LONG LIVE LANNA RUGBY TENS LEAGUE

Now the stress of the Corona virus is all but a memory, almost, the coaches of three superior teams met in the centre of Chiang Mai, Payap Rugby Club, CM IPE and of course, Lanna Rugby Club.

After the coaches had got a coffee in and settled down, they went at it hammer and tong to create the second season of the Lanna Rugby Tens League. There was a fair bit of umming and ahhing, however, in the end the coaches settled on the second season to go as follows:

 

RULES

  1.   Each match will play 3 x 10 minutes.
  2.   One match shall be played per fixture.
  3. The home side will arrange a referee.
  4. The matches are played at the home side pitch.
  5. Each team provides their own water.
  6. Every team has a 5 substitute maximum per game.
  7. Before a match, both teams must provide a team sheet showing player names and numbers.
  8. If a player is sent off, they shall miss the following match.Lanna Rugby Tens League 2020-21

 

MAKE WAY FOR THE JUNIORS!!

LANNA RUGBY CLUB JUNIORS

This post is very late to come, however it is always better to be late than never so here goes . . .

As the senior squad have been romping their way to glory in the Tri Club Cup, LRC began to add a new string to our bow.  In January Head Coaches Dave and Tom decided it was time to kick the grassroots into gear. After posting some info up on the CM forums, low and behold, we saw our first ever Junior players turn out with Kwan. George, Charlie and Pan.

LANNA RUGBY CLUB JUNIORS

 

As the weeks progressed the news got out, and by the 15th February, Lanna Rugby Club had the makings of a Junior 10’s side!! The parents have been very instrumental in creating a buzz about Lanna Rugby Club at the schools where the LRC Juniors went, along with the Headmistress of Lanna International Primary school jumping on the bandwagon.

 

Thank you for all the help in giving the children a little taster in rugby. June LRC shall begin with Cubs and Juniors rugby once more. Exciting times ahead!!

 

LANNA RUGBY CLUB JUNIORS LANNA RUGBY CLUB JUNIORS

TO THE VICTORS GO THE SPOILS!

2019/2020 TRI CLUB CUP WINNERS

Today was the day of days! The Tri Club Cup Final was finally upon us. This week the Chiang Mai University pitch is where the Lions would take on the All Stars in a ‘winner takes all’ Finale!

First on the scene was Coach Tom, shortly followed by Mikey, Adolph and Fitz! The sun was beating down upon us as the mighty Lions slowly trickled in one by one. Coach Dave appeared with Dtun the Destroyer. A new player approached in the form of Louis, one of Brave’s mates from way back when, who hasn’t played rugger for some time nut is that really a problem? for we are  . . .  The Mighty Lions!

By 1:30pm the rest of the Lions had shown; Stanton and team photographer Charlie,  Coach Ian the token Aussie, big man O, Deckers, Jonesy,  the ever so nimble Oli and last but certainly by no means least, the forever present Twinkle Toes Simon. Our referee for the match had also shown up, Pat the Transcendent.

Once everyone had sorted themselves out (AKA had a dump and was now dressed in the correct attire) Coach Tom took the players through a steady jog and kinetic stretches, before the lads decided a throw around was called for.

Whilst the ball was been booted and tossed about, Coach Tom decided it was high time to go and say hello to the opposition. He set out on a ferociously light jog through the craggy wooded landscape which surrounded the CMU pitch. . . . whoow. . .  whooooow . . . . CRACK!
“ARGHHH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARRGGH F*****G S****Y W******G S******D FOOT!” was something like what came out of his mouth following what could only be described as a dumb f**k move, spraining his ankle merely minutes before the onslaught that soon prevailed.

After hobbling over, saying hello, then hobbling back to the team. Pat tried fixing his ankle by wrapping it up as tightly as possible (If only the magic sponge was about as it was forever present back in the day). It was soon decided Coach Tom would have to sit out of this momentous battle.

Charlie, the team photographer, was on hand and took a fantastic shot of the team before the match got underway. The Dark Lord even came over from Wales to support the team. Unfortunately he couldn’t play this time round though.

LANNA RUGBY CLUB TRI CLUB CUP FINAL 2020

By 2:30pm the All Stars had 10 players and were ready to get this show on the road!

Chiang Mai All Stars Vs Lanna Rugby Club

Opart ‘O’ (Prop) , Dave (Hooker, Co- Captain), Simon ‘Twinkle Toes’ (Prop), Fitz (2nd Row), Brave (2nd Row), Mikey (Scrum Half), Oli (Fly Half), Stanton (Centre),  Michael ‘Adolph’ (Right Wing), Dtun ‘The Destroyer’ (Left Wing)

Subs:
Aaron ‘Jonesy’, Sanny ‘Deckers’, Louis

Cheerleaders:
Tom ‘Stubs’

Coach:
Dave, Ian the token Aussie

Referee:
Pat

 

Coach Tom and Coach Dave decided  that due to his tremendous leadership skills he has shown over the course of the season that Oli would be promoted to Co-Captain alongside Dave. They took the team to the pitch, gathered the lads round and shouted their war cry as always . . .  “LANNA ON 3, LANNA ON 3 . . .  1, 2, 3 ”
Everyone “LANNA!”

