2020 Chiang Mai Rugby Season Kicks Off

Lanna Rugby Kicks Off

On a hot and humid afternoon the Lamphun Technical College was the venue for the start of the 2020 Chiang Mai Lanna Rugby 10s League on Saturday 12th September. The Lanna Lions were taking on newcomers Payap Rugby Club followed by Chiang Mai Uni Rugby Club against another new team The TNSU CMI Rugby. Games are to be held for the next 9 weeks with a final to be played in December. The games are 3 x 10 minutes duration with a 5 minute water break in between.


                                       Referee Rushpon Ekdamrong and AR’s

TRU referee Khun Rushpon Ekdamrong was on hand to officiate and got proceedings underway at 3pm. Lanna Lions captain Dave McRichie won the toss and elected to kick off. The opening exchanges were pretty even with the inexperienced Payap lads taking the fight to the lions with some ferocious and at times borderline tackling and almost took a shock lead when a move off the back of the scrum by Pi Yae enabled Payap scrum half Palm to break down the right wing but with the line beckoning, Lions wing Dtun showed good pace as he flew across from the opposite wing to put in a try saving tackle and turned the ball over to snuff out the best scoring chance of the half.

As the game approached the break Payap looked like keeping the Lions scoreless when a breakout out from the lions 22 after good work from Dtun and centre Thomas Stubley who shipped the ball to No 9 Brian Grieve who drew in the defenders before supplying the perfect pass to Kiwi Dan Isherwood to run in unopposed in the corner.

The next session turned into a game of attrition with the inexperienced Payap team receiving a couple of yellow cards but managing to hold on and then mount attacks of their own with Payap prop James being hauled down just before the line by Michael Fitzpatrick who picked up a serious shoulder injury in the tackle and had to leave the field.

As the game wore on the experience of Lions props Paul Bolwell & Opart along with 2 row Stanton began to tell and Bolwell rolled back the years with a break from the 22 to the halfway line that had all the hallmarks of a bygone era and only some desperate tackles by the Payap backs stopped him from going all the way. From the resulting breakdown Kiwi centre Cam Ewart who was prominent throughout broke the line before setting Dtun free to touchdown in the corner. As the Payap defence tired towards the end of play Dan Isherwood again slipped his marker to score his 2nd try of the match.

Cam Ewart with fellow Kiwi & MoM Dan Isherwood

By the time the last stanza got underway, both teams were feeling the heat but the quality of the rugby didn’t suffer and the Lions’s Michael Cresswell who was tenacious in defence and dangerous in attack was a constant threat. The Payap defence held firm and just as it looked like they would deny the Lions a try bonus point the 2 kiwis Cam & Dan linked up down the right touchline for Dan to dive in and get his hat trick. With the score at 20-0 referee Rushpon Ekdamrong, who had kept a firm grip of the game blew for full time.

A great effort by both teams with the Lions taking 5 points from the encounter and a game against CMU Rugby Club next Saturday.

         Next Fixtures 19 September 2020
Home Team V Away Team
TNSU CMI Rugby V Payap Rugby Club
Lanna Rugby Club V CMU Rugby Club

       CMU down TNSU CMI Rugby

The 2nd game saw two very determined sides take the field and during the opening stanza the TNSU dominated proceedings laying siege to the CMU line before a penalty against them resulted in a scrum 10 metres out from which a slick handling move by the backs saw them take an early lead. TNSU continued to apply the pressure and the CMU lads were looking out of sorts as the TNSU forwards & backs linked up first to the left then back to the right to score again just before the break and go 10-0 up.

At the restart it was evident that the CMU team had come out with fire in their bellies as they slowly at first began to get back into the game and eventually dominating the breakdown and scored 2 quick tries of their own through K. Boy and K. Dom to go into the final stanza at 10-10.

After each team had dominated then succumbed in the previous two sessions the final stanza was a lot more of an even battle with both defences holding firm against some quality attacking moves and crunching hit-ups. With the clock ticking down a draw looked certain when a missed tackle resulted in the CMU getting the momentum from a rolling maul with Josh crashing over the line to get the all-important score to win the game for CMU 15-10.