As is traditional, the tournament kicked off with the Athena Siam Coffin Dodgers vets tournament in wet and windy conditions with the Moorabbin Rams from Australia looking to retain their trophy. But it was evident that the standard this year was higher, and it was the Flying Elvises from Malaysia and the Avery Care Home Vets from the UK who would fight it out in the Cup final on Sunday, with the Avery lads running out eventual 12-0 winners in a hard fought game.
The Nerang Bulls from Australia took out the Shield final 14-7 against a strong Cottesloe Pirates side, whilst the Moorabbin Rams took the Plate with a 12-7 victory over the Wrinkley Assassins from Singapore.
The Bowl was won by the Asian Japanese Dragons after a tight 7-0 win over the Abu Dhabi harlequins who entertained the crowd by playing in various superheroes outfits.
The main competition was always going to be a tight affair with many debuting teams on show, and with the weather deteriorating it would prove to be an entertaining weekend of rugby.
The Phuket Vagabonds were trying to retain the cup they won last year but were knocked out in the cup quarter-finals by the Emirates Airlines Flying Muppets 22-5. The Moorabbin Rams, Thai Legends and RMP from Malaysia also made the Cup semi-finals with the Rams defeating the Muppets 10-0 and the RMP beating the Thai Legends 21-5 to set up an intriguing final.
The Rams, runners-up last year, started strongly but injuries and some bad luck saw them go down 37-19 in a pulsating match to the Royal Malaysian Police.
The Vagabonds, competing in the Plate semi-final, went down to the last play of the game 5-0 to the Nerang Bulls whilst Al Ain Amblers took out the Arks Invitational side from Australia 19-0 and went on to win the Plate with a convincing 26-7 victory over the Nerang Bulls side.
In the Shield final, the AAC Apaches from the UK went down 19-5 to the Melanins Rugby Club from Japan, Mediclinic Barrelhouse Warriors won the Beaker with a 19-0 win over Singapore’s Bedok Kings, whilst South Brisbane magpies won the Bowl and Thailand’s Old Man Mix beat the Singapore Wanderers 10-5 to take the Spoon.
As always, the tournament raised funds for the Asia Centre Foundation children’s scholarship fund, and due to the generosity of teams and individuals, raised over B400,000 to help keep children in school and give them an education and hope for the future.
Thanks go out to Hooters Phuket, Jean Luc and his team of referees, Thanyapura Sports Club, Athena Siam, Rhino Rugby Asia, Phuket International Hospital, Dusit D2, PlayerLayer, macoocoo.com, The London Pie, Pimalai Resort & Spa, The Aussie Bar, PMA T Shirts, The Phuket News and Live89.5 for their sponsorship in the tournament.
See you all again next year!
The Phuket News and Live89.5 were proud media sponsors of this event.