 

FIRST HALF

“FWEEEEEET!” Pat sounded the alarm and they were off. Oli put up a huge kick for Dtun and Stanton to get under. SMASH. Stanton got there first and leveled the receiver. Already this was turning out to be a massive game. Before the match our token Aussie, Ian, had the Lions understanding about the defensive line, something we have greatly lacked previously. It seems that that lesson worked a treat. As soon as Stanton had put him on his arse, the Lions fanned out, man for man. Dtun, went in to the ruck hard, followed by O.

The All Stars didn’t keep hold of the ball for long. Dave and Fitz made a couple of tackles, Brave on the scene alongside Simon, pushing the All Stars back. They held onto the ball too long, scrum down Blue ball!

Dave prepared the forwards for a battle. 1,2,3,push, 1,2,3, push! Lanna won the ball. Mikey finally getting his hands on the ball, shipped it out to Oli who went for a run, hitting contact. Stanton and Dave were there rucking out, Mikey back on the ball, shipped it to Opart, running hard, passed the ball to Fitz who took the hit. Brave and Opart rucking the All Stars clear off the ball.  The ruck was on the right wing. Adolph and Oli were in support. Mikey took his time. Saw Oli to his Left. Popped him the ball, “YESSSSSS”, Stanton Crying out for it. Oli shipped him the ball. Lions now in the All Stars 22. Running at pace Stanton smashed one, the two players out of the way. He is in their 5. One more play to beam. BANG, child’s play. Stanton ran home the first try of the match. 0-5 to the Lanna Lions!!

Oli’s time to shine  . . . Misses the kick, no worries, just get some tries instead 😉

Stanton replenished with water, Time to go again. Oli bangs up a nice kick. Opart and Fitz chasing it down. All Stars tackled, alas they are too quick, the ball is shipped out wide. Brave goes in and takes out a player but they shipped it again. Oli goes in and takes ones out in a crunching tackle, again the ball is shipped out. Adolph summons his strength. Takes the player out sideways in to touch. Awesome effort Michael!! Line out Blue ball!

We are back in out 10. No idea how, but the Lions won a lineout, wonders will never seize to amaze! Mikey shoots the ball to Oli, then to stanton, to Dtun. He goes for a run and hits contact. Stanton is at the break down. Dave and Fitz go over in support. Mikey passes to Opart.  In to contact, Mikey again on the ball. Oli in hunger for the ball. Mikey throws a lovely long pass, nice catch! Oli, whatever you’re having, can I have some? His legs were motoring, weaving round the All Stars like nobody’s business. Literally running rings round them, through their 10, 22, into their 5. He left the Lions for dead 30 metres ago. Only one more defender but he’s closing in. “OLI I’M ON YOUR RIGHT, PASS ME THE BALL!!”.  Magically Mikey has kept up with the sky blue speedster. a gentle pop to his right and . . .  TRY TIME!! Mikey you beauty. 0 – 10 to the Lanna Rugby Club!!

Boom! Oli put up another nice kick. Opart steamrolling them down putting on some huge pressure!! Opart was having a huge game today. Opart forced them into a ruck. Brave an Fitz were there rucking over. The rest of the Lions fanned out. Chiang Mai All Stars have some fast players that were now starting to show their mustard. Zipping here and there, yet the Lions kept them at bay, tackle after tackle. Oli, Fitz, Brave, Opart all knocking them down.Soon enough the All Stars were back in our territory. The All Stars passed the ball out to their right, a winger coming in strong had passed our defensive, the last man left was Dtun . . .  he collided with the player in a mega BOOM!! Dtun the Destroyer was on top form, back in to his crunching tackles. He smashed him way out into touch!! The Lions have a lineout.

Again, we won yet another line out. Mikey took the ball in to contact, running hard at the opposition. Dave and O were there in support. Simon was at the ruck acting scrum half. Oli was there but balls to that. Simon again, went fr a storming run. His nickname Twinkle Toes couldn’t be more apt for what happened next. He was dancing his way around the All Stars, some fancy footwork for sure had let him to evade 3 of the All Stars. Making about 5 metres in the process before being taken down. Dave and Brave went over in support. Dtun and Opart just hanging back.

Mikey got the ball and popped it to Opart, who couldn’t help but dulldose a couple of the All Stars down. Brave came in to help, smashing the All Stars away. Always there to put in his two penneth, bahteth?! why not, two bahteth. Mikey on the Ball again, as always a reliable scrum half! Stanton was waiting in Leigh. He has fire in his eyes. He begins to mount the charge. “NOW, YES MIKEY!”. Mikey pops the ball up to Stanton (About the halfway mark). I couldn’t make up what happened next. He went on a rampage. smashing down every All Star in his path. 1, BOOM, 2, BOOM, 3, BOOM, on and on it went until the last 5! there were 2 players closing him down . . .  S**T, but wait . . . what’s this? “DAS IST MINE”, Michael out of nowhere came flying past Stanton, taking the ball on his way, scoring right between the posts!! 0-15 to the Might Lions!!

Once more Oli put up a massive kick for the All Stars. The Lions after such a huge half were pretty gassed. The Lions fanned out, however the All Stars used their pace out wide and scored a cheeky break away try down the right, past Michael who quite rightly was absolutely cream crackered after that huge effort along with Stanton.  All Stars 5 -15 Lions.

Pat blew the whilst for half time.

