The hot season has well and truly arrived and this can mean only one thing. As well as the temperature, tensions are also rising and expectations are building in the run-up to the nineteenth edition of the Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament, taking place at Horseshoe Point in Pattaya from May 4-5.
Unfortunately a number of outside influences have worked against the organizers and for many reasons most of the usual combatants will not be contesting this year’s tournament. In response, Pattaya Panthers Chairman Jim Howard and Captain Chris Mander, ably assisted by tournament director David “ Animal “ Slater, have beaten the bushes and swept the bars of the Orient and have managed to assemble a smaller but competitive field. The quality is high however and all are convinced that there will still be lots of great rugby on display.
In a revised format all the participating teams will get to play a lot more rugby and this year’s event will see a return to the tournament’s ancestral home, the beautiful Horseshoe Point Resort which offers easier access to visitors and spectators alike.
The rugby kicks off at 10:00 am on Saturday 4th May and wraps up on Sunday 5th May with the traditional presentation of trophies in the swimming pool. The tournament is a variation of the usual long form of the game as the teams will comprise only 10 players per side and each game will be played over two halves of just seven (7) minutes, so there will be plenty of fast action.
The players will be attending a welcome reception at The Legends Pool and Sports Bar on Friday evening prior to the tournament and many old friendships will be revived before battle commences early on Saturday. Overseas teams include the Malaysian Blues from Kuala Lumpur and the Komodo Dragons from Indonesia. In addition the entire expat rugby community and all the usual local suspects from Thailand will be there.
There will be a total of 24 games in the initial round robin stages of the main tournament on Saturday, followed by rest and recreation, maybe a stroll along Beach Road and then early to bed with hot cocoa and biscuits on Saturday night. The knockout stages will commence at approximately 10:00 am on Sunday morning and will conclude with the Cup Final at around 17:00.
Please come and support your local heroes and have some fun and great craic at the same time. Entrance is free for all spectators and there will be lots of diversions to keep the little ones happy while mom and dad enjoy some great rugby, good food and cold beer.
The tournament could not happen without the support of the sponsors: Regents International School, Societe Generale de Surveillance, WHA Hemaraj Land and Development Co., Ltd., Manpower Thailand, Phoenix Pacific Inc., MAS Ausgroup, Pandora Resort Koh Samet, Lucy Electric (Thailand) Ltd., Garden International School, The London Pie, K.K.P. International Travel Services, The Sportsman Group, Baron Edward Devereux and Legends Pool and Sports Bar.
The welfare of all participants and spectators will again be looked after by the staff of the Sawang Bangboriboon Foundation and the tents and cooling shade will be provided by CR Asia (Thailand) Ltd.
We do hope to see many of you there for 2 days of great rugby. The weather is forecast to be very hot but the beer and cider served by the Sportsman’s girls will be very cold. Steve Mines the “Pie Man” from the London Pie Shop will also be on hand to satisfy your hunger with hot pies cooked on the spot alongside the usual Thai delicacies from the kitchen of The Sportsman and Horseshoe Point. With the venue being in perfect condition we have no doubt that this will be another spectacular tournament.