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A Festival of Rugby in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai International Rugby Tens Tournament

The Royal Thai Air Force won the Cup beating the Chiang Mai Tigers 21 – 5. (Photo courtesy of Adam Head)

Adam Head
This weekend saw the 4th Edition of the Chiang Mai International Rugby Tens Tournament take place at Prince Royal College, and a true festival of rugby was provided by the strong field of 20 teams. The players turned up bright and early on both Saturday and Sunday to offer a fine exhibition of this venerable sport, assisted by the excellent team of referees, score-keepers, and all the other people who are essential to keep an event of this size running smoothly.
After ten days of rain we were lucky that the pitch had dried out just the day before the tournament, and at no time was play disrupted by showers. The men and ladies made the most of it, playing with gusto, and no shortage of verve and skill. The matches came thick and fast all day long, with 26 matches played on the first day alone.
The men’s teams were organised into four groups, and on Saturday they played each other for places in Sunday’s finals. The ladies, who had five teams, played their own round-robin competition that spanned both days.
The two teams who had travelled the furthest, Darwin Stray Cats and the New Zealand team, Taupiri, both made contributions in their own special way. The Aussies brought a game attitude and their own brand of merry-making, and the Kiwis brought a neat game which took them all the way to the semi-finals, not to mention an awesome rendition of the Haka, which went down a storm with the local crowd. They even performed their famous ritual dance a second time at the request of the Thai youngsters, a very sporting and generous gesture. Thanks guys, and credit to both teams for coming such a long way to participate.
And so to the winners and losers…
Ladies first, of course, and congratulations to Bangkok IPE, the Ladies’ Champions. A mention also for the superb runners-up, Chula, and in case you haven’t watched any ladies rugby recently, then it comes highly recommended – lots of bone-crunching tackles, skilful passing, and boy can some of them sprint for the line!
Moving on to the men’s game, congrats to the winners of the Bowl competition, CMU Science, who beat their counterparts, CMU Aggies in the final.
The Shield winners this year were Bangkok IPE who beat Chiang Rai in the final, and the winners of this year’s plate were the Prince Royal’s College, who beat a plucky Pattaya side handsomely in the final. Well done to the hosts on their success!
And so to the main event, the “Cup”, which was won by the Royal Thai Air Force, who beat the Chiang Mai Tigers 21-5 in a thrilling final watched by a large and noisy crowd. Congratulations to Royal Thai Air Force for winning the Chiang Mai International Rugby Tens Tournament 2013 in style, and well done also to Chiang Mai Tigers for their second place and some super rugby.
After the gongs had all been handed out, the players and officials regrouped at the U.N. Irish Pub, the event’s main sponsor, for a few beers and a chance to watch a replay of the games on the big screen. Special thanks are due to Sandy Cullen for organising the event and generally keeping everything ticking over, a splendid achievement. Roll on next year’s event!
The Chiang Mai International Rugby Tens Tournament is organised with the aim of promoting the sport in Northern Thailand, and all funds generated will be used to this end. The host team, Chiang Mai Tigers Rugby Club, have pulled out all the stops to make sure the logistics for this large event are all in place, and the help from sponsors such as the U.N. Irish Pub has been indispensable.

Rugby was played fast and furiously at the Rugby Tens at Prince Royal’s College. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Lamphun boys take their chance to shine

Bunchuai showed his strength as the Lamphun boys qualified for the National Youth Games.

