One of the most exciting days of the calendar year was finally here! The FIRST EVER home match for Lanna Rugby Club was finally upon us!
As the rugby pitch was currently just a patch of grass, Mad Dog and Stubs set off bright and early from Chiang Mai with the kit bag and line flags at the ready! Of course, on the way down we got ourselves psyched up, banging out tunes from S.O.A.D., AVICII, and, of course, Five.
Dtun, as always, was willing to meet up early too. The three of us set out and painted the whole pitch, with Stubs shouting and swearing sometimes, but not all the time! Just as we’d finished painting the pitch players from PRC and All Stars, along ith the Lions, began to showing up in dribs and drabs.
By 15:30 CMU who looked likely to not even turn up to the event had also shown up!! brilliant. By that time too, our sponsors, Zoe In Yellow, had set up a little station as they’d kindly put some food on and sorted out the water out too for the day!! Green curry, wings and pop, belting!
All the Lions that could play today were present. Only 10 of us today, time to ig in deep. Time to finish this league on a high and demolish Prince Royal’s College whom we’d lost to previously then, shortly after, obliterate the Chiang Mai All Stars.
After waiting 30 minutes more which seemed like forever It was time. Lanna Rugby Club Vs Prince Royal’s College.
Lanna Rugby Club Vs Prince Royal’s College
Team line up:
‘Dark Lord’ Iain (Prop), Opart (Prop), ‘Mad Dog’ Jonas (Hooker), ‘Fitz”Mike (2nd Row), ‘Stubs’ Coach Tom (2nd Row), Mikey (Scrum Half), Ewan(Fly Half), Dan(Centre), Dtun (Wing), Oli (Wing)
NONE = If you’re on your arse, just keep going.
Today was possibly the best day in terms of weather and firmness of the ground underfoot to play the gentlemen’s game. The Lions went onto the pitch and gather round Stubs, acting captain today due to Dave’s absence. Outlined the game plan, as always, drive and ruck for a few phase, then out wide for a try. the got ryled up then broke and set themselves to kick to PRC.
Dan put in a nice kick, enough for the Lions to charge down and smash the PRC player who unfortunately caught the ball. After the first ruck Lions had possession of the ball. Mikey got the ball from the back of the first ruck, popped it to Opart who ran straight at them, running hard and driving on before hitting the deck. Iain and Tom cleared out, Mikey got the ball, passed to Mad Dog, who decided to stray from the game plan, saw the space and went for it like a horse out the gates. Bull dosing two or three of the PRC lads down before stretching his legs out a bit, sprinting right for the try line! 5 – 0 to LRC.
Side note: The coaches before hand decided on no kicks as Lanna Rugby Club still has yet to construct them. So today as all about running, driving and getting those ties in!
We kicked again, this time Stubs charged right at the receiver only to flatten him. The receiver knocked the ball on, scrum down LRC ball. Jonas today in for Dave for the first time, so the first try was a bit of a balls up, however, Mad Dog soon found his feet, the pack working in unison driving the opposition off the ball with ease. Mike picked the ball up, passed to Ewan who then off loaded to Dan. Dan ran it back in towards the forwards for support. The Lions were at it again, rucking over, Opart and Iain leading the charge. From the ruck, Mikey passed the ball to Oli who ran straight at the tackler, showing no Fear, driving on. Jonas was there, as was Fitz in support. They rucked over as Mikey looked for a runner. Stubs was to his Right, passed him the ball. He just ran hard, drived, seeing the gap he broke the defensive line and ran flat out to score the second Lions try. 10 – 0 LRC.
Again Dan put up a high ball. Oli was on it and took the receiver right out. It became a ruck of which LRC won again. Mikey saw Jonas and popped him the ball who ran in hard. Ewan was there in support, off loaded to him, he then gave a quick pass to Dan who saw our speed merchant, Dtun, in space. He took the ball well and ran out down the right wing, dodged a couple of players before hitting ground. Dan and Opart were there in support. The ball ended up back in the PRC hands for a penalty. They lofted the ball down the left. Oli caught the ball and ran in towards the centre. Off loaded to Ewan who decided he was going to have some fun. He jinked round one, then two then three players before running for his life, straight for the try zone! 15 – 0 to the Lions. Just before half time was blown.
At half time the lions gathered as captain Stubs geared the players up for a second half after such a brilliant start to their first ever home game!
