Pattaya Rugby Report - Chiang Mai 10's 26/27 Nov '10

A few swifties down at Jamo's and then off on the tour bus, with coldies on board. Boys got on at Regent's and immediately contributed to the boisterous atmosphere by going asleep. Some small details indicating lack of preparation by Panthers included general fitness levels and the fact that the rockin'sounds for the trip were entirely from Tyler's 'phone with the earphone unplugged.

At Suvarnabhumi, Holty, Jimbo and Pete Wiki turned up amazingly as arranged, Panthers checked in amazingly as arranged and headed for an arranged beer at departure gate, amazingly.

200B each for a few warm San Migs, a Burger King hat for Bryan and off we went.

Uneventful trip into CMX. Small complication in Taxi queue but Panthers forwards, having been barged out of line by two old ladies and a pregnant bird finally bullied their way past an unaccompanied toddler and 3 cars got us to a hotel whose name escapes me as much now as it did when the cab driver asked.

Check in to five four three two star digs and then down to "the Pub" for a night cap as it was half eleven. The Pub wouldn't let us in so across the road to the Thai restaurant night clubby thing for more than one night cap and a night cap at every stall and window back to digs, including multiple U turns by pathfinder Dessie to catch some nightcaps that weren't on the way.

Saturday dawned. Tournament committee laid on Song Thaew's to ground - just aswell - we wouldn't have found it in a fit. Mass confusion as confirmed teams let organisers down with failure to show. Delays allowed Tim Jones to join us direct from Manila. Don't know why he went to Manila, email clearly said Chiang Mai. Some draw rejigs and the mighty Panther's took the field against tournament favourites Chiang Mai Suas. Fourteen minutes later the Panthers left the field following a game against tournament favourites Chiang Mai Suas. 'Nuff said. Similar games followed against Thonburi Uni and the Peoples Republic of China (Prince Royal College) and the Panther's concluded Saturday's play without a point. This despite some intricate moves and exciting play. Disregard last sentence after "despite".

Back to hotel for 17:30 meet by pool. No-one there. Bangers arrived at 18:00 dressed as superheroes. Many recognizable characters, but Sexy Nurse Man and Pumpkin Man were pushing it. Panthers assembled 18:30ish in fetching blue from MJSports and headed off to the city lights. First off UN Irish pub for grub, then down town to try to find Harry Potter and the boys who remained several bars ahead of us for the evening. Back to UN for the end of the English game. England seemed to have had a pretty similar Saturday to the Panthers except for a consolation try at the end that we didn't manage. 40 winks for Chairman Jim and onwards. The excellent Reggae Bar saw the Panthers most coherent and coordinated moves thus far with some well structured forays to the bar and some less successful, but equally valiant efforts on the dance-floor. One last attempt to get Holty home failed and as the author and Damo headed for the hotel he sallied forth yet again with the coach to complete his final preparations for Sunday.

Sunday morning saw the Panthers take on the Russian National side populated by cosmonauts constructed of titanium. Once the Panthers woke up and realized that we were two tries down, the best spell of the weekend to date ensued and we had a much better go of not scoring than our three previous games of not scoring. A more enjoyable game against the Bangers followed where our first try came courtesy of some little bloke we'd pinched from the sideline. Last game against the BC Goosers led to a try from Richard, and another loss making us a very close 8th (out of 8).

An entertaining final saw the Russkies defeat the Suas.

Some beers pitchside, a quick dash to the hotel and then back to the Pub for the court session. Some heinous crimes were dealt with with a terrible justice by Judge Howard. MJP decided that he was an orator of the class of Martin Luther King. His inspirational speechmaking was finally quieted only by industrial doses of Sambuca prescribed by the court. He soon got very tired and went home for a rest.

The monotony of the Song Thaew trip back down to the action was briefly alleviated by TJ's swan dive off the back of it. A quick review by the ER's resident expert determined that his unconsciousness and bubble blowing had nothing to do with head trauma, and the boys got him home, but not until after the curry. A few more quiet beers in the tranquil setting of a Chiang Mai night and then all over for another year.

Special mention for youngest member Langer Latham who survived admirably, displaying a maturity beyond his years, particularly in his beer management.

Thanks to all who pitched up. For the record, in no particular order.

Jim the Enforcer Howard
Dessie Its early yet or my watch is broken Halls
Mickey Martin Luther King Price
Damo Voltaren McCoy
Richard I'm not coming home 'cause I've sold everything Holt
Pete the Hamstring Hamilton
James I'm not really Harry Potter
Richard I've clearly done this before in a different life Latham
Tyler Boarding Pass Hoinkiss
Bryan No I can't speak Thai De Leon
Damon I'm not letting the captain sign me out again Adaeng Iyobo
Tim Him not know Everything Jones
Andy Wish I was at Molyneux and not with these clowns Byard

And Eoin Quirke…………….

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