Archive for March, 2008

27
Mar
08

KB Pythons

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From one reptile … they have evolved to another.

When Panaga Crocs decided to dissolve at the turn of the Millennium, the locals from Belait District decided to continue with what the Crocs has started, to promote and develop the game of rugby. Headed by Pengiran Khasiem (also known as PK), and a number of ex-international who had don the National colors during the hey-days of Brunei Rugby in the 1980’s, the KB Python was born.

Thanks to two dedicated teachers from the district, Tim Lian (Tim) and Zakaria Hamzah (Zack) who have been recruiting kids from the schools in the district for the Club’s youth development program, which was a success, when after 3 years, KB Python took home the Brunei Inter-club Championship.

These boys are FAST … and fear no one. So watch out for them.

note: The Brunei inter-club Championships will commence on the 5th of April. We will post the tournament schedule around next week after finalizing some critical issues.

Tim … we don’t have your team’s logo, so I used this one.

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20
Mar
08

Crawl before we run

Grass root development in Rugby is as important as sending kids to Kindergarten. Unlike other sports, where individual skills play important roles  in the outcome of a game, in rugby the collective effort of each players in its position will determine whether the team will win or lose.

Rugby players are created not born. Look at Wilko (Jonny Wilkonson) for example, he spends 2 hours before and after the scheduled training session to practice his pin-point kicking ability. Its all about determination, as one of my reader suggested, rugby is all about the heart.

We can’t afford to send a team  to tournaments just to make up numbers anymore. We want to win. In order to win, we need to strategize.

BRFU has started its part of its strategy by introducing the game in schools. 10 years ago, there weren’t any school going rugby players around in Brunei, but in 2008, we’ve produced 275 school going players, the number of these school play going players will double in 5-6 years time.

The next step is to plan a the playing path for these kids. We want them to play the game and continue to involve in the game after their ‘shelf life’ has expired. We want them to be the administrators, coaches and match officials of the future.

For the first time in its short history, BRFU will be  having two age group National Teams. We will organize a National selection for the Under-16 and Under-18 national team in order for us to be successful. We want to send a competitive team for the 2010 ARFU Junior Championship who has a chance of winning the Trophy.

We have two years to prepare the boys. We want the boys to work with the same management for two years. The coaching staffs will plan the kids training schedule, daily diet, gym time and everything that would make them winners. BRFU will arrange tour games for the boys to gauge the team’s level. Everything needs to be well planned and organized. We want to go and return back as Champions.

The 2008 under-16 team will be the feeder team for the 2008 under-18 team for our 2010 goal. The teams will work with two sets of coaching staffs.  The under-16 team will be headed by Mr. Mark Pyrgos as the head coach whilst the under-18 will be headed by Mr. Ben Bourne as the head coach.

Mr. Mark Pyrgos, 47 years old, is currently teaching in Jerudong International School. A fullback, he represented England Schools and Student and played against Wales, Ireland and Netherlands back in the late 70’s. He played for Cambridge University (with Gavin Hastings!) and toured all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong in the 80’s. He represented Richmond F.C in England before the rugby professional era.

Mr. Bourne is well known among the local rugby scene. A Samoan, he has played club level in New Zealand. He coached and played for Royal Brunei Police during his first year in Brunei. He is also currently coaching the SOAS college under-16 and under-18 teams which emerged as the 2008 champions.

A panel of coaches will be scouting for the National representative for these two age groups. The National selection will be done on 4th April 2008. We will announce the place and time at a later date.

19
Mar
08

Bandar Blacks

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The concept of Yin and Yang describes the two opposing side but at the same time complement each other. We can use this when we describe the relationship between the Yachties and Bandar Blacks.

Whilst Yachties was founded by a bunch of drunkard expatriates who long for a game of rugby (they need reasons to go on tour …), Bandar Blacks was founded by a bunch of Mosque going Muslims, Church going Christians and Temple going Taoist locals (integration at its truest meaning) who wants to excel in this game.

Formed in 2005, the fast, young and talented Bandar Blacks players took home the Championship a year after its formation. When I was with Yachties back in 2003, I was among the youngest player (at 34) but when I joined Blacks three years later (at 37) I got the rights to be named the Club’s Uncle!

Head Coach (and Founder) Ben Peacocke  said that with the average age of 28 and experience to match, Bandar Blacks of 2008 will be the team to watch in this championship. Players to watch are Nobel ‘the silent assassin’  Lee, Steve ‘Captain’ Lai and Clifford ‘the Beefcake’ Chin.

17
Mar
08

Yachties

 

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Royal Brunei Yacht Club ‘Yachties’ is the only one left among the two original rugby clubs in Brunei.

 

Like the other expatriate based clubs within the region, Yachties were among the clubs who were responsible to introduce the game in the Sultanate. The first recorded game which was played in Brunei was between Yachties (representing Bandar) and Penaga Club (representing Seria) in 1957.

 

The club flourished during the ‘Golden Era’ of early 90’s till the early years of the new millennium. They were the three times Champion of the Bali tens, two time finalist of Jakarta tens, played in the prestigious SCC 7’s and Manila 10’s.

 

Yachties were the 3-time winner of the British High Commissioner Cup which was introduced in 1995 and last played in 2001. The British High Commissioner Cup was an annual game between the two biggest rival in Brunei Rugby History … Yachties and the Penaga Crocs.

 

 

For the record, Yachties were the first BRFU Interclub Champion.

Yachties was also responsible developing players that played in the Hong Kong 7’s between 1984 – 1988.

 

Barry Moore and Laurie Harris (members of the Yachties of the 80’s) were among those responsible in the formation of BRFU in 1983. The re-registration of the Union was done by a group of Yachties members in 2003 headed by Ben Peacocke and Ainol Razman who was then the captain and vice captain of the club.