SECOND HALF

PROP – Twinkle Toes OFF /  Sanny ON
2ND ROW – Fitz OFF / Aaron ON
2ND ROW – Brave OFF / Louis ON 

After an incredible first half. it was time to bring it home! Could Lanna Rugby Club finally defeat their arch nemesis, Chiang Mai All Stars, for the first time ever this season?!?!

Pat, who had been doing a cracking job so far as referee, blew the whistle to signal the beginning of the second half. Finally it was time for Lions to receive!

The All Stars put up a nice lofty kick. Opart was on the receiving end. He took the ball beautifully. He went on the offensive, taking a diagonal from the right towards the left. Just as he was about to be tackled he heard in the distance “TO BE SURE! TO BE SURE!”. Fitz was on the scene. Coming from behind, O popped the ball to his left. Fitz took the ball like a duck takes to water, with all that poise. He must have been having whatever Oli was on. It was like a scene out of roadrunner, all we could see was dust. Pheeeewmmmmm . . . From our 10/22 Fitz had single handedly tore the All Stars a brand new a******e.  Pirouetting round their players like he was auditioning for a part in Swan Lake. Fitz must have ran past 4 or 5 of their players, just before delicately placing the ball between the sticks. 5-20 th the Lanna Lions!

Oli at it again with a nice and high kick. THWACK!@#$@!  Fitz came charging in and knocked the poor lad for ten. His tackle was so fierce that he’d driven him back 3 metres in the process. On Fire!

The Lions were back on it. We turned over the ball and kept feeding the ball up and down the line. Jonesy got a feel for it finally, charging at the All Stars, with Louis in support, who made a few yards for the team. Ruck time, Brave went in hard along side Dave, pushing them back. Sanny was on the wing to Mikey. Popped him the ball. Sanny is a power house. He was blitzing through their defensive line. He went through two of their players, dragging 3 of them with him before finally being taken down after making a good 8 metres.  The Lions kept going. Unfortunately cardio is somewhat of an issue on our team. It didn’t take long for the Lions to slow down. The good news is we kept our formation.

The All Stars managed to pin us back in our 22. Constantly going at us. Time after time each one of our players went in, hitting their players down. Dtun and Dave obliterating the opponents. Louis and Jonesy always there to drive over. Ruck after ruck preventing the All Stars from scoring. Stanton and Oli putting in some massive hits. The All Stars kept going, and hats off to them. They kept driving, and eventually they managed to put another past us.  10-20.

The minutes were ticking down now. Surely full time must be coming shortly?! 3 minutes left??!! Argh, ok! Lions reformat, shaking off the last try. Is there time for one more try?! Here’s hoping. Oli belted the ball down the pitch. Dtun spearheading the chase. He nails the receiving player. Ha, I would not like to be on the end of one of his sonic boom crunches!

Line Out to All Stars. They win the ball. Lions fan out. By the way, throughout the match, after months of Coach Dave and Tom being at their throats about it, the hard effort about communicating was coming to the front. Oli and Dave dictating the game play. The All Stars kept shifting the ball, however, with every good pass given to a new All Stars player was met by an equally good tackle given by one of our players.

The Lions were zapped of energy, and after a bit of to and fro the All Stars were awarded with yet another line out in the Lions 5. The All Stars won the line out. There was a bit of scrambling, and eventually, they scored one more try! 15-20.

“FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!” GAME OVER!!!

SAY WHAAAAAAT!!! THE LANNA LIONS HAVE NOT ONLY BEATEN A TEAM THAT SO FAR THIS SEASON HAVE BEEN UNBEATABLE, BUT HAVE ALSO WON THE FIRST EVER TRI CLUB CUP!!!

Soon after, the Lions and All Stars tunneled one another, the cheers could be heard for miles around, today truly was a day to remember!

Even though all our players were shattered, Charlie the team photographer, couldn’t help herself and decided it was time to gather up the winning team for a photo opportunity.

TRI CLUB CUP WINNERS LANNA RUGBY CLUB

If that wasn’t enough, she then insisted on getting the All Stars involved . . .

ALL STARS AND LIONS 2020 LANNA RUGBY CLUB

Final Score line: CAS 15 – 20 LRC

TRIES: 4   CONVERSIONS: 0

Stanton 1, Mikey 1, Adolph 1, Fitz 1

 

Men of the Match:

The coaches had a little natter and decided that these two players showed outstanding quality in the final match!

Forwards: Opart
A force to be reckoned with, his runs were earth shattering! Always giving his all, never giving up right to the last minute.

Backs: Oli
The Lions played exceptionally well, alas, Oli outshone them all with his great play making and epic runs. Always at it no matter what!

 

In the evening the staunch  Lions, Stanton, Coach Tom, Coach Dave, Michael and the team photographer Charlie, met up at our club house A.K.A. Sheryles Bar and Restaurant for a much needed pint or two. Even Iain made it out for that!! If you don’t believe me, here is some proof!

The Dark Lord Lanna Rugby Club

Honourable mentions:

The Dark Lord, a man of many girls and even more words, he has been a rock in this team for the whole of this season.

Pat, you have a tremendous help in the organisation of the matches, you have been a very fair adjudicator this season. Thank you.

THE WHOLE TEAM, played incredibly today, Coach Tom and Coach Dave are very proud of what you as a team have managed to achieve this season.

 

THIRD HALF’S THE CHARM?!

