After finally arriving in Phuket late Friday night (as most of the team slept) a few of the boys stayed out to enjoy the festivities but it seemed even the authorities wanted our boys to do well in the tournament by making sure to raid and shut down two of the bars the gang went to on Friday night.

When we showed up at the pitch on Sat. we knew little about the other teams in our groups. Our first game was a bit of a wake up call. We played an American army team stationed in Korea. After starting off slow and ended up trailing at the end of the first half. After the break we showed the yanks we meant business by beating them in every aspect of the game. Led by Brendon the team rallied and ended up winning pretty easily. It was good to score a few good tries and the Japanese boys showed up and didn’t disappoint. Most players really put their hands up for this one so points go to everyone.

Our second game was against the “Flying Elvises,” with a name like that we thought for sure this was another victory. You have to hate false advertisingļæ½ The second game was the polar opposite of our first. Again, we started slowly and let in a couple of quick ones and although we were playing what looked to be a bit of a Fijian international team we won the second half. Some great try saving tackles to the backs (Reed is being modest; he chased down Kinny “black mercury,” the Fijian speedster) and Will powering through the line again (because Will won’t pass).

The third game was not much better. The team was from Australia and picked to win it all. After 5 minutes into the first half it was clear as to why they were the favourites. The Australian team scored 2 or 3 really quick tries against us. We came out and won the second half but couldn’t close the gap enough and lost by a try or 2. There were some notable plays, none being bigger than Ek getting his first tackle in EVER! His first hit overshadowed the fact that Jean run over the try line after repeated warnings about how short the zone was as well as everyone yelling at him to “put it down!”

Saturday night…… After a huge fine session that saw the French boys down about 6 beers each and everyone dressed as Southern Hicks (not Reed who was tour virgin and had on a pretty pink dress) Molly Malone’s put on a great feed and the boys hit the drink pretty hard (and Jean hit Ronald Mcdonald as well).

Sunday morning was a struggle. Everyone including the Thai boys were feeling the results of a great night, our first game was for the plate semis. We won this one pretty easily and O showed us all why he is a breakaway, he made a couple of great runs close to the ruck and was strong throughout the last 3 games. There was a break between games so the boys headed to the beach. Highlights there were both Richie and Q screaming like little girls in their attempts to “ride the waves.”

2 game for a play off into the Grand Final. We stared well in this one and again scored some very good tries. Jones, Jean, Ultan and Will were the standouts. The forwards played their best game in this one as well.

The last game was for the Plate. We unfortunatly played a team that had numerous ring-ins from other clubs, this game was pretty tight. Everyone was fired up, Ultan smashed a few of their bigger boys and played his best game. Jean was up there and no one laid down so it was a great effort from everyone.

Special mention to Jonesie for organizing us, Ultan for his manager’s role, Ek the doctor who ended fixing the other teams and he got his first run plus all the awesome photos, all the Japanese-who ended up playing about 12 games, Ritchie for his comments “I must be getting fitter…. or just not playing as hard”(You be the judge- Richie has not been at practice in recent memory), Will for scoring or setting up tries in every game, and Reed for being the “Tour Virgin” and the chaperone for some.

Good tour boys and look forward to many more

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