The Lions Started the second half fantastically. Ewan Kicking this time, put up a high ball down the left wing. The captain again leading by example, mashed up the receiver, smashing him in to the only puddle on the pitch giving LRC a lineout. Jonas threw the ball in, Oli reached and patted the ball towards Mikey. he passed to Ewan who then took the ball in to contact. Fitz was there with Stubs to clear out the contact. Iain on the ball, smashing the opponents line, Dan and Mikey clearing out. Ewan popped the ball up to Opart who ran like a steam train, right through the first defencers, hit the floor, got back up and kept on going, what legend! Stubs and Fitz there again to keep the opposition at bay. Dan Got the ball and saw Mad Dog storming towards him. Catching the ball on his charge, he demolished the defenders, flying off him like sparks flying off metal when a big hammer strikes it. And he was away again. making a B-Line for the try zone. 20 – 0 for the Mighty Lions.
LRC kicked to Prince Royal’s College again. This time Ewan kicked to the right, catching them by surprise. Dtun and Dan hurtling towards the receiver, knocking him for ten before the reinforcements arrived in the form of the Dark Lord and Mad Dog forcing PRC back. Mikey got the ball and popped it to Fitz who went on a nice run, driving in to contact, Stubs came in to support. Dan found the ball in the ruck and Popped the ball up to Iain, Driving in hard, making the hard yards, he saw Jonas to his left. Passed him the ball, in the corner of his eye he found Mikey in Support. As soon as Mad Dog hit contact he popped the ball to Mikey, who found a gap in the line, and blitzed it for yet another excellent try. 25 – 0. The Lions were on fire, making light work of PRC. Just as soon as the try had been scored it was full time for a very impressive first match for Lanna Lions on their home soil.
Final Score line: LRC 25 – 0 PRC
TRIES: 2 ‘Mad Dog’ Jonas, 1 ‘Stubs’ Coach Tom, 1 Ewan , 1 Mikey
Lanna Rugby Club Vs Chiang Mai All Stars
Team line up:
‘Dark Lord’ Iain (Prop), Opart (Prop), ‘Mad Dog’ Jonas (Hooker), ‘Fitz’ Mike (2nd Row), ‘Stubs’ Coach Tom (2nd Row), Mikey (Scrum Half), Ewan(Fly Half), Dan(Centre), Dtun (Wing), Oli (Wing)
NONE = Once again, suck it up and just keep on going
After relaxing for an hour, eating some food and basking in the glow of their first home win, it was time for the mighty Lanna Lions to get stuck back into it!
The Lions once again huddled together, psyched themselves up for what would become known as ‘The Most F**king Bulls**t Match ever’.
Ewan with the ball, he shot it high and long. Iain as always, rushing for the tackle, Opart and Fitz joining. Pushing hard, All Stars recycled the ball, sending it out. They have a couple of decent players that kept running at us.
Lanna Lions kept the All Stars pinned back in their half constantly, our pack was too strong and too well organised. In any case, the All Stars made a break for it. Dan, Mad Dog, The Dark Lord and Mikey all flying in for tackles (not high tackles mind you, just good hard tackles), yet they kept pushing. In our 22 a big ginger lad on their team got the ball, hurtling forwards. Stubs smashed him. . . He’d knacked him. Play continued for a minute and he was still lying there. He was in the middle of the pitch and unable to move, barely breathing (it was a proper solid tackle), yet the All Stars hadn’t stopped and the referee didn’t blow. What happened next was unbelievable. There was a ruck in the All Stars half. There was a load of hostility coming from both ours and their players, something bad had happened let’s put it that way, however the game continued to play with no relent. Stubs had stopped playing shouting for the ball to be kicked out of player to help the injured man. The rest of Lions followed suit, we were playing a gentleman’s sport after all. Apparently the All Stars didn’t get the memo. They picked the ball, and without and defense, they ran straight past us, right past their very injured man, and scored a try. 0 – 5 to the cheating dirty All Stars. The injured player was then helped off the pitch.
We went again, High kick to the left. Oli and Dan Chased it down and took out the receiver. We Kept them back in their half again. However, whenever there was a ruck, the All Stars kept flying in from the sides. Now we knew what sort of game it is. Dirty and Bias.
As always, the Lions kept pressing and tried to keep their cool. The Lions found themselves with the ball again. Dan running in, down to ground, before the ball was shipped to Fitz who went in hard as always, pushing the opponents back. Ewan had the ball, went for a run and found Dan. We went to a ruck which then became a turn over ball. The All Stars fired the ball down the line. The winger had it, but no soon as he had the ball Stubs was on him, and smashed him in to, yet again, the biggest puddle on the pitch, before wrestling him out for a line out.
