The last weekend in April saw a finely tuned band of 9 Southerners descend on Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to take part in an informal invitational mixed- touch tournament. We were hosted by the Khmer Crows, whose game plan was clear from the outset : Take us out on Friday night until we could no longer walk, let alone run. But they clearly underestimated the stamina of the Southerners!
We arrived at the field the next day, admittedly looking and feeling fairly muted, but we were quick into our stride, running in some great tries and defending with determination.
A mini tournament of 3 teams, everyone playing each other 3 times. The Southerners swiftly made a strong impression, running in tries out wide as well as through the middle with some fine passing and support play. Our set moves were proving very effective (thanks Mark Wood!) with one opposing player even stating that we were “well drilled”…the first time I have heard this being said about our on-the-field performance. But our calm heads and natural class ensured we went through the day without losing a game. Reece, Regan, Raf and Andrew combined well in midfield and easily found the open spaces. Linda and Sarah brought organization to our attack and created a solid platform for us. Marco and Shannon were superb in defence. An all-round strong display in humid conditions…which certainly eliminated the hangovers….only for us to do it all over again in the post match celebrations.
Many thanks to all the Southerners who joined the tour, especially to Linda for organizing us such that all we had to do was turn up! Many thanks to the Stewart and Phil (Khmer Crows) for hosting us and guiding us through the Phnom Penh night spots (no thanks for the margherita shot races though!) and for organizing a tournament played in a fantastic spirit.
By: Duncan Falzon