There’s nothing quite like a three-way love-in down Pattaya way.

The Pattaya Panthers Rugby Club, Thailand Thaigers Aussie Rules Football Club, the Southerners’ Rugby section and a gaggle of wives and girlfriends ventured to Pattaya’s Horseshoe Point last weekend for a mix-in consisting of games of Aussie Rules and rugby. The Southerners’ Mark ‘Skinny’ Anderson reports below:

Thanks to all the Pattaya tourists who backed-up after a tough Bangers match to make it down to the city of sleaze. The Friday afternoon tour bailout happened as expected, although we still managed to scrape together eight players and a handful of enthusistic supporters for the trip.

Confusion reigns, as Rugby players grasp the finer points of Aussie Rules rules.

First up was a cracking game of AFL. All of the Southerners took part in the match and so did about half a dozen of the Pattaya Panthers. The result was a frantic match with some interesting handballs, some shonky kicking, and some moments of brilliance.

Standout moments included both of Dave Gearing’s shots on goal. His first attempt was taken pretty much straight in front with play stopped. Hooey gave him some advice before Gearing advanced with measured steps and with full concentration, only to shank it off the side of his boot at a 20 degree angle…

His second attempt was better. Erasing all memory of his first embarrassing effort, Gearing scooped the ball up under pressure, lost his marker and snapped a wonderful left foot goal from at least a 45 degree angle…and didn’t even cheer…

Toby, El and Belly all had shots on goal and Sodt took several marks and made a great run through the middle to set up a goal. Overall it was a great game with the reds taking it out with a great 4th quarter effort.

We were all shattered but then looked on in horror to see the Pattaya Panthers warming up ready for the follow-up game of rugby. Luckily, like the Southerners, the Pattaya Panthers also found themselves short on numbers and so a very civilized 20 minutes of touch was arranged instead of 80 minutes of full-contact rugby.

After a good solid hit out of 11v11 full field touch, the Panthers’ Eoin thankfully remembered the Ireland v Aussie test match was to be played soon and play was abandoned.

We made our way to the Outback Bar in the middle of nowhere to watch the game before heading to Jameson’s for a free feed and a few beers.

A huge thanks to all of the Thailand Thaigers committee for making the weekend possible, especially Rowdy (Stephen Richards) and Yoda (Alan Sutherland) and thanks also to Eoin Quirke and the Pattaya Panthers for joining in to make it a multi-sport day (and not making us play contact).

Thanks also to Belly for being the Southerners bus captain for the trip down and to all of the supporters who made the journey. Thanks also to Jameson’s Irish bar for the tremendous hospitality.

– Skinny