A crew of 11 Southerners descended on Singapore to take part in the annual Asian Champs Touch Rugby Tournament on 11 & 12 June. The mixed open competition included teams from Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok, with all teams playing each other twice in the group stages on day one, before playing off for the silverware on day two.

The Southerners were quick to get into their stride against a youthful looking Shanghai team. There was no match for the experience and skill of skipper Mark Wood calling the shots from midfield – the damp conditions dictated a shorter passing game, the Southerners demonstrating great ball control and teamwork throughout the day. All teams in the group were very closely matched, which made for very competitive games.

Five games within day one left us second in the pool with 1 win, 3 draws, and 1 loss. This put us in the semi-final on day two against Bedok, in what proved to be the game of the tournament. Mark, Raphael, Linda, Kai Kim, Boyd, Sarah, Glenn and Duncan all crossed to keep us in the frame, but despite our efforts over 40 exhausting minutes, we fell just one short at 9-8.

We duly won the remaining play-off game to claim 3rd prize for the weekend.

A fantastic effort all-round from the Southerners, with all players performing at their best, and everyone boasting at least one try.

Thanks to Mark for all the coaching and to Linda for organizing the weekend. Some advice to some of the players:

Raphael – next time no veggie patties before the game…

Kai Kim – it’s a good idea to bring shoes….

Boyd – we’ll make sure the Philippines team stands near the opposition’s try line – I’m sure you will speed up even more!

Sarah – well done on your first tour. It’s a talent to remain collected when everyone’s giving you different advice!

Glenn – great to have you with us, and thanks for setting up some beautiful tries.

Sonja – it’s as if you’ve played with us forever. The girls were stronger for having you there. Keep eating those bananas!

Kong – a big thank you for joining us, you made us all play better. Hope we see you in Bangkok soon!

Mark – thanks for all the coaching and for showing us moves and structure. Your calming influence was an absolute necessity!

Duncan – next time no fraternizing with the enemies – the only reason you’re forgiven is because you helped pull us through.

Marco – great games, too bad your shoes couldn’t keep up with your pace!

Words: Duncan Falzon / Linda Belonje