The Southerners pulled off a good win (19-17) against the Thai Army in a match requested to assist their build up to the Thai services cup. An enjoyable game, and certainly a great base to work from for the upcoming Thai Rugby Union season. Tries to Chris “I am not selfish” Doherty and Gook “the racing snake”. Man of the match went to Rob “everywhere” Palmer (although also worthy of praise is Ultan, who was actually everywhere – moving from jumping in the lineout’s one moment, to crashing in the centres the next). A good result, even if most players were not entirely sure what the score was at full time… |

The annual Pattaya International Rugby 10s tournament once again did not fail to disappoint. Once again Southerners entered a team of outstanding athletes, drinkers, troublemakers and clowns managing at various times to score Campese’esque tries, drink like George Best, generally cause public disturbances, and act like extras in the Moscow Circus (with some guys even practicing their Russian at one or two select Walking St. establishments, hmmm). A basic recipe for a good time!A touring party of thousand met at the Robin Hood on Friday afternoon to sink a few wet ones, show off tour moustaches, get kitted up and build excitement levels. (Rogers came late after arguing moot points with 16 random people on his way). Before long the party bus from hell pulled up to the corner of Lets Get Broken Avenue and This Is Going To Be a Dog Show Boulevard. The Beer B*tches, as denoted not only by their age but their dreadful haircuts, Fatty and Fabio, managed through some divine intervention to have some cold ones for the ride and off we went.

Fines Master Wagga got events underway and it was here that Rimjob decided to unveil his latest weapon in a tactical effort to ensure he got a starting spot – the All American Attorney’s Own Rum Tequila Crazy Juice. Other highlights include a session of frommelling by the toilet. By the time we arrived at Areca Lodge everyone was suitable sozzled. As we were checking in Rogers decided to pretend to lose his bag and cause much angst to all touring party members who sat about and offered sage words of advice like “you can borrow my shorts” and “try to remember where you last put it”. Helpful. Moving on we convened at Jamesons to drink more and see how scary the opposition looked. We drank more, and ended not being able to see anything, which is fortunate because Andre The Giant’s twin brother has taken up rugby, much to the chagrin of the WWF, and is now turning out for some team from Taipei. It was here that on time sweet faced Cambridge lass Jura decided to unleash the, ummm… girl within, and so the party rocked on. Scoop and Rogers taking things to the limit as usual. The party moved on and while some ventured to more traditional Pattaya establishments others made it to the World Famous Lucifer Disco. It was here we witnessed the Wagga giving his best Justin Timberlake impression to an appreciative crowd and Perkins trying his best Caribbean Challenge, which really didn’t live up to expectations. By this point John ‘Destruction’ Brown had invented a completely new language and managed to puzzle everyone with words like ‘nyaaa’ and ‘nyeeeaaa’. The bouncers found this intriguing and took him outside so they could hear him better. This happened at least 3 times before he disappeared for good. The only sign coming by way of text messages which follow, as recorded by Wagga:

1.56am help
2.23 I’m basically the other guy a. Roll baby roll. Man juvs remember platoon ok. You know who I am…
3.17 Duall this shit..I am in a jap disco. I may die, really. But fuct the shit x
3.27 Ok I aint really on you for a watch. For sure bro. I’m in the jungle now. I aint see thit
4.04 Fuck this shit. Let me see your hands in the air!

Samples have been sent to the Washington School of Alien Interpretation for further analysis.

Saturday comes around and much to the shock of some, it turns out we have to play rugby.

Game #1 was against recent foes the Chiang Mai Suas. Southerners fielded a starting team of Rimjob, Scoop, Fatty, Perkins, Carpena, Rogers, Wagga, Fabio, Maddern, and Findlay and were ably assisted off the bench by Ultan 3 Surnames, Orr, Macdonald, Stainless Steel, Ek, Perry, Black, Harding and Men’s Health. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan and we went down by one try coming against the run of play in a dour game which featured not much in particular except a signature pole-axing of his opposing number by super sub Andy Stainless Steel and front rower Graham Orr attempting to chase down a Thai racing snake for the loose ball while everyone else watched. The lowlight was promising South African recruit Brett ‘Fatty’ Ross headbutting the ball in a move with Mike ‘Scoop’ Sears.

This apparently served as a bit of a wake up because by the time Game #2 came around the boys were in no mood to dilly dally. The poor old opposition was the Thai Youngbloods – a bunch of up and coming young Thai rugby enthusiasts who collectively weigh about as much as Graham Orr’s left leg but run like Carl Lewis (all day) and fancy themselves a bit. They were soon on the back foot as Southerners dominated possession and hardly made an error. On the way to a convincing win Stainless managed to actually pooh his pants (but bravely played on), John ‘Just have a sip of this’ Perry showed all what a Maori side-step looks like as he steamrolled 3 hapless toothpicks, Lomu style, on his way to setting up Scoop for another try, and Ultan ‘the Brokeback Cowboy’ 3 Surnames showed previous Southerner Sod, what happens when you switch teams by pulverizing him into the Horseshoe Point soil. Fatty headbutted the ball again.

