Ruck ‘n’ Roll at Pattaya Rugby Festival 2013

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Amari Orchid Pattaya Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament

The weekend of 4th and 5th May 2013 will see the thirteenth staging of the Pattaya 10’s Rugby Tournament, which is now known as the Amari Orchid Pattaya Chris Kays Memorial Tournament to perpetuate the memory of the former Pattaya Panthers captain, who was tragically killed in the Bali bombing in October 2002.

Once again the tournament will be staged at The Horseshoe Point Resort, the field has been completely renovated and will be in superb condition and with the support of Khun Chainarin Srifuengfung, Khun Girana and their dedicated staff, we are sure that everybody will love playing or watching the rugby in such attractive surroundings.  Can you remember the great atmosphere created last year with the tents erected around the field forming an amphitheatre for the battles taking place on the greensward?

Expect some spectacular action at this year’s Pattaya Rugby Festival.Expect some spectacular action at this year’s Pattaya Rugby Festival.

There will be an open 10’s Tournament for men and a Junior Division (Under 15’s), which is now in its fourth year, to enable the youngsters to display their skills and potential on a major stage.  The youth tournament will be sponsored by Kingdom Properties, a newcomer to the Pattaya scene.

There will be 16 teams in the main tournament and as usual this year there will be a very strong local influence led by the Old Bangkok Bangers and the newly invigorated Southerners!  We look forward to the return of The Thai Barbarians to defend their title and The Southerners, who were narrowly beaten last year in an epic Cup final.  They will be back hoping that this will be their year and with their new blood who would bet against them?

Former champions Thai Legends will be back and other new names include Surin Brutal and the Watsrichan Old Boys, who have graduated from the youth tournament.

The overseas flavour will come from the Pau Ma Tei Barbarians, the touring identity of the famous Valley RFC in Hong Kong, and a relatively new and somewhat unknown quantity, also from Hong Kong, with the rather strange name for a basically Chinese team of Hong Kong Scottish RFC.

A big disappointment is that one of our favourite teams the Buccaneers from Australia will not be coming as a team but several of their crew will be coming as individuals and looking to help out any teams that are short!  Of course those perennial crowd favourites The Bangkok Japanese will be looking to upset some of the more favoured teams, their numbers have increased and they have turned in some great results in recent competitions.

There will not be such a strong academic influence this year although Thammasat University will be making their second appearance at the tournament and the military will return with a team from the Army Preparatory Academy.  Also a new alumnae team from Bangkok University, “Bargunchong”, will be making their debut on the local rugby scene.

Our old friends the Chiang Mai Suas will be vying for the silverware and the Phuket Vagabonds will certainly be leading the charge to the Bar!  But don’t underestimate the hosts who despite losing several stalwarts have been training hard on the field under new coach Tom Kerr and Captain Adrien Simon, the leader of the French revolution!

A tournament such as this could not be staged without the backing of our generous sponsors and this year the Amari Orchid Resort have become the event‘s principal sponsor and the tournament will therefore be known as the Amari Orchid Pattaya Chris Kays Memorial Tournament.  We have also received significant support from Jamesons, Kingdom Properties and Cranes & Equipment Asia.

In addition the Panthers would also like to thank other tournament sponsors: Construction Cost Consultants, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Aus Group (formerly Modern Industries), CR Asia Ltd., Societe Generale de Surveillance, Jardine Shipping Services, Phoenix Pacific Inc., Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Pattaya Mail Media Group, and our now legendary social sponsors Icebreaker and Rhenus Logistics.

Players and friends will get together on Friday night (3rd May) for team registration and a welcoming party and “warm up training session” at the Tavern By the Sea in the Amari Orchid Resort Pattaya.  The action will begin at 9am on Saturday and concludes around 6pm Sunday in what should be a memorable weekend festival of rugby there will be almost 24 hours of entertaining rugby action during the two days.

Note that the Kingdom Property U-15’s tournament will be played from 16:00 to 19:00 on Saturday evening and will conclude between 08:00 and 10:00 on Sunday morning.

As an added bonus this year we are expecting Chris Kays’ parents Ray and Lin to honour us with their presence.  The weather is forecast to be fine but very HOT and the venue is in perfect condition so we have no doubt that this will be another spectacular tournament says the Chairman of the Pattaya Panthers, Jim Howard.