Lions threw in but the All Stars stole the ball. They were passing it down their line back and forth as the Lions bravely defended their honour. We found ourselves defending just on the inside of our half. The All Stars got the ball and were running it in. One by one they were falling at our feet. oli first taking out the wing, onto the centre, taken out by their opposing number Dan, Then Ewan and Mikey double teamed a fella. Iain, Opart and Fitz went in for a big driving ruck, alas it was no use, the All Stars had the ball again, one pass, two passes, three passes . . . wait that pass was a MILE forwards, at least half a metre forwards. Stubs stopped dead as it was obvious , , , yet the referee didn’t blow for a blindingly forward pass and ran in to score a second try of the day. Absolutely shocking. Then Half time was blown.
The Lions regrouped. This was by far a different match from the first. It was dirty, dodgy, and baffling to the most degree as to what had been let go. The captain did his best to ready the troops to take on the All Stars for a second round.
Now it was our turn to receive the kick. The ball sailed high and found it’s way to Oli, running like the wind down the left wing when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a short arse from their team decided to go head hunting. All match this ankle biting Australian had been going high into tackles. The pigmy jumped up, grabbing Oli round the neck as he was sprinting, almost breaking his neck. As Much as Coach Tom wished the match could be a good game, this is the turning point things got really nasty. Oli jumped up, ready to attack this tiny bogan fella. Approaching one another, the beast that is The Dark Lord was incensed to make his presence known. Able to squat 270kg, swatting a little aussie c**t was no big issue. For the most part it was handbags at twenty paces, until the referee finally intervened, as did Coach Tom and another player from All Stars to prevent it escalating too much.
After calming down the sides we restarted with the ball. Mikey shipped the ball to Fitz who went in hard, Opart and Iain over. Mikey again popped the ball to Jonas who had Mikey and Stubs in support. Ewan fed the ball out to Dan who went for a little run before he took contact and shot the ball out to The Dark Lord who was seeing red by this point. Charging for the line he smashed into the defenders. . . Now I am not sure what happened here. Whether there was stamping or punching, or if it was just an audacious high tackle. Whatever it was that happened, Iain was ready to kill. Thankfully the players on both sides managed to calm things down, but not before it was almost at boiling point with that ferret on their team shouting a load of nonsense. I swear he was just asking to get knocked out.
In any case, this resulted in a scrum for All Stars, obviously! . . . No idea how or why, but that’s what happened. Their Scrum Half booted the ball towards Dtun. He caught the ball and ran towards our pack, Dan and Ewan were soon with him in support. BOOM! Dtun was slammed, a huge hit as he fearlessly went in to contact. . . . Dtun’s head was banging after and couldn’t focus to play any longer. The Lions clapped him off, luckily a CMU player was willing to help us out. Cmu lad went to centre, Fitz went to Wing and Dan moved to 2nd Row.
For the rest of the match Lanna Rugby Club had the All Stars pinned back. It was as though they didn’t know how to handle our force, our organisation and our style so resulted to brute thuggish behaviour.
Finally the whistle was blown. Lions formed a tunnel and clapped off the All Stars and the referee. After all we’re all adults not louts!
Final Score line: LRC 0 – 10 CAS
Man of the Match: Opart
After a hard and intense day of rugby, Lann Rugby Club have awarded Opart as Man of the Match for his never say die attitude, running the ball in hard each time and constantly supporting runners. Massive effort today!
In Lamphun it wasn’t raining, in fact it had been a lovely day of rugby albeit a frustrating one. After the matches everybody helped with clearing the pitch, collected the balls and flags and banged them into storage.
Back in Chiang Mai it was pissing it down which meant all the players that said they’d come out just didn’t bother, apart from Stubs, the Dark Lord, Fitz and Ewan. First stop Sheryle’s Restaurant and Bar.
As we watched Ireland’s undoing at the hands of England (sorry Fitz), we couldn’t help but sink in to a daze, thinking back to how we’d torn Prince Royal’s College apart, similarly how we had undone Chiang Mai All Stars enough to bring them to cheating to win.
Second stop Zoe In Yellow for a few beers. By that point rugby was forgotten about, apart from the injuries that now started to surface from the lack of adrenaline in our systems. More alcohol to forget the pain please!
Oli was surprised that washing his shorts with washing powder would make his shorts white again.
Stubs scored an epic chip and chase for Chiang Mai University, as well as a hard driving try to secure CMU a draw against Chiang Mai All Stars who have won every match up until then.
The Dark Lord was challenged by Mike, the owner of Sheryle’s, to eat 2 Fish and chips and 2 Pesto sandwiches in one sitting.