Shoalhaven Rugby Club has wrapped up its 50th anniversary year in style taking out the Cambodian international 10s tournament.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Shoals overcome the Saigon Mighty Geckos in the grand final 33-nil to take the crown undefeated.
Along the way the team racked up and impressive 188 points for and just 17 against.
Shoals started their campaign with a 35-5 win over the Saigon Mighty Geckos in the nine minute halves before beating the Cambodia Garoudas 50-nil to complete the opening day’s competition, while another game was abandoned.
Despite that Shoals still finished on top of their pool.
On day two Shoals beat the French Asian Barbarians 35-nil and then accounted for the Bangkok Southerners 35-12 in a hard fought semi-final.
That set Shoals up for a finals showdown again against the Geckos, who were last years champions.
Stevie Brandon (2), Tom Sims, Tristan Healy, Pumba Spresser and Michael Dun crossed for tries in the 33-nil victory.
The players battled relentlessly hot and humid conditions during both days.
The Shoals’ touring party included 14 players and three coaches, Paul Connor, Paul Clements and Dale Spresser.
Talking from Cambodia Paul Clements said the trip had been a superb experience.
“The crowd was all on our side in the final,” he said.
“Cheers of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie oi oi oi and Waltzing Matilda were being sung throughout the final.
“We developed a friendship with the local Cambodians over the two-days of play and many of the boys donated their boots, socks and shorts to them after we played our final.”
A set of Shoals junior jerseys, balls and headgears were also donated to the Cambodian Youth Rugby Development Organisation "Kampuchea Balopp", who were also the organisers of the tournament.
“They were very grateful for our donation,” Clements said. “We even saw two of the Cambodian players playing in SRFC socks on the second day.
“The Shoals players have been fundraising for this trip throughout the 2018 season and every aspect of this tour, including the standard of rugby itself, has well and truly exceeded any expectations we had and all players and coaches on the tour have had a life-changing experience here in Phnom Penh.”
In its 8th year the Cambodian 10s is organised by the Kampuchea Balopp group and it was the first time an Australian team has competed in the tournament.
The men’s competition was run over two days and the included a four-team women’s competition and an old boys competition on the Saturday.
Kampuchea Balopp is a youth development through sport initiative which works with disadvantaged and disabled children.
As well as playing rugby, the touring party also visited the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia where over two million people were slaughtered and buried at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, which was a pretty surreal and sobering experience.
The tourists also had a fantastic time experiencing Cambodian culture.
The Shoals’ squad was: Pumba Spresser, Blake Lamond, Duncan Maddinson, Tristan Healy, Sam Watts, Tom Hill, Michael Dun, Harri Hibbs, Tom Sims, Tyson Sue, Steve Brandon, Angus Clark and Pat Connor, with coaches Paul Connor, Paul Clements and Dale Spresser.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.