After the disappointment of losing the 33 Cup to the Bangers the previous week, the Southerners were feeling confident of getting back to winning ways in their opening match of the TRU on a scorching day in Bangkok.

Fielding a strong starting lineup, the Southerners competed well throughout the first half, dominating in the scrum and lineout and putting together successive rolling mauls (which can now be collapsed legally of course), one of which must have traveled close to 25 yards. However, the halftime scoreline of 17-12 in favour of Washirawut was an accurate reflection of the fact that despite several very promising phases of play, the Southerners made too many simple errors against a very well drilled opposition. The two tries that the Southerners did score were both well executed and the first was a real crowd pleaser. Following the aforementioned rolling maul, the Southerners were awarded a penalty close to the line, which was executed perfectly by Skinny who scored under the posts in a move described by Gearing as something he “hasn’t seen since schoolboy rugby”. The second Southerners try was scored by Reed who made a dart for the line and was eventually bundled over by the physically superior Southerners pack.

So, with the score close at half-time, it was anybody’s game to win. Disappointingly for the Southerners, by the end of the match, the scoreline did not reflect what a close game it was in the first half. Richie’s powerful run to score a well executed try was the only real bright moment as Washirawut capitilised on the Southerners’ increasing error count and pulled away, eventually running out 37-17 winners with a couple of late tries.

From a Southerners point of view, there are many positives that can be taken from the game. The scrum was strong and the lineout was excellent, with Belly, Toby and the lifters really working well together as a unit. Jason, on his Southerners debut, showed us that GayFL does have some positive influence on the world of sport as he demonstrated his kicking ability, Richie and Toby were inspirational their tackling and, as usual, the likes of Nick, Brian, Adam and Diehan worked tirelessly up front.

Nevertheless, Washirawut were deserved winners and our congratulations go to them for a very fine performance and we wish them the best for the rest of the competition.

On a final note, this was the last match for Steve Theodopalopadous/The Bearded Lady/Turtle and although he couldn’t feature in the match as a player, J-Lo. The Southerners would like to thank them for all that they have contributed and wish them all the best for the future. They have both played a major role in organisation, training and the social side of the club, not to mention many outstanding contributions on the field itself. J-Lo, good luck finding bar work in Shepherd’s Bush. Bearded, try not to get detained in an airport and good luck convincing Seppos that you aren’t anorexic. We’ll see you both off in true Southerners style on the 10th October!

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