by Paul Stredder
‘Dat was Camboj!
On Friday 31st October a select, athletic (I use athletic loosely) few of the Southeners boys gathered in Bangkok to make our way to take on a number of international teams in the Angkor 10s in Cambodia. Arriving at the hotel we quickly made our way to the welcome party and the team bonding began, a lot of drinking, I mean bonding was done, so much so it was decided it would be good to join in the Halloween festivities and don the face paints, after all Dis is Camboj.
The next morning we regrouped, filled in the blanks of what happened the night before and made our way to the field. We had 2 games on the Saturday against Stade Khmer and Tanglin Thunderbirds. After blowing away the cobwebs in the warm up and possibly the first half we were able to play some decent rugby against Stade Khmer eventually winning 17-0. Defence was solidand strong running from Marty and Joe helped set a platform for the backs to throw the ball around.
The second game on paper looked potentially a little more testing, Tanglin Thunderbirds were a bunch of young whipper snappers that were warming up at least an hour before and looked decent with the ball in hand and looked confident, until they met the Southerners! After our 5 minute warm we took to the field and having shaken of the hangovers we played some decent rugby, Toa and Sod were obviously having their own, who can make the biggest tackle competition while the rest of us were able to spread the ball and eventually won 21-7, we even managed to convert the trys! During the game we unfortunately lost Jean to injury (head wound) and indeed for the rest of the tournament. Day done it was time to relax unwind and court.
Paul and Matt donned the beautiful hostess uniforms and Joe and Jimmy proceeded to hand out the fines while the rest of the team enjoyed the beer, vodka and whiskey combination, some more than others, even the surrounding plants and pots around the pool area got fined if you know what I mean!
Next morning and the rugby tournament gods were not kind to us, 9.30am kick off after a long and intense “bonding session” had by all the night before. Not playing at our best and 2 men down, Charlie had gone rogue for the morning; we came up against a vets side, The Undesirables, our rugby was far from pretty and the result was never certain until we scored with the last play, eventually winning 21-14.
After some much needed rest, recovery and rehydration competition went up a few gears, now into the Cup semifinal against the local favourites, Kampuchea Barbarians. After a hard fought game where both teams were winning at one point we eventually came away with a narrow 21-19 victory, mentions in this game go to Scott and Matt both had a couple of lung busting runs and bruising tackles.
This was it, the final, against a big but quick side in the Bush Turkeyz, now being so close to silverware both teams wanted to win. Although both teams were running on fumes, Jimmy more so than anyone, possibly alcohol fumes, our desire and French calm won it in the end. With scores at 15-10 to the Southerners, 2minutes to play a penalty just inside the 10 meter line, up stepped Julien, as cool as you like, slotted the drop kick through the posts to lead 18-10, magnifique! Bush Turkeyz did get a consolation unconverted try but we eventually won 18-15… HORAHHH!!!
So that was that, another international tournament with a great bunch of lads, playing against a great bunch of lads and another bit of silverware for the Southerners Trophy cabinet. Special mention to Jimmy and Joe for organising and captaining without them we wouldn’t have got there and see you all there in 2015 to defend our title!