We Are LANNA RUGBY CLUB

13:00ish First down to the Chiang Mai All Stars ground was Coach Dave, Coach Tom and Dtun the Destroyer! Closely followed by our brand spanking new coach, Ian, having a look see at the team and how we work before getting stuck in at practice in the new year!

Slowly the players sifted in through the gates and onto the pitch having a little run around to sweep away the cobwebs.

14:00  all players were present and accounted for. Another new face could be seen in the midst of the Lions team; Ari, a stocky unit from NZ. In any case, it was time for the team that had been called out not 5 minutes prior to take to the pitch!

 

Chiang Mai All Stars Vs Lanna Rugby Club

Iain ‘The Dark Lord’ (Prop), Dave (Hooker, Captain), Sanny ‘Deckers’ (Prop), Fitz (2nd Row), Brave (2nd Row), Opart “O” (No. 8), Mikey (Scrum Half), Oli (Fly Half), Stanton (Centre),  Michael (Wing), Aaron (Wing), Dtun ‘The Destroyer’ (FullBack)

Subs:

Tom ‘Stubs’, Simon ‘Twinkle Toes’, Chris, Ari

 

After a brief chat between the officials, Pat and Trevor, along with the coaches from the All Stars and Lanna it was decided we’d play 12 aside; 15 Mins x  2 halves, with a possible 3rd half if everyone is up for it!

Once Dave (who is acting captain yet again to lead our lerry men into battle) had returned from the toss Lions turn to kick to the All Stars. As per usual, just prior to kick off all the players gathered round Dave bound up tightly in a circle just before Coach Dave called it out, “LANNA ON 3, LANNA ON 3 . . .  1, 2, 3 ”
Everyone “LANNA!”

 

FIRST HALF

HOOF!, Oli was kicking today, put up a lovely high kick for the Mighty Lions speed merchants to run for. Alas the pressure wasn’t enough to disrupt the Chiang Mai All Stars player who caught it easily, even with the Lions running them down, applying pressure. This was a very different squad to what we’d seen prior. For a start this team looked drilled. They retained the ball, moving it from one side to the next, it didn’t take long for the All Stars to find a gap, slotting a player through the Lions defence. 5-0 to the home side!

Once again Oli put up a high long ball. This time the pressure worked, forcing them to make an error, Scrum down Blue ball! With Dave spearheading the pack it wasn’t long before LRC had the ball by O’s feet. Dave shouting the players to keep driving a metre or too further just before Mikey picked up and fired the ball out to Oli who then shipped it to Stanton. Stanton hit contact with Iain and Dave in support. Mikey at the break down saw Fitz to the right. Fitz decided this was his time to shine. Dodging one, two then three players as he went on a looping run round and down the right wing. Unfortunately no one was with him in support to pop the ball to. The All Stars winger tackled him and set the Lions up for another ruck.

Iain, Dave, Brave went over, Mikey at the back foot of the ruck. Passed the ball to Oli, who went for a darting run before the ball had worked its way to Stanton. He went on a huge smashing run, through one, two, three men, knocking them down like bowling pins. He’d broken the defence, all there was left to do was get to the try line and put the ball down. Excellent work Stanton finally getting the Mighty Lions some points on the scoreboard, 5-5 a piece!

After that storming run Stanton had earned a breather . . .
CENTRE Stanton OFF / Stubs ON

Lanna Rugby Club prepared for receiving. The All Stars put up a high ball, O caught it! Now it was time to show the All Stars what we are made of. Opart went for a run making 5 metres before hitting contact and dropping to the deck. Dave and Iain were there rucking over. Mikey got to the ball, and passed it to Sanny waiting to the left. Deckers soon hit contact, driving them back a bit before making a new ruck. Fitz and Brave were in the mix, Dave back into the ruck with Iain wanting the ball. Mikey flicked it up to him, The Dark Lord ripping them a new one with his strong hard running.  Before he went down he managed to pop the ball left, to Oli who was screaming for the ball. He made it round a player before seeing stanton in the corner of his eye. Boom! Stanton going on another run, with Michael on his tail. The ball now on the left wing.

A ruck commenced. Brave and Deckers were there for support Mikey made the breakdown, Seeing Michael cutting a line from the wing heading for the centre mark, Mikey passed him the ball.  Michael stretching his legs, dancing round a couple of players before hitting the ground.  Dave as always, made the break down, along with Brave and Fitz. Mikey got the ball out to Opart, who went for another of his dazzling little runs. Passed the ball out to Oli who went for another little run, taking it down the wing. Oli saw Arron on his right, passed the ball out to him. Alas, the opposition were right in our face. As soon as Oli had given him the ball, he’d been smashed into touch. Line Out All Stars Ball.

The All Stars won the line out and began to make their advance. Brave and Fitz put in some huge tackles, along with Dave and Iain knocking them back for ten. The onslaught didn’t  slow. They kept working it through their hands. slowly opening up the Lions defence. You could just see how accustomed they were to 7’s with even the props pulling off some silky lines and ball work. Eventually they broke the Lions defence yet again. 10-5 to the All Stars.