Richard Lockwood
Lamphun girls’ cricket team made the headlines on several occasions during the last cricket season but it was the boys team’s turn at the start of the new season as Lamphun won the northern qualifying tournament for the National Youth Games.
News then came through that the girls’ competition had been cancelled with Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Phetchabun awarded places in the National Youth Games, and that the boys’ competition was reduced to three teams with Chiang Mai not needing to qualify.
The tournament was thus reduced to a two-day event and the girls came along to support the boys as most of the team were playing in their first-ever cricket competition.
Lamphun do have three experienced boys who have already played senior cricket and the team’s captain Bunchuai has played for Thailand Under-19s but the rest of the team were very inexperienced.
Lamphun beat Phetchabun by seven wickets on the Saturday after bowling them out for 55, while on Sunday Lamphun’s batsmen recorded a total of 137 for two which was far too much for Uttaradit.
The three senior boys led the way as Bunchuai showed he was a class act with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 28 in the first match to see his side home and making 62 in the second as he maturely played himself in and kept the ball on the ground at all times.
Chanchai showed his untapped potential with both bat and ball, while Cher, already bowling well in adult cricket, was far too good for this opposition as he claimed three wickets in both matches.
But it was a true team effort as several good catches were held and Champ impressed greatly behind the stumps, while Boom produced a mixture of wides and wickets which was a good effort for a boy who has been playing for only three months.
Bunchuai proudly received the trophy as Lamphun boys will now join the girls at the National Youth Games in Sisaket in March where both teams are likely to provide defending champions Chiang Mai with some much needed strong opposition.
The youngsters from Lamphun will now have a full season of cricket to prepare for this competition as they will play in senior or junior leagues organised in Chiang Mai which is still the main centre for youth cricket in Thailand.
Adults from Chiang Mai Lanna Cricket Club have pledged their support for junior cricket in the Northern Thailand and juniors from both Lamphun and Chiang Mai provinces will compete against each other in the Chiang Mai Senior League.

Aero Thai Mini Volleyball competition for under 12s

Students from 9 Northern provinces vied for a chance to represent the region at the National finals.

Hathaichanok Suphaloet and Arunee Chiangta, Student Trainees CMRU
The regional qualifiers for the 14th Aero Thai Mini Volleyball competition 2013 for boys and girls under the age of 12 was held from October 23 – 28, 2013 at 700 Year Stadium. The event, hosted by the Aeronautical Radio of Chiang Mai saw Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu preside over the opening ceremony.
The event brings together 18 teams from 9 Northern provinces all vying to represent the North at the Thailand Championship and win the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup.
Kiarttisak Rianwattana, Director of the Aeronautical Radio of Chiang Mai, said that Aero Thai Mini Volleyball competition has 3 levels of competition; provincial, regional, and National finals. The competition promotes and encourages youth to express their talents through sports, promote volleyball and to prepare students for the next level of competition.

Tigers remain at the top of the table in Champions League

Hopes remain high for Division 1

The Chiang Mai Tigers continue their winning ways and hopes remain high that the team will be promoted into Division 1 next season.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai FC continue to play strongly in the Champion’s League keeping Chiang Mai fans’ hopes high that the team will be promoted into Division 1 in the next season.
They have won their last two games, beating Nakhon Nayok FC 1 – 0, a 0 – 0 draw against Paknampo NSRU FC and a win away at Angthong FC with a 3 – 1 score that pushed them to the top of the table for Group B.
The Tigers welcomed Udon Thani FC at home on October 26 for an exciting game that saw the teams alternating attack and defense. The close fought match didn’t see a score until the second half when the Tigers overpowered the visitors and scored 3 goals to win the match.
The Tigers lead Group B with 10 points from 4 matches. The next game is at home on November 3 at 6 p.m. when the Tigers take on the 2nd ranking team; Sukhothai FC.
Chiang Mai Tigers have encouraged local people to turn out for home games to cheer their team on at 700 Years Stadium.

Golfnutter: Annoying Golf Partners

Most if not all of us have experienced golf partners who are annoying. Some, it has to be said, can be so frustrating that they have an adverse effect on their playing partner’s score, as well as their sense of enjoyment. My “favourites:”

Slow Players and Time Wasters: “But my pre-shot routine is identical to Bob’s. He’s a 5-handicapper and no-one says he’s slow.” What some high-handicappers don’t appreciate is that Bob will take circa 20-30 shots less per round – a huge difference in aggregate time. Other annoying traits include those not “ready to go” when it’s their turn, elaborate putting routines, playing out every hole without a chance of a stableford, and cart users who don’t take more than one club when conditions dictate they walk to their ball.

