The 20-man squad of enthusiastic players and dedicated supporters produced a dominant performance, remaining undefeated across the weekend as they faced teams from Yala, Krabi, Surat Thani and the Prince of Songkla University.
Saving their best performance for last, they secured the championship with a comprehensive 34–7 victory over runners-up Krabi in the final late on Sunday afternoon.
“I am proud and privileged to have been part of such a great weekend,” commented Vagabonds Captain Dan Ashburn, eager to heap praise on his team.
“The class showed from our players both on and off the field was a testament to the club,” he added.
In a standout performance throughout the weekend, Shaun Kober was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Shaun’s sweeping defence and precision in attack was the key to success with Merrick Fairall following closely at his heels with an excellent performance and fast-paced attack. Special mention also goes to Paul “Ringo” Rothwell, voted Best Tourist for his steele in defence on the pitch and jovial participation off it.
Other performances of note include Tom Kilington’s match-winning try off an inside ball from Merrick Fairall in a close-fought battle with Prince of Songkla on Sunday morning. Dan Ashburn’s terrifying kick chases which led to some early tries and will have a few of the opposition having nightmares for weeks to come. And a commendable performance in defence and attack from Zach Foose in his first-ever rugby tournament.
“It was a great tournament with some fantastic rugby played by all boys and girls through the age groups and of course the Phuket Vagabonds,” said vice-captain Dave Walker.
“We played with exceptional team-work, playing hard for each other and doing ourselves proud in the process,” he added.
The resurgent Vagabonds were well received by the Thailand Rugby community and look forward to further strengthening relationships with the Thailand Rugby Union and in particular the development of junior rugby players in their home province of Phuket.
Club President Anthony van Sleeuwen said he was “eager to continue to help grow the club, and introduce new avenues for young players to find rugby, whilst also raising the profile of the Vagabonds within the greater Phuket community”.
The team will now turn their focus to the National Rugby Sevens Championships to be held in Bangkok on October 31.
If you are interested in joining or supporting the Phuket Vagabonds, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Phuket Vagabonds Rugby Facebook page.
Training is held twice a week at the Alan Cook Cricket Ground with contact and skills training on Tuesday evenings and social Touch Rugby for all levels on Thursday evenings at 5:30pm.