Lions kicked to the Home team again. The All Stars got the ball and again began to move forwards with vigor. They’d made it to the halfway mark but couldn’t move much further as the Lions had had enough, putting more pressure upon the flailing All Stars players. The Chiang Mai All Stars got the ball from the back of the ruck and started moving the ball out wide. The Lions back line moved forwards in a strong line applying pressure. Stubs all of a sudden began to dart forwards, there was a gap in their defence. as the ball was passed he applied pressure to the receiver.  Again, similar to at the Bears ground, the ball was dropped, bounce off the floor and comfortably into Stubs hands who then just had to run for the try line, evading the fullback for yet another TRY. 10-10 level pegging.

Lions received the kick once more. The ball went towards The Dark Lord . . . bounced off his chest and the All Stars player recovered it only to knock on. Scrum down Red ball. Chiang Mai All Stars won the scrum and as always started to weave the ball between themselves.  Lions players were pushed into their own 10. body after body being committed to tackles and rucks. Dtun flying in taking them down, as was Oli, Deckers, Dave, Brave, Fitz, Opart, Aaron, Michael. Absolutely every player was doing their utmost to keep the All Stars at bay.  After holding the All Stars back for some time now, they found the gap and pushed their men over the line for a third try. 15-10 to the All Stars.

Whistle blew for halftime. Time to get some water on board!

 

SECOND HALF

PROP – Sanny OFF /  Ari ON
CENTRE – Stubs OFF / Stanton ON

This half Lanna Lions received the kick. Dave caught the ball and took it for a little run, smashing into contact, driving the opposition back with Ari and Brave in support. Mikey got the ball off dave and shipped it to Ari who went on a daring little run, taking on a big All Stars. The ball went through a few good phases of ball. The Dark Lord having a run out, Brave and Opart constantly giving the All Stars problems with rucking. However, the ball was finally overturned, time for CM All Stars to have a go. It wasn’t long until Chiang Mai All Stars managed to find some space out wide, they whipped the ball around and found a gap down our left wing storming home a well worked try. 20-10 to the All Stars.

WING Arron OFF/ Chris ON

All Stars receiving, Oli kicked and off the Lions went once more. Oli, Dave, Mikey and Stanton rushing to the player receiving. BOOM! Stanton adn Dave took him out. The ball went bobbling backwards. Mikey and Oli got there, recovered the ball and prepared for a ruck. Brave and Iain made it to support. Stanton acted scrum half as Mikey was on the ground. He saw Opart to his right, coming in hard, popped the ball up to him. Opart smashed through the defence and set up for another ruck. Ari and Dave were there to ruck over. Mikey made it to this break down, saw Oli shouting for it. Olis shipped it out to Stanton who was steamrolling, he caught the ball in his stride, pushing the players out of the way like a hurricane tearing down trees. 10, 5, try time!! Stanton finally forcing himself over that try line, 20-15

CENTRE Stanton OFF / Stubs ON

Lions received.  the Lions became a bit of a shambles. Even though we were up the structure and organisation had waned. We dropped a couple of balls, the communication wasn’t there. The All Stars inevitably got the ball through knock on. LRC were back on the defensive, tackling players left and right, trying to hold the All Stars back. Mikey went in for a flying tackle. MAN DOWN! Mikey had taken a big knock, albeit playing some great rugby. Might be time for him to take a little rest. Time for our secret weapon . . .

SCRUM HALF Mikey OFF / Simon ON

Michael was also spitting feathers, gasping for his breath . . .


WING Michael OFF / Aaron ON

Even with the fresh legs we had our backs to the wall. The All Stars were again in our 5, pushing constantly. Luckily for us they dropped the ball. Scrum down Blue ball. Our pack forced them off the ball yet again. Mikey popped the ball to Oli who slotted a kick out get that ball as far away from the Lions try line as possible. Line out Red ball. As Lann Rugby Club haven’t had the focus on lineouts in practice, the All Stars won yet another lineout, ran the ball through a few hands, ran hard at our line. After driving hard, with Lanna Lions keeping them out for so long, another try was on the books as our defence gave way. 25-15 All Stars.

Soon enough the whistle blew and if was the end of the second half.

 

After a stressy and tiring second half, but only one try down, everyone decided another half can and will be played!

 

THIRD HALF

PROP Ari OFF (Simon to Prop) / Mikey ON (Scrum Half)
2ND ROW Fitz OFF Stanton ON

Lions kicked to All Star once more. Our organisation was back baby! The Lions put heaps of pressure on the All Stars. We managed to make them fumble the ball. Scrum down Blue ball. Mikey got the ball out to Oli from the scrum, he popped the ball to Stubs, made a lovely little loop round creating a beautiful overlap. Stubs saw Olion the war path and popped the ball up to his right. Oli caught the ball with ease, danced round the All Stars player no bother as he sprinted full pelt for the try line! BOOM! Top work Oli, only one try in it, 25-20.

WE’RE STILL IN IT!!!

. . . . Or so we thought.

After that cheeky well worked try, the Lions were officially out of gas!

Try after try the All Stars kept putting past our spattered defence. Super Dtun was on top form and came flying in for a huge crunching tackle, however this time he may have come off a little worse for ware, literally knocking the wind out of him.

30, 35, 40, and finally 45-20. They were the better team on the day, cardio being the major killer.

We tunneled and cheers for Chiang Mai All Stars and the referees for a thoroughly great game, and finally, we cheered ‘The Big Dick Boys’.

Final Score line: CAS 45 – 20 LRC

TRIES: 4   CONVERSIONS: N/A

Stanton 2, Stubs 1, Oli 1

 

Men of the Match:

After much deliberation, the Man of the Match goes to two players that showed outstanding quality in yesterday’s game against the All Stars.