Sandbagger: Amongst the most despised in here in Thailand, and because of the USGA Handicapping System employed by many societies here, it’s so easy to do. These are the types who “disappear” from competition golf for a few months, only to turn up at some prize-rich tournament with an inflated handicap. Sometimes they “hide” amongst similarly minded mates who then emerge to massacre the field in a four-ball scramble. Entering one’s own scores into a handicapping system, that includes social rounds, is akin to self-serving politicians placing their constituent’s welfare in front of their own.

Mathematically Challenged: Don’t expect these characters to falsely claim a par or birdie, as that is too obvious. They are more likely to claim a “five” or “six” when in fact they had one more. Often a seasoned campaigner, this character is most at home when partnered with a newbie, particularly one with a high handicap.

Pretentious Newbie: The undesirable who continually pleads innocent when he or his caddie infringes the Rules. Examples include allowing caddie to tap down spike marks on line of putt, through to not noticing caddie’s infringements every time she marks his ball. Understandable when happening during a golfer’s initial rounds in Thailand, but not after round number fifty! Believes golf here should be less rules-compliant than home club.

Oblivious Type: Concerned with own performance to the exclusion of everybody else. Makes no attempt to be part of the social interaction, and no, it’s not due to a language problem. Golfers in this category tend to be between one and nine handicap, and invariably treat every dropped shot as though it had just cost them the lead at the Masters. Their biggest problem is they have lost sight of what golf in Thailand is really about. Winning a Green Jacket it is not.

Rageaholic: Includes the club-thrower, the earth-digger and the individual who continually shows his frustration by screaming abuse, long and loud. Expressing frustration is common enough – we all do it – but when it’s done in a manner that causes discomfort to other players, or has the caddies feeling threatened, that is when the line of acceptable behaviour is crossed. To those that get off using such antics – what gives you the right to “invade” other’s space? And realise this; you’re golf’s not good enough to justify such anger, and that specifically includes low-markers!

Preciousness Personified: Don’t for god’s sake move, cough, whisper or even breath if within 100 yards of this type when he’s about to play a shot – especially when he’s on the putting green. Watch for the hissy-fit when caddies move off to the next tee, just as his snaking, downhill, 30-footer misses the cup – by miles. His sensitivity is such that whenever it’s his shot, his personal space expands to embrace half the golf course. Toughen up, princess.

Gadget Gurus: With anything from rangefinders to GPS, these guys and their gizmos can be a source of slow play, as well as annoying. Yes it’s within the Rules to use an aid to determine distance, but why wait until the flag has been replaced until measurement is taken? Use one of the players putting-out then you’re good to go when it’s your turn. Offering the rangefinder’s capabilities to others at the start of the round is good, as is sharing distance information on par-threes, providing such activity doesn’t slow the pace of play. Ball-retrievers need not be used at every water hazard. Mobiles – enough said.

Delusional Type: Inflated view of own ability, particularly in regards to how far he hits a golf ball. Often lauds his own shots, alluding to their difficulty – his 250-yard drives are always into the wind. Enjoys striding out into the fairway, stopping by your ball with a pointed “good drive” compliment, knowing his is 10 yards further on. Infuriatingly delays playing his second to – for him – an unreachable par-5, thus losing your four-ball’s place in the field. Back at the bar, is only capable of talking about his shots, his game, his ego.

Recognise anyone?

Happy golfing,


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

A Festival of Rugby in Chiang Mai

Lamphun boys take their chance to shine

Aero Thai Mini Volleyball competition for under 12s

Tigers remain at the top of the table in Champions League

Golfnutter: Annoying Golf Partners