With Bangkok hosting a slew of international rugby courtesy of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations, the Southerners sent its own team of drinkers and troublemakers down to watch the action at National Stadium.

With the Division II Final between Thailand and Chinese-Taipei set to kick off, Southo lads and lasses gathered in club singlets, entrance fees paid (charitable donations), eskies dispatched and filled and seats claimed.

What followed was 80 minutes of intense rugby between two highly-spirited nations, their passion evident with fists thrown, players broken and ambulances sent towards the ER.

Our spirit was shown with scores of tinnies downed to the accompaniment of an all-singing all-dancing one-man Thai cheer squad, minus his y-fronts.Chinese-Taipei ran out eventual winners, with the game decided only in the closing minutes.

A short intermission allowed for the Thai tradition of a celebrity exhibition game. What exactly they were exhibiting we could not entirely be sure, although we did learn that our occasional flyhalf, K. Mike, is not only a decent rugby player but also a Thai celebrity…go figure.

As the main event loomed the eskies were dispatched for further beers. With Pistacio accompanying the beer run, 40 pork satays were also acquired to feed the hungry masses and avoid our drinking team peaking before the day’s end. As the top-ranked Japanese took to the pitch, one thing became evidently clear, we were being very liberal in calling them Japanese. The contest was as one-sided as was to be expected, with the Japs running out easy winners against Kazakhstan, much to the delight of our friends from the Bangkok Japanese RUFC, and female spectators.

With the day drawing to an end and eskies empty, Mr. & Mrs. Bell took off to salvage what was left of their 1st wedding anniversary, while the remaining Southerners took to the pitch to see what mischief we could get up to. The Japanese players were harassed during their cool down, a game ball may or may not have been stolen from the hands of an eight year old by one of the Southerners netballers, and plans were made to congregate for a feed and rehydration.

Gathering at Cheap Charlies, the night was heading for a wind up before a cab pulled up and poured out half a dozen Iranian rugby players (Turks and Poms), who we had a few beers with then mysteriously disappeared into the night with two Southo lasses in tow…

All in all a great Southerners day out in Bangkok!

Words: Siam Sattayaphan