Brave
For his constant ‘up and at ’em’ attitude, always at the break downs, taking the ball in to contact on multiple occasions and getting stuck in with tackling whenever he could. Top work!

Oli
You’d never have guess it was his first time at fly half with his quick thinking and back line organisational skills. Cutting some nice lines too and scoring a lovely worked try, ,icing on the cake.

 

After the match, as per usual, the Lions faithful reconvened at our club house A.K.A. Sheryles Bar and Restaurant for a much needed pint or two.

 

Honourable mentions:

Ian, a brand spanking new coach for Lanna Rugby Club, came to see how we played, then came out later to see how we drink!! Bang on!

Mikey put in a great display, making it to pretty much every break down, and putting in a top defensive performance.

Stanton, Dave, Iain, Ian, Oli, Tom and the referee, Trevor, all made it out for post match drinks!

BATTLE OF THE BEASTS: FIRST BLOOD!

FIRST BLOOD

8:30am Deckers, Jonesy, The Destroyer, Twinkle Toes, Michael, Brave and Head Coach Stubs gathered at Mcdonalds. A few of the lads got stuck in to a bit of carbo loading as you do, whilst Stubs was busy pulling hair out as the minivan had yet to arrive . . . the driver also couldn’t speak a word or english . . .  would the Lions even turn up?  Deckers to the rescue. After a few fraught minutes, the minivan pulled up round the front. Everyone piled in.

FIRST BLOOD

Whilst that happened, Bomber had already mentioned he’ll meet us there, Coach Dave was already in CR sorting out a visa, Greg was driving his scooter up (great idea . . .)  and Fitz was taking the Dark Lord and Stanton in his shaggin’ waggon.

And they were off, Wacky Races eat your heart out, Lanna Rugby Club scaling a tremendously arduous road. An hour in . . .  Ping (FB message)
Iain : “We’ve broken down”
Tom: ” Ok, get it fixed and we’ll see you soon”.

*In Coach Tom’s head : SH!T SH!T SH!T SH!T.

Big Dick Boys FIRST BLOOD

Good news we are no longer a ragtag band of 8 players, as we were the last time LRC ventured to Chiang Rai, we are now 15 strong at the very least if todays headcount was anything to go by!

Whilst Dave rushed through the border crossing, and the Minivan hurtled towards CR, Greg too, loving life driving his scooter on the tremendously potholey road. Bomber, Chris and Opart were busy chilling out, enjoying breakfast, the clever foxes drove up the night before! Avoiding the stress we all faced.

13:05 – The first to arrive at the pitch was the minivan crew! After a  bit of confusion with the map the driver finally got the lads there in one piece. The Lions after being confined for so long getting to stretch their legs a bit!

Next to Arrive was Chris, then Bomber and his friend Ian, shortly followed by Opart and his friend Percy. The team slowly coming together.

13:15 Greg, the legend that he is, arrived at the pitch on his trusty scooter. What’s that Greg? “Oh I should have come up in the minivan!”. Thought as much, that road is incredibly treacherous.

A flat tyre can’t stand in the way of the Lions making it to a game. By 13:30 Fitz and his merry men made it to the pitch. Great to see them all down, Iain enjoying his pre match smoke as per usual.

14:00 . . .  Where was Dave? he had the kit bag . . .  tensions were getting high. . . .  14:10 Coach Dave arrives with family in toe! With not a second to spare, the lads dash over, say our hellos. “Lads bang a shirt on!” Coach Tom shouted out as the team was then shortly called out after. Quickly after, all the Lions got on to the pitched, warmed up and got stuck into a few formational plays, swapping up the players, readying everyone for the EPIC battle ahead!

Coach Dave who was also acting captain for the day heads over to flip the coin whilst the rest of us kept throwing the ball between us.

 

Chiang Rai Bears Vs Lanna Rugby Club

Iain ‘The Dark Lord’ (Prop), Dave (Hooker, Captain), Sanny ‘Deckers’ (Prop), Opart “O” (2nd Row) Fitz (2nd Row), Mark ‘Bomber’ (Scrum Half), ‘Greg’ (Fly Half), Stanton (Centre), Michael (Wing/Fullback), Dtun ‘The Destroyer’ (Wing/FullBack)

Subs:

Tom ‘Stubs’, Simon ‘Twinkle Toes’, Brave, Aaron ‘Jonesy’, Chris

 

The toss for kick off was over. The Cap filled us in on the game, 10 aside, 10 Mins x 4 halves (dubious whether we could last 3 let alone 4). In any case, we were kicking to the Bears. All the players gathered round, bound up tightly in a circle just before Coach Dave called it out, “LANNA ON 3, LANNA ON 3 . . .  1, 2, 3 ”
Everyone “LANNA!”

FIRST HALF

It was a hot day, no shade in sight, the sun beating down on all the players. (Reminder, sort out bandanas for those a bit sparse on top). The Lions lined up, Bomber preparing to kick . . .  BRRRRR Whistle went, BOOM, Bomber gave a nice high kick to his right, for Dtun and Fitz to chase up.

