Archive for February, 2008

29
Feb
08

SOAS one step more to Championship

SOAS has one more step to go before claiming the 2008  under-18 BRFU Championship when the trashed Sekolah Awang Semaun 43-0 at Berakas Camp on Friday morning. Meanwhile, Belait District Combined School who played their last game this season overcame their frustration losing to SOAS mid-season by over-running Sekolah Sharif Ali 48-0. Standing for now, Belait District Combined School still leads the table but without any more games to play, whilst SOAS one step below with one game in hand to complete the season.

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Under 18                  
P W L D F A D B Points
KB Combined Schools 5 4 1 0 171 44 127 4 16
SOAS 4 4 0 0 144 12 132 3 15
Jerudong International School 3 1 2 0 80 47 33 1 4
Sekolah Awang Semaun 3 1 2 0 37 102 -65 1 4
PTEB / Rimba 3 1 2 0 14 105 -91 0 3
Sekolah Sharif Ali 4 0 4 0 26 162 -136 1 1

 

27
Feb
08

A thriller end to a great tournament

Interesting!
Now that’s the only word I can think of describing the under-16 tournament this year.
Why?
It is because it will be a nail biting finish for 3 teams in the tournament. JIS and SOAS played to a draw 17-17 which will actually open up the uncertainity of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing.
JIS is still leading the under-16 table with that draw, but with no more match to play, they just have to wait for the outcome of next week’s game. Next week’s match between Sekolah Awang Semaun and SOAS will be the decider.
  • If SOAS wins, and scoring less that 5 points difference, JIS will win the competition
  • If SOAS wins more that 5 points, they take the championship.
  • If SOAS lose, not only that they will not win the championship, Sekolah Awang Semaun will creep up to 2nd position if they score the bonus point.
What a thriller !!!
Tune in next week for the results …..
Under 16                  
  P W L D F A D B Points
Jerudong International School 4 3 0 1 114 49 65 2 13
SOAS 3 2 0 1 87 27 60 2 10
Sekolah Awang Semaun 3 2 1 0 51 80 -29 1 7
Sekolah Sharif Ali 3 0 3 0 51 88 -37 1 2
Sekolah Menengah Rimba 3 0 3 0 15 74 -59 1 1
25
Feb
08

You know you are old when …..

Fat short and ugly is the best you can describe a front row forward

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Then – Roundtree                                   Pretty boy Szarzeweki

Rugby jerseys were long sleeved, not body hugging (looks ugly on a front row forward) and made out of non-syntactic Material.

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Fran Cotton Designed this                   Kenzo Takada Designed this

Its ok to smoke and drink when you play (teetotelism doesn’t exist in rugby player’s vocabulary)

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broke that rule recently                        3 packs a day – he is French anyway

Scotland was a good team

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Hall of famer –Hasting

League players were Rugby Union outcasts

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Farrell – the famous code-changer

South Africa can’t play any test matches

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Two times world champion Os Du Randt

All Blacks were the World Champion

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The only time All Blacks beat France in the World Cup

last but not least ……..

You can only last 1/2 a minute in a 10 minute game!!

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Khay – substituted after 20 seconds during Labuan Tens 2007

23
Feb
08

Super 14 weekend

Super 14 Logo

This year’s Super 14 is bound to be full of surprises. There’s been a mass exodus of quality players from the Southern Hemisphere, and the powers-that-be have been tinkering with the rules.

Here is my team-by-team guide for the tournament and my view on how they will fare.

Crusaders

The most successful side in this competition, the Crusaders will again be a force. They’ve managed to cling on to Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, whislt adding All Black lock Ali Williams to their armoury. It’s coach Robbie Deans last season in charge before he takes over the reigns in Australia, so expect to see some clever analysis and manipulation of the new rule book.

Prediction: 1st

Sharks

After finishing top of the league after the regular season last year, and playing some of the best rugby, the Sharks will want another successful season. Despite losing John Smit, Butch James and Percy Montgomery, they have a strong coaching setup that will guide the team through the law changes, and in new signing (mercurial) Frederic Michalak, they have a potential match-winner and should make the playoffs.

