Bangkok 10′s 2009

Match reports by Joe Fisher

SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY – POOL MATCHES

YCAC 37 Bali 0
Tries: Lance MacDonald, Ian Miller, Jimmy Maher (2), Will Whetstone, Ryan Rogers (2)
Conversions: Will Whetstone

YCAC got their 2009 Bangkok 10′s campaign off to a good start with a relatively easy win against a Bali side with good size but little in the way of pace. The entire YCAC squad got onto the field in this game and Craig “Bulla Bulla Choker” Dunn (elder brother of JD) surprised everyone by taking the field “commando” style – “all nuts, no gruts” as resident fashion guru Jimmy “Nightmaher” Maher put it. The only other notable incident of this match was that the Bali team fielded an adult male silverback gorilla in their starting X. As if this wasn’t enough of a shock it was later revealed that this primate was actually previously known to the Counties duo of Nightmaher and Kane “Cl!t” Hancy – so well known infact that they have previously shaved letters into the gorilla’s hair!

YCAC 41 INSEAD 0
Tries: Jimmy Maher (2), Joe Fisher, Ryan Rogers, Lance MacDonald, Barry Clark, Maui Magele
Conversions: Lance MacDonald, Fraser Jamieson (2)

INSEAD is a global MBA program with campuses in France and Singapore. They were also the 32nd ranked team in this tournament (out of 32) and this match was just as easy as the scoreline suggests it was. INSEAD were clearly trying to bring their studies onto the rugby pitch by assuming an open negotiating position and asking YCAC for leniency on their front row before a single set piece was even put down. The humility displayed by statements such as “Please go easy on us – you will clearly win and this guy has never been in a scrum before” might win some points in the boardroom but against hard-nosed front-rowers like Erich “Freezer” Friess and Dean “Fish” Stallard it didn’t cut much mustard. Sure enough, a scrum was soon set down and the INSEAD virgin front-rower popped out of it clutching a (quickly-swelling) black eye. After this YCAC establishment of a “bottom-line position” the game was pretty much o! ne-way traffic …

YCAC 26 Thailand Legends 7
Tries: Steve Gray, Lance MacDonald, Kane Hancy, Maui Magele
Conversions: Lance MacDonald, Kane Hancy, Leigh Fyfe

This match was billed as the “big” fixture in our pool as the Thailand Legends, basically the Thailand National 7′s team, and YCAC were the top two seeds in the group. In last year’s tournament this same team (playing under the name Thailand Barbarians) had beaten YCAC easily in the quarter-finals on the Cup competition. However, as the Thailand Legends soon found out, it was a vastly different YCAC side they were up against in 2009. In reporting on this match the next day the Bangkok Post wrote that YCAC put in “a good all-round display” and ended up causing “[p]ossibly the biggest surprise of the day [when] the Japanese side from Yokohama (YCAC) emrged top of their Pool after upsetting group favourites Thailand Legends”.

SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY – KNOCK-OUT MATCHES

Round of 16 – YCAC 47 Bombay Gymkhana 0
Tries: Ryan Rogers (2), Will Whetstone, Maui Magele, Kane Hancy, Lance MacDonald (2)
Conversions: Lance MacDonald, Kane Hancy (5)

In previous years the first match on the Sunday has traditionally been the hardest of the entire weekend. Last year “Wee” Willie Lapthorn memorably scored the same number of tries as he had hours sleep the night before (two) and in prior tournaments it has been a struggle even to get a team on the field. However, after an inspired decision by the organizers of the Bangkok 10′s to push back the starting times on Sunday there were no such hiccups this time around.

Cup Quarter-final – YCAC 5 New Zealand Legends 7
Tries: Jimmy Maher

As the score-sheet reveals, YCAC were knocked out of the tournament by the closest of margins by a committed New Zealand Legends side (essentially a group of club players from the Otago region). After scoring the opening try the NZ Legends went into their shells and started playing very conservative rugby, slowing the play down at every opportunity and kicking the ball into touch from penalties (highly unusual in X’s). YCAC were clearly the better attacking team and if the game had gone on for another five minutes then one senses that we would have come away with the result. However, on this occasion it wasn’t to be and credit should go to the NZ Legends for picking a game plan which suited their strengths and for their gutsy defense throughout the match.

POST-SCRIPT
In terms of the final result of the tournament, the NZ Legends (who quickly recruited the Nightmaher into their ranks) went on to defeat a Singapore Barbarians side featuring YCAC players Rich “Singapore” Watkins, Ryan “Shotgun” Rogers and Matt “Magpie” Head in the Cup semi-finals before being beaten by they Sydney-based Burwood Blues in the Cup final. In terms of YCAC’s performance it is interesting what a difference a year can make. We got knocked out in the Cup quarter-finals last year and were pretty happy because we knew we didn’t really have a team to go much further. In contrast, we got knocked out at the same stage again this year but were gutted because we felt that we still had plenty of rugby left in us. However, despite the slightly disappointing on-field finish, this was still a great tour and credit must go to Fraser “Frugal” Jamieson for all his organization and his excellent work on the kit – individually-named playi! ng jerseys and polos plus a much sought-after “sumo rogering something from the country we are visiting” t-shirt. Simon “Ex Dictatore” Ryan also deserves a mention for fulfilling for the upteenth time the key tour role of off-field general and decision-maker.

YCAC 2009 BANGKOK 10′s SQUAD
Scott “Eavy Itter” Calver
Barry “Gizzajob” Clark
Jason “Hazzajob??” Dunn
Craig “Bulla Bulla Choker” Dunn
“Slow” Joe Fisher
Erich “Albert” Friess
Leigh “Feisty” Fyfe
James “Wendy” Goulstone
Steve “Cuzzy Bro” Gray
Kane “Cl!t” Hancy
Fraser “Frugal” Jamieson
Andy “Willie’s Mate” Kelman
Mike “Kingster” King
“Wee” Willie Lapthorn
Simon “Splinter” Litster
Lance “Two Holes” MacDonald
Maui “Apocalypto” Magele
Jimmy “Nightmaher” Maher
Ian “Gingernuts” Miller
Colin “Zoo” Naughton
Ryan “Shotgun” Rogers
Simon “Ex Dictatore” Ryan
Dean “Fish” Stallard
Jaram “Fag” Welsh
Will “Virgin” Whetstone

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