Game #3 rolled around and our form carried on. Whipping boys this time were the touring party from Doha. Featuring the biggest fly-half in the world, they looked like they might have the goods. They didn’t count on the destructive defense of opposite #10 Chris ‘Wagga’ Doherty who unleashed the ‘Spider’ at least once while building the brick wall in the backs. Nor did they have any idea how to combat our very own Rico Gear clone Jason Findlay chiming in from the back with the help of secure ball from the reliable and solid back row of Barbados International Richy ‘The Black Flash’ Perkins and Jean- Martiel ‘I Stand by my Captain’ Carpena. Dave ‘Where’s my Mohair Jumper?’ Rimi also featured on the edge of the ruck and we welcomed back the Suva Express, Bai who did his best to run through all 10 of the opposition on the way to the line. Fatty dropped the ball.

So around comes the evening to much anticipation. The usual fine session is held by the pool at Areca. Players were lucky to survive the unfortunate ‘wave incident’ which nearly washed Ek over the side as Neil ‘Kelvin-ate-her and her and her’ Smith got in. Keith ‘Mens Health’ was ordered to stay under water as everyone declared his 50year old body was a disgrace. Steel engaged in the usual admin while here. Fines were administered and off we trod down to Jamesons’ again. Rimjob’s Crazy Juice made another appearance and proved the beginning of the end for Jura ‘is it ok if I just drink it all?’ Cullen who showed off her Ukrainian roots by trying to down the whole thing. Ek ordered his own body weight in steak and managed to get through most of it while taking a break from his photographic duties. After a game or two of Jacks, the boys moved on. Brokeback Ultan showed his class by volunteering to take on the pub crawl alone and proceeded to dominate every drink challenge set out. Somewhere along the way Steel almost imploded as someone from another team lunged at his wife. Reports are that he turned a strange shade of purple, shook uncontrollably and uttered the infamous words: “I’ll take on the lot of them”. The possibility of this happening as not disputed, but fortunately Scoop and Perkins were on hand to douse the flames. The two Beer B*tches caused some distress after disappearing with a couple of humungous Nigerian pimps. They refuse to speak about their experience except for this quote from James ‘Fabio’ Brodribb: “shoot bru, whatever man”. Thanks James.

There was some talk about a trip to Little Moscow and the riches that abound in the former Soviet Union but we are yet to confirm this.

Sunday – 8am: Boys are Broken. But after some strong performances on the Saturday Southerners finish in the Cup competition so spirits are high.

Game #4 sees us drawn against a university team from Hong Kong. They are big units but Southerners are not deterred. Fatty utters something about grass rollerblades during the warm up and we sense things are not going to get any better for him. The game starts well as Wagga administers the first blow with a trademark long range try after Fabio (as usual, tried to run through every one of the opposition, Bai style, despite being half his weight) got a pass away eventually. Rogers puts his mark on the match by picking up a Wagga pass close to the line and getting smashed by Carpena from behind to send him over in a concussed daze. This was judged the second biggest hit of the weekend [Ultan smashing Sod must have been 1? Ed]. Andy ‘Where do I stand?’ Macdonald showed some raw talent and a mean fend by making some great plays including a cracking try down the left side running off the end of a nice backline move. Will ‘I’m sorry Andy’ Maddern had another consistent game monstering guys in the centers and stealing every ball he came near. Ek got on the field and distinguished himself as the only person all weekend to play and not make one mistake. He was duly fined for this! Mens Health filled in nicely as again and showed some rare skills to calls of ‘you can’t teach that’ from the peanut gallery. The scrum of Orr, Rimjob, Scoop, Fatty, Brokeback, Perkins, Harding and Carpena at various time was indestructible once again and completely dominated all and sundry. In the end Southerners ran in a thousand tries to record an emphatic victory and set up a semi final berth against the team from Taipei (previously featured in this column as the home of Andre the Giant’s brother)

Game #5 was always going to be tough but we went in very confident after three straight strong wins. Our pack was dominating, our backs were strong and finding the line was not a problem. We were playing mistake free football and had plenty of subs. Unfortunately, we chose this game to self destruct. Balls went down, pass went behind and things didn’t gel. Despite this, we were still in good shape. Some good defence kept us in the game but when we pressured their line and should have come away with points, we didn’t. After some good build up late in the second half by Rimjob and others, Jason Findlay went over in the corner to put us in front. The siren sounded but the game wasn’t over due to injury time. The conversion was kicked and it was our kick-off. One play left. Defend. Unfortunately the record will show that from their own 22 the opposition managed a pretty good try after getting a pass away in a tackle from Wagga and Maddern. Sensational cover defense was launched by the Barbados Badboy Perkins only to be cut down in a collision with his own player, Fabio, and away they ran under the posts. Extremely disappointing in the end for Southerners but that’s rugby for you.

Eventual winners were the impressive Thai Navy who defeated the Taipei boys in the final.

Obviously the early exit from the tournament meant more time to drink and off to the pool it was for the presentation and fines session. In a very pleasing turn of events Southerners own Ultan Peters picked up the Chris Kays Memorial Award for Man of the Tournament – given to those who contribute most on and off the field. Doing the pub crawl almost single handedly and backing up for a dominant display on the field, especially in defence, made it an easy choice for the judges. Awesome effort.

The tour was one of the best ever and the results on the field matched those off it: great at times, occasionally embarrassing, but largely successful.

No animals were harmed in the course of the tour.

Bring on 2007.