The Bears threw the ball between them until trouble came their way, and it was in the form of Stanton. smashing the unlucky fella for ten. Lanna was at it, pushing, gaining ground, no mercy. Opart, and Dave over. forcing the Bears to give. Success, Lanna with the ball. Bomber shoots it out to The Dark Lord who goes for a big run, tearing the defence apart. Down he goes, Opart and Dave over, Bomber gives the  ball to Sanny who goes for a massive run, bulldozing players out of the way.

Lions keep going, ruck after ruck. Greg and Stanton go for a run, keeping on driving the Bears back further. Iain and Opart over, the ball is shipped to Dave, running in hard blowing the Bears back.

The Lions were dominating, the game plan Coach Dave and Coach Tom had been teaching for so many months was finally coming to fruition. Ruck after ruck. every player driving hard. Opart making some massive runs along with The Dark Lord, bodies bouncing off them like skittles. Dave went in, over the top, Brave and Deckers in support, Opart got the ball, passed it to Fitz on the Half way mark. Don’t tell me what I think he’s going to do. Round one player, then another, a big gap opened down the right wing. Fitz smashing through tackles like a shark through a school of fish, hungry for it. All the Lions just stood and watched in amazement, what a run then . . .. with a gasp, WHAT A TRY!  5-0 to the Mighty Lions.

Bears kick to Lions. Dave catches and goes for a run in, Opart and Sunny Over. Bomber gets the ball to Iain, Iain goes down. knock on! Scrum down Bears ball. The Lions pack put in a great push, but the Bears still came out on top. They passed it up and down the line as the lines kept them at the 22. Our players kept getting sucked in ot the rucks, a gap opened up down the right allowing the Bears to easily run through and score a try. 5-5

A CRB player has the ball, got through two of the Lions. Dtun seeks him out and slowly trots over, gauging his speed and distance. All of a sudden he revs up, . .  CUNCH! The Destroyer annihilates him. Taking him out minto touch by three metres. What a spectacular tackle.

This was only the beginning. It soon turned out that that wasn’t no lucky tackle, Dtun was on it. That was the on button. After that nobody could get past Dtun THE DESTROYER! Time after time, players headed for Dtun, then BOOOOOM! see you later, good night!

Lanna Lions managed to turn over ball in a ruck over on the left wing. Michael looped round and decided to go for a run, managed to evade a couple of players, making fiver metres until it was rucking time yet again.  Unfortunately, the Bears managed to see a break after turning the ball just before halftime. 10 -5 to the bears.

SECOND HALF

PROP – Sanny OFF /  CENTRE – Stanton OFF
PROP – Twinkle Toes ON / CENTRE – Stubs ON

The second half got underway with a couple of changes in the line up, with a few more along the way.

We picked up from where we had left off, at a scrum in the Bears 5 (Not sure what the reasoning was for that, as opposed to kick off, not complaining, the boot was on our foot!). The Lions pack put in a huge push. Lanna Lions won the ball. LRC went at it again, going into ruck after ruck. Alas, it wasn’t long before the ball turned over. The Bears, pinned back in their own 5, kicked for touch.

As we aren’t training for lineouts, the opposition inevitably won it. The ball being shipped down the line. They like to play fast ball. Not to worry, Dtun was ready and waiting, putting in a big hit at half way. Ruck time again. Tom and Greg were there first, over and bridging. Bomber soon arrived, popping the ball out to Iain who went for a short powerful run. Opart managed to get the ball off him before going down. O made some hard yards. Simon in to ruck over. Tom bridging. The ball was shipped to Iain then to Greg who went for another lovely run before offloading to Michael. He brought the ball back in, towards our forwards before running straight for a Bears player, hitting contact hard, driving into the defensive line. O and Dave joined, pushing the Bears back further. We were in the Bears 22 when fate went CRB’s way. Scrum down Bears ball.

*2ND ROW    Fitz – Off / Brave ON      FLY HALF Greg Off (Stubs to Fly half, Michael to Centre) / Arron ON WING

LRC pack put in a huge effort, however not enough to steal ball. Bears Fly Half gave the ball a hoof . . . Which landed right in The Destroyer’s safe hands. Middle of the pitch, he worked his way on a small loop down the left wing. Lightning fast, round one player, then the next, he was shuttling for it. Beat the Bears defensive line with ease, kicking up dust in their faces, finally sealing Lanna Rugby Club their second try of the game. 10-10

Brave caught the ball from kick off. Took it well and ran straight for contact, no fear! Driving them back, Simon and Iain joined in the push. Finally CRB managed to take down Brave, hitting the deck. Bomber picked up and popped the ball to Greg, going for a darting run forwards with Stubs in Support. The ball fumbled. Scrum, Bears ball. Lions pack gave a good push, moving the Bears back, but it was not enough to win. The Bears kept possession.  passing it between themselves, they broke the line once, Dtun smashed them back, a second time and Brave took them out, third time’s the charm, running through a gap created, scoring a well worked try.  15-10.

SCRUM HALF Bomber OFF (Stubs to Scrum Half, Michael to Fly Half, Dtun to Centre) / Chris ON WING

Up and at ’em! Captain Dave leading the charge. Tom took the kick, went better than expected! The ball flew down towards the left wing where Aaron, Brave, and Dave were charging it down. The ball bounced for us. Jonesy got on the end of it!!! Aaron a little bewildered, took a second to adjust,, realised that he had the ball and went for a run, round one, then two  . . .  three. “PUT THE BALL DOWN, PUT THE BALL DOWN”, Jonesy had miraculously made it over the try line. Alas, due to the poor marking on the pitch, he was none the wiser. A bears player smashed him in to touch, line out Bears ball!

