Unfortunately tragedy marked the tournament with the death off the field of Dan Thomas who was due to play for the FAB's, he was a popular and well loved player and will be missed by the Thai and Asian rugby family and we would like to send our thoughts and wishes to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
The Bangers travelled to Cambodia with 3 teams this year: Colts, Belles and Old Boys, the Colts performed well and won the Plate whilst the Belles ran up against some tough opposition to finish 4th in their pool. A full tour report from the Belles can be found below:
The Belles had a fantastic weekend attending the Cambodia 10s tournament last weekend in Phnom Penh.
With a schedule that meant they only played on the Saturday, a smart plan would have been to call it an early one on the Friday night… the virgins did just that and woke up fresh and ready for the day where the girls would play 4 games. The veterans were led astray when the Banger boys arrived at their hotel looking for a party and the virgins were well punished for their early night in the following evening’s court session.
The Saturday began with a 9am game against the eventual winners of the tournament, the Sparkling Rahus. It took some big tackles and team work to hold off the inevitable first try although hold it they did until close to the half time whistle. With a quiet bench, the girls were pushed in the second half and let through 2 more tries down the wing. Final score 15-0.
With an hour to recover the message was to run hard and hold on to the ball in contact and the girls listened and put this into play in their second game against Garudas. A break down the middle saw Ali make what felt like 100 metres (but really was about 15m…) only for the support player to be pushed off her feet in the ruck by her own team mate who was running half blind having lost a contact lense. A couple of penalties took the girls close to the opposition 22m and eventually saw Ali score a try under the post with 5 Cambodian girls hanging off her. Unfortunately the girls let in 2 tries through some weak defence in the middle during the second half and the game finished 15-5.
The last pool game was against the Saigon Geckos who have made excellent progress since first arriving on the SEA social rugby scene. The girls were confident and fierce in their attack which put the Belles on the back foot. Some valiant tackles were made in the second half once the Belles got back some belief but the Geckos were too strong.
The play off for 3rd place was against the young Garudas team and the girls needed to pick themselves up from their previous tough defeat. The Belles walked onto the pitch roaring (literally) and took it to the Garudas girls straight away - we were not leaving this tournament unless we had given it everything we had. The ambition paid off and the Belles were awarded a penalty try after 2 successive offside calls inside the Garudas 22. Ines was illegally blocked with a straight run to the try line and the whistle was blown underneath the posts. The Garudas girls came back strong and despite some excellent cover efforts they scored before half time. In the second half the team showed their exhaustion and despite the efforts, another try was scored by the opposition. The game ended 10-5.
The Belles only managed to take along 10 players to this tournament, however those 10 players played their hardest; there was not a single weak link on the pitch. Special mentions go to FIVE out of the ten girls who all made their international debut for the Belles: Ines, Marion, Clara, Claire and Margeruitte, of which Claire and Margeruitte had never played a rugby game before this weekend. Claire also showed exceptional dedication by warming up for the final game despite acquiring a suspected broken nose in the previous game. Coveted Bitch of the Pitch went to Ali for her smashing international come back and fierce force and determination on the pitch. Further mentions go to Ying for being awarded the special glasses on Saturday night for a great performance and showing herself to be our most improved player. We also say goodbye (for now) to Vio who played in her last international tournament for the Belles and we thank Delph for all of her contributions on and off the pitch.
What an excellent tournament and a fantastic group of girls to share it with. It’s rare to have such a connection with a team developed in such a short amount of time but every girl stood up for her team mate on and off the pitch this weekend. It’s been truly a pleasure to captain these girls and I can’t wait for the next one.
Many thanks to Rosie for the tour report and to all our travelling players.