The international Cambodia 10’s held on the weekend of 1-2 November in Phnom Penh was a huge success with the incredibly social atmosphere fostering friendships and relationships that will help continue the great work being done by Kampuchea Balopp and their grassroots rugby development in Cambodia. The international feel of the tournament which saw teams come from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand take on domestic teams from Cambodia in Old Boys and Mens tournaments whilst the youth, women’s and touch rugby was also showcased.
The two day format in hot conditions was well attended and the grounds at the Navy Field in the Chroy Changvar peninsular made for a intimate and social atmosphere on the playing fields, and off it. The Old Boys tournament kick started the Saturdays proceedings with group games deciding the outcome of the afternoons eventual winners of the Bowl (Tanglin Thunderbirds- Singapore), Plate (FAB) and Cup (Australian based South Darwin Grey Hares).
Kampuchea Balopp worked with our NGO partner organisations who supplied volunteer ball boys, Assistant Referees and teams to participate in the youth and women’s exhibition games. With PSE, Taramana and Sok Sabay all involved on the Saturday afternoon, the visiting teams were treated to fantastic games of under 13 boys rugby with PSE and Taramana playing out a draw and the PSE women’s team beating Sok Sabay. A visiting team from Australia The Bush Turkeyz donated balls to the kids and to Kampuchea Balopp.
The Men’s tournament saw the Cambodian teams faring well against often bigger opposition and the hosts Kampuchea Barbarians, representing Kampuchea Balopp, made their intentions clear with two resounding victories and not conceding any points to top Pool A. The other Cambodian based teams, Garudas, Stade Khmer and The Undesirables all having mixed results but never giving up and impressing on the visiting teams.
With aching sunburnt bodies, Sunday saw the final round of crossover pool games which would determine the Bowl, Plate and Cup playoffs for the Men’s competition. The early matches saw the favorites all progress to the Cup final with the Kampuchea Barbarians playing the fancied Southerners in the semi final and saw the home team narrowly losing 21-19 in a close tense game. The other cup semi final saw the Bush Turkeyz go through with a 17-5 win over the Old Bangkok Bangers to set up a fierce final.
First though the Bowl Cup was contested by the agile and fit Garudas (from PSE) who narrowly lost out the the Tanglin Thunderbirds 17-12 and the Hanoi Dragons beating the French Asian Barbarians 10-5 to lift the Plate. Stade Khmer and The Undesirables lost their semi final games in their respective Plate and Bowl games.
The Cup final between the Southerners and the Bush Turkeyz saw two combative teams shrug off dwindling squad numbers and the Cambodian heat and the game was close throughout with only a penalty kick to the Southerners earning them the Cambodia Tens Cup with a 18-15 victory.
The teams were fantastic in donating equipment to the organisation in the form of shoes, rugby balls (Thanks also the Tanglin Thunderbirds) and shirts which will go a long way to ensure the kids have the right equipment to pursue their passion of rugby with Kampuchea Balopp.
Again we would like to say a massive thank you to the sponsors & partners (ANZ Royal, Impact Prowear, Eau Kulen, International SOS, Dan Meats), volunteers, players, supporters, venues (Navy Field, Paddy Rice and SCORE Bar), vendors (Showbox, Annabelle’s Hot Tacos, Jen’s Disappearing Brew Cafe) and everyone involved!