FLY HALF Michael OFF / Stanton ON

The Bears won the ball and Hoofed it down the pitch. Dtun got on the end of it, charging the lead. as the rest of the lions back pedalled to get in support. Lanna Lions turned it on again, ruck after ruck.  At half way, Twinkle Toes finally got the ball from the ruck. What happened next was spellbinding!! As delicately as Freddie Flintstone when he blows, he went for a run, looping round the left, dodging one player, threw a  lovely little dummy to avoid the next. Hitting contact and driving a few yards with Stubs and Opart in support. Rucking over. The ball went through a few of the Lions hands, one after the other, rucking constantly down the left.  We are in the Bears 5 when Opart gets the ball from the back of the ruck. A cheeky pick and drive. O makes it over the try line to secure the third try of the Match! 15-15 level pegging.

BRRRRRRRR Whistle blew for the end of that intense second half.

THIRD (AND A BIT) HALF

PROP The Dark Lord OFF / Deckers ON
2ND ROW Opart OFF (Tom to 2nd Row) / Bomber ON SCRUM HALF
FLY HALF Michael OFF / Greg ON
CENTRE The Destroyer OFF / Stanton ON

The third half saw the LRC Massive finally return back to their game plan, after a wobbly second half. Brave, Deckers and Twinkle Toes putting in a load of effort, rucking, going for some bulldozing runs.

The Lions were back on top form after a worrying second half. The game plan was back in use. Whenever the Lions got the ball we just kept rucking, driving, and NOT throwing the ball out wide, as that would cripple us. Slow ball is the aim of our game!

Deckers went on another quality run. Improving week in week out, pushing through the pain to give that little extra. Gerg got on the end of a ball, going for and other daring run, Stanton and Arron in Support.  Chris got on it too, showing us what he can do before . . . TACKLE, knock on. Scrum down Bears ball.  Dave and Tom gave the commands, we pushed the Bears back, what a colossal, we won the ball, however due to spinning, the ball ended up back in the Bears hands. They saw the break, and made for the Try line . 20-15 to the Bears.

Bomber resummed as kicker. He put a high ball up, alas it didn’t go far enough. Scrum down Bears ball again!! The bears had the ball at half way. the score was 20 – 15 to the bears, they only needed one more try to seal the win. The Lanna Lions were feeling the strain. From the ruck, it went down the hands . . . one player, second player, now for a big throw . . .  Stubs could see the destination, bearing down on the receiver . . . THE PASS WENT BEHIND THE PLAYER . . . Stubs Chased the ball down which bounced wonderfully. All he could hear rom behind was “F**KING RUN*. So, in True Stubs fashion, he made a B-line for the try line, leaving the defenders in the dust. 20-20 a piece.

After a minute and a half of the Lions defending, tackle after tackle flying in from all over, keeping the Bears back at bay, the whistle finally went!! 20-20, great result. Both the Lions and Bears made tunnels, cheered on another then made their ways to the Bears Club House at Howlers Bar.

Final Score line: CRB 20 – 20 LRC

TRIES: 4   CONVERSIONS: N/A

Fitz 1, Dtun 1, Opart 1. Stubs 1

FIRST BLOODFIRST BLOOD

 

O, Greg, Bomber and Chris had left as soon as the match had ended, so with the remainders we set off for Howlers Bar which was a real treat. Some great food on show, the burgers and chili were on point! After everyone had finally turned up (Fitz Stanton and Iain running late as they were too busy washing their hair!), Lonny, ther Bears coach, along with Coach Tom and Coach Dave, made a little speech before announcing the MEN OF THE MATCH!!

Men of the Match:

Dtun the Destroyer!

It’s amazing what 10 months can make. Dtun keeps on showing us all, even the hardened rugby players how to tackle. Along with weaving his magic, running round their defence with ease. With Dtun at fullback, none shall pass!

‘The Flash’ Fitz 

With every match Fitz keeps on showing us just how vital a part of the team he is. Not only is he passionate, but his skill, ingenuity, and endurance to keep on going. At every break down, never give up attitude, as well as a daring try covering half the pitch. Man of the match was the only way today could end for ‘The Flash’ Fitz.

In true British amateur rugby fashion. Coach Tom got 4 pints in, one for each of the man of the match. They chugged away whilst everyone else watched in anticipation. FITZ, stormed his pint, smashing it back, no bother, followed by the two Bears players, with Dtun coming in last. (Side note, teach Dtun how to destroy drinks, not just the opposition).

FIRST BLOOD

Finally it was time to depart. Coach Dave hit the road with his family, next was the minivan set off, before stopping only a few metres down the road for the lads to stock up on beer for the tri back. Lastly Fitz, The Dark Lord and Stanton all headed out for a night on the tile in CR before heading back, lubing up and having their own Big Dick Boy party!

 

Honourable mentions:

Opart and Bomber’s friends, Percy and Iain, kindly joined the Chiang Rai Bears as they were lacking numbers.  Top Lads!

On the way back in the minivan Aaron couldn’t handle his beer so we pulled over for a team road side slash. Standard.

Simon and his smooth blues playlist.

PITSTOP FIRST BLOOD