Maiden victory for Payap Rugby

Payap Rugby Win Tough Encounter
Referee Khun Kiattichai Noptakul & his AR’s

In the second round of the 2020 Chiang Mai Lanna rugby 10s league the Chiang Mai Sports school in San Pa Tong was the venue for this weeks encounters. In the first game Payap Rugby Club were taking on the hosts TNSU CMI Rugby who were unlucky to lose their opening game against CMU in the previous round. Heavy overnight rain had left the pitch damp but playable and after a short delay proceedings got underway as referee Khun Kiattichai blew the whistle. It was obvious from the kick off that Payap had learned the lessons from their first game loss and opened up strongly with the forwards led by a rampaging James making early inroads which led to the first try of the day by K. Spain to give Payap the lead.

TNSU CMI however are a committed unit and as their faster backs started getting more possession as the game wore on, they began to find holes in the Payap defense and deservedly drew level when Thirawat Keawnopparat went in to level the scores.

At the start of the second stanza the rain returned and handling conditions got trickier but credit to both teams as the skill levels went up and an overlap on the left saw the TNSU CMI wing Passawee Rujirapha sprint away for the score that gave them the lead.

With that score and realizing that they were up against faster backs Payap changed tactics and brought their bigger forwards more into the game with Thanapol Kaewmanee (James) producing some devastating runs ably supported by Aussie Rowan Carroll which provided front foot ball for scrumhalf Palm to get the backs moving with Fly half Pi Yae testing the defense and finding space to give centre Pepper and his outside backs the room to almost score in the far corner before prop Surayoot smashed over from 5 metres out to level the scores as the whistle blew for the end of the half. What an entertaining match this was turning out to be.

As the weather deteriorated the battering by the Payap pack started to take its toll on the TNSU lads with a couple of their influential players having to leave the field due to injury and Payap began to assert control. Scrumhalf Palm was unlucky not to score when chipping the ball over the heads with the ball adjudged to have been dotted down just on the line of the in goal area to give TNSU some much needed breathing space. However the clearing dropout was semi charged down and Pi Yae took possession 40 metres out to weave through a tiring defense to put Thawiwat Khakkhai (Palm) in for the try that gave them the lead. With time almost up on the clock Payap were awarded a penalty for holding on and elected to take a scrum from where utility forward K. Spain crashed over for his second and the all important bonus point try after Pi Yae had opened up the blindside for Payap to take the honours after a thoroughly enjoyable match. Final score Payap 20 TNSU 10. Once again TNSU CMI played attractive rugby and competed strongly before fading away towards the end and now sit bottom of the table with 1 point. Payap Rugby Club took a huge step forwards in this game and it could provide them with a platform to challenge for top spot as the season goes on.

Man of the Match – Khun Thanapol Kaewmanee ( James )

2020 Chiang Mai Lanna Rugby 10’s League Table
Next Fixtures 26th September 2020
Home TeamVAway Team
Payap Rugby ClubVLanna Lions
TNSU CMI RugbyVCMU Rugby Club

Lions Produce Stunning Display
Last Gasp Try Wins It For The Lions

In the second of the days games CMU Rugby, who looked a solid unit in their last outing took on the Lanna Lions in an early season top of the table clash. The Lions had lost a couple of players due to injury and welcomed The Singapore Bucks RFC veteran scrumhalf Mark “Bomber” Harris to the ranks on his Lions return.

Persistent rain was falling by the time the Lions kicked off with the CMU team immediately testing the Lions defense moving the ball along the backline and trying to find holes in the older lions’ teams’ armour. Last weeks man of the Match Dan Isherwood going in for a tackle twisted his leg and suffered a hamstring injury which was a big blow to the Lions. The Lions might be a bit older but experience counts for a lot in rugby and CMU found no way through in the early exchanges and a crunching tackle by Stanton resulted in the ball being turned over by Brian Grieve who fed the ball to “Bomber” Harris who put star winger Dtun away in space to race away for the first try of the game.

If the Lions thought that they were going to have it all their own way CMU had different ideas and they kept probing away and eventually found the gap they had been looking for with a breakout from their own 22 which resulted in Kaopod going over in the far corner. One all and all to play for. The following kick off was gathered by Paul Bolwel, who continues to roll back the years, and charged up to over half way to set up possession in the CMU territory from which the Lions gained a penalty. CMU held firm though until the ref blew the whistle for a well earned break.

The next session started off at a frantic pace and CMU took the lead when Frank broke through some weak tackling and powered over to score. The Lions were stung into action when a powerful return by Tom Stubley, on one of his rollicking runs, supported by Louis Stanton saw them surge into the CMU 22. From the resulting breakdown Michael Foehn fed the ball to the right out to back Cam Ewart who found prop Opart supporting on his shoulder who barreled over in the corner to bring the scores level. The rest of the half was dominated by solid defense from both sides and they went in level at the break two all.

The start of the last stanza was the beginning of some bizarre but quality rugby when from the kick off the attempted clearance from CMU was charged down by Dtun who toed ahead to score his second of the match. From the resulting restart the exact same scenario unfolded this time with Cam Ewarts charging down the clearing kick, toeing ahead and scoring. Two tries in a minute made it 4-2 and the Lions in total control. The bizarre however was still in play as the Lions were caught napping in the CMU half when a quick line out was taken and whilst the Lions looked around in bewilderment Kaopod strolled through for his second and what will be one of his easiest tries. 4-3. From the restart the ball wasn’t claimed by the Lions and was allowed to bounce before being gathered by the resurgent CMU pack who broke through some resolute but ineffective tackling for Frank to score his second and level up the game.

As the clock was winding down it looked for all money that it would end in a draw when a break up the middle by skipper and birthday boy Dave McRichie resulted in a penalty just inside the CMU half. Dave immediately called for the scrum and being told it was the last play of the game opted for one final throw of the dice and moved Stanton into the centre from the pack. At the base of the scrum Harris fed Michael Cresswell who popped the ball to Stanton on the charge who used all his bulk and pace to smash through 3 tackles and race away the 40 metres to score the winning try. Final score Lions 25 CMU 20.

Man of the Match – Dtun

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