With a mixture of experience and youth in this year’s team, Yachties hopes that it will be the beginning of the second wave of Golden Era for the team. Players to watch this year are Isa, Dom, Sharif Rasani, Muiz, Samra, AK Qadir and the ever green Mark Pyrgos. Also watch for the super sub Khay … can he last more than a minute!

14
Mar
08

Who might it be next?

Lest we forget, 5th April … hell will let loose.

6 teams will compete for this year’s bragging rights to be the finest in the Sultanate. Yachties, Blacks and Pythons … all have tasted the sweet taste of success. So who will be it this year?

I must say, Royal Brunei Police is the most improved team in the tournament, based on their track record. Could it be them? Or can the man who hails from Kaap die Goeie Hoop brings hope to Military Boys?

Can the ‘Old Boys’ of rugby the Yachties create history by being the first team to win the tournament twice?

Can The Bandar Black, blank the score sheets of the other teams?

Can Pythons swallow the opponents whole and be the champion back to back?

Or might The Knights shine in their debut?

I just can’t say. There is no clear favorite in this year’s tournament.

But whatever it is, the National Team Scout will have hellava time scouting for this year’s National Squad. We’re going Guam Babeh! We’re going there full force. Only the best of the best will be chosen for this year’s squad.

Call to Arms to all Brunei’s Rugby export who are interested to join the squad. Please contact us at bruneirugby@yahoo.com for inquiries.

Next … Team’s profile

07
Mar
08

We’re Just Starting …

An awesome season boys!

This season’s age group championship will be the benchmark for many years to come. As I mentioned in my previous article, rugby culture needed to be created in schools to get the game going; and this has been proven by schools such as SOAS College, Jerudong International School (JIS), Sekolah Awang Semaun, Sekolah Sharif Ali, Sekolah Rimba and Sixth Form Centre in Berakas.

A healthy rivalry between these schools is also good for the game. SOAS College won both the under-16 and the under-18 championship this year, and now has put a price on their head. They are now the team to beat for next year and years to come. SOAS College has now become ‘The All Blacks’ or the ‘Brazil’ in the age group championship.

Teams that did not do well in this year’s championship should not throw the towel and give up the game. You need to know your weaknesses and strength and work on it. Success doesn’t come easy. If you are short of players, recruit them. If you are short of skills, train harder. If you are short of breath, lose weight and built more muscle! You have one year to work on that.

Rugby is the ultimate team game. It’s all about the heart. The more you put your heart into it, the more you will succeed. Size does not matter. I can say rugby players come in all shapes and sizes. You can be skinny as Mackenzie Crook or as big as Konishiki Yasokichi there are always positions that rugby can fit you in.

BRFU will be looking for 30 most talented individuals from these two championships as our ‘Tunas’ group for the future of rugby in Brunei. For those who are not chosen, you have at least 10 more years to prove yourselves that you are worthy for national call ups. Do not give up and always try harder. We will be training this ‘Tunas’ group to be at par as the old boys of rugby in the region such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Once that mission is successful, we’ll be looking at Chinese Taipei, Arabian Gulf and Hong Kong and maybe one day we’ll be at par as Japan and Korea. This vision is not an impossible vision, as long as we put 110% effort to make it successful.

His Majesty’s Government has always given us the support for the success of rugby in this Sultanate. Success doesn’t come cheap. To progress, BRFU will need partners that we can work with to promote and improve ourselves in the game. We’ve managed to secure our first partner late last year with Carisbrook of New Zealand. We’ve estimated that we will need at least B$100,000 a year for the development of the game here in Brunei. This figure is small, compared to US$4 Million a year that the Japanese Rugby Union is spending on the development of the game in their country. If you are interested in working together with BRFU, please do not hesitate to contact us at Bruneirugby@yahoo.com and we’re ready to discuss the proposal with you.

Last but not least I would like to thank all of you who were involved with the tournament. Without your passion this tournament would not be a success. Special thanks to Hans Hickey for organizing everything under the sun, from training the boys (2 schools!!) to organizing their water and transport.

You’re the Man Hansie!!

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07
Mar
08

SOAS the Double National Champion

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SOAS College collected another trophy for their school’s cabinet for 2008 by winning the National Under-18 Championship.
SOAS College had a great season this year. Unbeaten in five matches, scoring 180 points ( an average of 36 points per match) and conceding only 12 points. Consistency is the secret of their success.
They were trailing Belait District Combined school the whole season, but with one match in hand, the game against Sekolah Sharif Ali was the decider for the championship. The only team that can manage to stop the supremacy of SOAS college was Belait District combined school, but where they had the beat them in the cruncher match a couple of weeks back.
SOAS college only needed a draw to win the championship, but a draw wasn’t good enough for the boys. They wanted legacy to win the championship with 100% win. They proved that they can do it by beating Sekolah Sharif Ali 36-0.
In the earlier game, Sekolah Awang Semaun put a good fight against the fast and furious Sixth Form Center. Unfortunately they lost the game 24-12.
Well done to all the boys who participated in this year’s championship and good job to all the coaches, referees, water boys and supporters. They’ll be one more game to go … JIS vs Sekolah Awang Semaun for 3rd placing.
I had my refereeing debut today. How was it? – ed
Under 18                  
  P W L D F A D B Points
SOAS 5 5 0 0 180 12 168 4 19
Belait Combined Schools 5 4 1 0 171 44 127 4 16
Jerudong International School 4 2 2 0 99 52 47 1 7
PTEB / Rimba 5 2 3 0 43 160 -117 1 7
Sekolah Awang Semaun 4 1 3 0 49 102 -53 1 4
Sekolah Sharif Ali 5 0 5 0 26 198 -172 1 1
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