was to be contested
by 15 teams with a very strong local bias. The Thai teams
had really taken up the slack and there were no fewer than
10 all-Thai teams with several Thai players in other squads.
The Thai Barbarians, who were former champions, led the local
challenge and they had 2 teams in the draw. Last year’s
champions Thai Legends were back to defend their title and
they also had 2 teams in the draw.
usual 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 under their new captains. The British Club had undergone
a makeover and appeared in the guise of “The Goosers”,
a team composed mainly of young Thai students, whilst perennial
crowd favourites the Bangkok Japanese were expected to make
a stronger showing as the tournament was being played over
a holiday weekend so they had more of their players available.
Blood, Nakorn Pathom University and the Bangkok University
provided the academic challenge, and we also welcomed back
The Chiang Mai Suas and the Phuket Viagrabonds to round out
the local challenge.
old friends from the Australian Navy, “The Buccaneers”,
with an even bigger touring party than last year, were fully
expecting to at least out drink all other teams!! The roster
was rounded out by the hosts, the Pattaya Panthers, who felt
that at full strength they also stood a good chance of getting
amongst the trophies.
was some confusion when the protagonists assembled at Horseshoe
Point at 09:30 am on the Saturday morning to discover that
there had been some overnight shuffling of the playing schedule.
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 Director
Malcolm “The Root of all Evil” Clare with his
dour assistant Wayne “Blowfly” Oganoski soon had
everything sorted out and play finally commenced under the
control of David Viccars and his merry band of referees.
teams were divided into 4 groups and Saturday’s games
were played in a round robin format to determine the ranking
for the various knockout tournaments. In the perfect conditions,
hard and fast running rugby was the order of the day and most
games went to form as expected.
were strong performances from all of the Thai teams and The
“Suas”, whilst the host team stunned everybody,
including themselves, by playing out of their skins and actually
winning their first group game but thereafter faded badly.
Thai Legends I, AIA Legends and The Thai Barbarians II led
the way into the Cup quarter finals with Bangkok University,
Nakorn Pathom University, the “Suas” and the Bangkok
Bangers threatening to gatecrash the cup party. The hosts
led the way into the Plate competition where the Southerners
and Thai Barbarians I had surprisingly ended up after lack
lustre performances in the qualifying rounds. The Bowl participants
would not be decided until the quarter finals were completed.
a hard day’s play, cooling off in the pool was obligatory
and a strong start was made on some of the mighty hangovers
to be seen the following morning. The preliminary rounds of
the Junior Tournament were played in the cool of the evening
with final rounds played early on Sunday morning to allow
the old fellas to sleep in.
a slightly later start the order of play was in some doubt,
however the Chairman and his organizing team soon had everything
under control and the knockout phase commenced with few complaints.
night‘s partying had definitely taken it’s toll
in general but on the home side in particular and several
teams were 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. Even
a torrential downpour in the early afternoon failed to dampen
the spirits of the players although everything else was soaked
Cup semi finals saw some very good and hard games and eventually
it was whittled down to a final between match between the
Thai Legends I and the surprise package of the tournament,
The Chiang Mai “Suas”, who had grown in strength
as the competition progressed. It was an absolutely cracking
final in which no quarter was given. The Thai boys displayed
total commitment, great handling and superior fitness but
the “Suas” had some older and experienced heads
in their team and they gave their all but finally the superior
fitness told as the “Suas” legs tired. So Thai
Legends I eventually triumphed and retained their title in
style, winning a hotly contested final quite comfortably 19
the Plate it promised to be just as exciting and hard fought
as several of the favourites had failed to fulfill their promise
to make the Cup and it was hoped that the hosts, the Pattaya
Panthers, would be able to reproduce their form of the first
game the previous day. However that was not to be, they were
undone by getting a bye and finally succumbed to the boys
from Bangkok University, who had produced outstanding rugby
and were the surprise package of the Plate.
Southerners and The Old Bangkok Bangers also failed to live
up to their early promise and both went home empty handed.
The Plate final was between Bangkok University and the Thai
Barbarians (the pre-tournament favourites) who finally found
their form and ran out easy winners 29 -5.
competition for the Bowl was by contrast a bagful of surprises
with clubs like The Buccaneers and The Goosers vying at this
level when everybody would have expected them to be in the
Cup. Eventually the final came down to those old rivals, the
Buccaneers and the Viagrabonds, who contested a rather one-sided
match which saw the Buccaneers (with some help from the Panthers)
running out comfortable winners 24 - 0. So they did win a
trophy but the Bowl was actually Benjarong ... so still no
Phuket Viagrabonds did however create something of a record
as they finished the entire tournament without a win and indeed
without scoring a single point, yet reached the Bowl final,
but they did not leave empty handed as they were awarded the
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, who also presented the
prestigious Chris Kays Award, for the person contributing
most to the tournament on and off the field, to Mark Goodwin
from the Buccaneers who had apparently set an incredible pace
throughout the weekend and is rumored to have touched every
blade of grass on the Horseshoe Point field!
vote of thanks is due to all the organizers supporters and
sponsors without whom a tournament like this could not happen:
MBMG International, European Safety Concepts, Amari Orchid
Resort, Omega Logistics Ltd, G4Ssecuricor, Modern Access Thailand,
Mackenzie Smith Law, Cranes & Equipment Asia Ltd., WMS
Thailand, Construction Cost Consultants, Synovate Thailand,
Jardine Shipping, NZ Asset Management, The Comcon Group.
a heavy vote of thanks to Contract Resources Asia, who provided
all the shade and Bangkok Pattaya Hospital for the first aid
and medical attention, of course Horseshoe Point for providing
a perfect venue and Thai Asia Pacific Brewery who supplied
the beers and the very attractive beer servers, who definitely
brightened up the whole weekend, just ask Russell Jay from
Mix 88.5 FM radio station and Soundzgood Discotheques, who
kept us amused with his style on the mike and the music.
final mention should also be made of the boys and girls from
the Croston House Children’s Home, who provided the
ball persons for the weekend, they did an amazing job especially
as they had never seen a game of rugby before! David Viccars
the referees’ supremo praised them highly saying, “that
he had never officiated in a tournament where the ball persons
had been so effective and worked so hard”.
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