Prediction: 2nd

Hurricanes

On paper, this team should be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and we expect to see them in the playoffs at least. With a back row of Jerry Collins (no, he hasn’t signed for Barnstaple), Rodnery So’oialo and Chris Masoe, they should win plenty of ball to release strong runners like Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith out wide.

Prediction: 3rd

Blues

The Blues waved goodbye to Luke McAlister and Doug Howlett at the end of last season, but they will still be a threat this year. With solid foundations in the front five, courtesy of Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Troy Flavell, they also have devastating pace out wide in the shape of Joe Rokocoko and Isaia Toeava. Renowned coach David Nucifora will offer his expert interpretation of the ELVs and the Blues will be difficult to beat.

Prediction: 4th

Bulls

Last year’s champions will defend their crown with passion, but having lost Victor Matfield and their coach Heyneke Meyer, they will be up against it. They do, however, have World Cup-winners Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Bakkies Botha, whilst Pierre Spies will hopefully be back to his best.

Prediction: 5th

Waratahs

The New South Wales side is an exciting attacking prospect, but may not have the pack to make it to the business end of the competition – a bit like Australia in the World Cup. Having missed most of last season with a knee injury, Phil Waugh returns to lead a talented side that contains big names like Rocky Elsom and Lote Tuquiri, and will be looking at a place in the top half of the table.

Prediction: 6th

Reds

The Queensland outfit could be a team to watch this season after underachieving in recent years, notably in 2007 when they finished rock bottom. With Rodzilla leading the way in the front row, Chris Latham looking for success in his swansong season, and Australia’s next big thing, Berrick Barnes, they have some exciting talent and a mid-table finish would be a good showing after last year.

Prediction: 7th

Chiefs

The chiefs do not boast too many household names (except Sitiveni Sivivatu and Mils Muliaina, of course), but they are always a passionate side and particularly difficult to beat at home. They won’t make the playoffs, but they won’t be the worst side in the competition.

Prediction: 8th

Stormers

Widely tipped to be one of the most improved sides under Rassie Erasmus, the Stormers have some quality players but have significantly underachieved in this competition. Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger are the mainstays of a side that will be a tough proposition playing in Cape Town, but will struggle to win away.

Prediction: 9th

Highlanders

Finished 9th last season and will probably end up in a similar position this year. They have lost a few players and will introduce a host of rookies which will give them a big pack, but without any real penetration out wide – they will struggle against the top teams.

Prediction: 10th

Cheetahs

New coach Naka Drotske will be looking to build a team to be reckoned with around a solid pack that contains CJ van der Linde and Juan Smith. With Marius Joubert out wide, they have some firepower, but it’s difficult to see this side finishing outside the bottom half of the table.

Prediction: 11th

Lions

Another team that lacks enough depth to compete at the top end, the Lions may be the whipping boys in 2008. They are without Andre Pretorius and Jacques Fourie, and while sevens star Jaco Pretorius might light up the field on the odd occasion, the Lions just don’t have the quality.

Prediction: 12th

Brumbies

The Brumbies will sorely miss George Gregan, Stephen Larkham and Jeremy Paul, whilst Stirling Mortlock will miss the first half of the season. There will be too much work for George Smith to do up front, and with little threat in the backs, the Brumbies could be propping up the table this season.

Prediction: 13th

Force

After a turbulent pre-season, former All Black coach John Mitchell will continue to build a team around captain Nathan Sharpe and Wallabies Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell. However, there does not seem to be the strength in depth to challenge at the top of the league, and they’ll probably end up in the bottom 4.

Prediction: 14th

Anyone wants to be this season’s bookie? -ed-

22
Feb
08

Under 18 Championship – week 4

Face Off

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The bald one insisted that his photo should be in here to get some hits from the girls

It seems that cricket was played today instead of rugby. High scoring matches in all under-18 games. It started with SOAS beating Sixth Form Center of Berakas 48-0, followed by Belait Combined Schools avenging their loss to SOAS last week by beating Awang Semaun School 45-10.

