Armed with freshly-washed kit, optimism and belly full of Subway (plus a couple of cheeky beers,) we all successfully boarded the flight…destination Cambodia! In the blink of an eye, as many chilled out and some bonded with randoms on the plane, we all arrived and authorities let us in (although I forgot to print out my confirmation-I think they took pity and couldn’t be bothered to deal with the Southerners gang!)
Appreciating the organized chaos of Bangkok traffic, players weaved against oncoming traffic to freshen up at their hotel, before meeting the other competitors at Rubies bar. A tame and restrained night, players retired at reasonable hours, ready for the big day ahead (after tucking into a local delicacy of Buffalo for 10 dollars a nibble!).
With Southerners Gold, led by Rafael, who kindly volunteered to go early to the briefing, so we could all have an hour or two extra in bed, he was debriefed and informed of the safety precautions…(with only 30cm of field next to the pitch before a great divet around it, players don’t have to put the ball down to score in the corners!) With two ten-minute halves, Southerners Gold took on Dolphins, from Cambodia and INSEAD Barbarians from Singapore in Group B, with Southerners Green (Captained excellently by Pete) taking on Pangolians, from Egypt and PSE Scorpions, from Cambodia. A minor break was had in the games when an excellent pass came on the greens, yet sadly a finger got in the way when catching, and dislocation occurred! Popping it back in I went to hospital to have it stitched up, after a showing off about the blood and prospect of injections (sorry for my crazy behaviour…think shock had kicked in!)
Minus the pom poms, Shivy was great support cheering on the side lines as well as being a chief photographer, capturing the numerous tries. With the reliable plan of “no-plan-just-so-the-settles” Kai Kim, Sarah and Linda (Gold) fooled the opposition, as they made great advances towards the try line before feeding the pass off to Delaney or Raf who brought home the bacon. Both teams worked well as a team, with a couple of players subbing for both. In the end we placed somewhere in the middle, quite respectable for having fielded two teams and two of our players refereeing as well!
In blazing sun, Pete and Anthony did a sterling job of refereeing matches all day, as well as playing brilliantly on pitch for Southerners Green. To celebrate great games, a feast was held in a swanky hotel, followed by a fine session, led by Marco. Armed with a syringe he squirted foul alcohol into the guilty party, with non drinkers having Tabasco as their punishment. Respect to Kai Kim, who was hardcore and downed the fiery substance like it was a delicious treat…whilst Raf got the brunt of alcohol fines. A fun night was had by all, with drunken dancing at Heart of Darkness to top it off!
Lastly a special mention must be made to Linda who organized the tour. Thanks for all your hard work and commitment to touch rugby and the Southerners, it is greatly appreciated by all players.
written by Linda Belonje & Sarah Gibbins.