But among all, JIS managed to score the most when they beat Sharif Ali School 73-0. However, by the request of both coaches, a 10-aside (20 minutes a half) game was played in this match, due to the lack of players on both sides.

Here is how the score table looks so far, Belait district still leads the tournament, with SOAS close on its tail with one game in hand. Meanwhile, JIS is out of their doldrums when they moved up 3 notches with that big win.

 

Under 18                  
  P W L D F A D B Points
KB Combined Schools 4 2 1 0 123 44 79 3 12
SOAS 3 3 0 0 101 12 89 2 11
Jerudong International School 3 1 2 0 80 47 33 1 4
Sekolah Awang Semaun 2 1 1 0 37 59 -22 1 4
PTEB / Rimba 3 1 2 0 14 105 -91 0 3
Sekolah Sharif Ali 3 0 3 0 26 114 -88 0 1

 

21
Feb
08

Asian 5 nation – Where do we go from here

Asian 5 Nation championship is a way forward for rugby in Asia to thrive. Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Kazakhstan and Arabian Gulf will get their opportunity to play in the inaugural Championship which starts in April.

Unlike soccer, there is a mass gap between the top nations and the developing nation in rugby. For example, when Japan played All Blacks some years back, they were trashed by a century, but Japan too managed to thrash teams like Singapore or Malaysia which we consider to be the top teams in South East Asia with that score.

How can we narrow that gap between the nations?

The answer is simple, more playing time.

The kids in the Rugby Playing Nation took up the game when they were toddlers still in their diapers. The kids in Asian rugby nations took up the game when they were 12-13 whilst in Brunei, most of them took up the game at the age of 16. So when the boys in Brunei trying to figure out whats the difference between ruck and maul, it is already a second nature for their peers in New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, England, France … etc.

Thanks to guys like Johannas ‘Hans’ Hickey, Ben Peacocke, Tladi Small, Simon Harris (and more) … now we can see boys in Brunei (my boys included) taking up the game at 6 or 7 years old.

I took up the game when I was 13 and just like any Asian parents, my mum was against it. My dad was for it because he too played the game when he was in school (but then what can he say hehehehe!). I was lucky that I can hide all the scars and bruises from my mom, because I only see them once in 3 months (I went to a boarding school). The school that I went to has a rugby tradition. We have all the collections of State and National Champion trophies in our Trophy room. So, by default, rugby is the No.1 sports in the school.

We want to create that tradition here in Brunei. In Malaysia they have STAR Ipoh, MCKK, King Edward School of Taiping, Royal Military College and Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor. In Singapore they have Anglo Chinese School and Raffles Institution whilst in Thailand they have Vajiravudh College and King’s College. I am happy to see boys from SOAS college, Sharif Ali and Awang Semaun are creating that culture.

So, where do we go from here.

BRFU is working hard to work on the playing path for these school going players. The more they play the more rugby comes as a second nature to them. As they say it in Malay ‘melentung buluh biar dari rebongnya‘. Our aim now is not to be the World Champion. Our aim now is to be at par with the regional rugby playing nation. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have been playing the game for more that 80 years. BRFU was only formed 4 years ago. There is no way in the world that we can beat these nations today, but with proper planning, I believe Brunei can beat them tomorrow.

Brunei has been clustered with the other rugby developing nation in the region. To beat Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Guam and Philippines is within our grasp. If we can beat these 5 nations constantly within the next 5-6 years (hopefully with only local talents), we have achieved our first mission and we move forward from there on.

Brunei will play Philippines and Guam in June / July for the regional IRB Championship

21
Feb
08

Asian 5 Nation

 

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Hong Kong, February 21 2008: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) today announced the introduction of a major innovation in Asian Rugby, the HSBC Asian Five Nations Series (HSBC A5N). Daisuke Ohata, the top try scorer in international test match rugby attended today’s press launch at the iconic HSBC Main Building in Central, Hong Kong.

Ohata holds the world record for most tries scored in test rugby with 69 from 58 caps for Japan. Local rugby fans will remember his incredible pitch-length try at the death of Japan’s Plate Final match against Scotland in 1999, a feat that earned him that year’s Best and Fairest Player Award at the Hong Kong Sevens. Joining him today were players from the three other Asian rugby unions participating in the opening weekend of play in the HSBC A5N Top 5 competition in 2008: Diarmud O’Malley of the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union; Andy Yuen of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and Young hun Han of the Korea Rugby Union. Also attending were Sandy Flockhart, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Asia Pacific and Ross Mitchell, Honorary Secretary General of ARFU.

Commenting on its latest sponsorship, Sandy Flockhart, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Asia Pacific, said: “HSBC is proud to be able to sponsor the Asian Rugby Football Union to launch an exciting new regional rugby event in 25 Asian countries and territories. The three-year sponsorship demonstrates HSBC’s strong commitment to Asia and our ambition to grow this emerging sport in an emerging region.”

Ross Mitchell, Honorary Secretary General of ARFU said, “The Asian Five Nations has inherited a significant legacy in taking over from the Asian Rugby Football Tournament and, with the assistance of one of the world’s great sports sponsors HSBC, every effort will be made to ensure it becomes an important and prestigious event in the regional and international rugby calendar.”

“The Tournament is vital for the development and expansion of rugby throughout Asia and will give our elite players the chance to perform in front of a significantly expanded TV audience, whilst providing a platform for development at all other levels,” added Mitchell.

Mark Egan, Head of Rugby Services for the International Rugby Board said, “The HSBC Asian Five Nations will be the flagship Tournament for Asia, serving to promote and raise awareness of the Game in the region at all levels, while also providing a competitive competition and development structure for all participating unions. It is an exciting development for the Game in a region that offers significant potential for growth.”

Remarkable for its scale and inclusiveness, the HSBC A5N features four tiers of elite competition across 25 Asian rugby unions with promotion and relegation opportunities for participating teams.

The Top 5 competition will be played across a five-week, single round robin home and away format featuring the Arabian Gulf, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan and Korea. Test matches will be held on consecutive weekends throughout April and May 2008.

Reflecting the scale of this new initiative, the ARFU is securing a six-week TV package on a leading regional broadcaster to further increase the profile and awareness of rugby throughout the region. The package will feature a match of the week for the five Top 5 competition weeks and a 1-hour tournament highlights programme, representing the first time that ARFU has secured a regional TV broadcast package for its showcase tournament.

As proof of the uniquely inclusive nature of HSBC A5N, the last placed team in the Top 5 competition in 2008 will be relegated to the 2009 Division I competition to be replaced by the top placed team in Division I. The promotion and relegation policy will also be in effect for the Division I and Division II competitions, guaranteeing an equal share of the spoils for Asia’s most progressive unions.

Reflecting the tournament’s official sanctioning by the International Rugby Board (IRB), selected matches will be branded as IRB Rugby World Cup qualifiers starting this year. The IRB has also funded the HSBC Asian Five Nations with a 240,000 IRB grant.

Today’s announcement marks the latest chapter in the long and distinguished history of rugby in Asia, the fastest growing region in world rugby. In the last ten years, the membership of ARFU has more than doubled from 10 unions in 1998 to today’s 25, making Asia one of the hotbeds for growth in international rugby.

About HSBC:

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding and a principal member of the HSBC Group which, with around 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories and assets of US$2,150 billion at 30 June 2007, is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

About the Asian Rugby Football Union:

The Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) is the governing body of rugby in Asia under the authority of the International Rugby Board. Founded in 1968 by eight charter nations, the Union today has 25 member nations in countries across Asia, stretching from the Arabian Gulf to Uzbekistan. The aim of ARFU has never changed: “to raise physical and moral standards in Asia by education in the healthy pursuit of Rugby Football and to promote friendship among Asian countries.” ARFU also supports regional and pan-Asian tournaments, including women’s, men’s, and under 19’s competition in both sevens and fifteen-a-side rugby. ARFU is also deeply committed to the popularization and spread of the game across the region and supports youth rugby and team, coaching and referee development.