Teams held a minutes silence in respect for remembrance day before kick off.
Lest We Forget
By : Pat Cotter
A lovely sunny day welcomed the teams as they assembled at Sankhampeng Kanta Anusorn School for round five of the 2020 Lanna Rugby 10s League, where Payap Rugby Club took on TNSU CMI, in a match that could have major ramifications come the end of the season. In joint second place the winner would be in the driving seat going into the business end of the season.
The second of the days matches was league leaders Lanna Rugby Club against the CMU RFC. The official in charge after his stint at the recent TRU National 7s Championships was TRU referee Khun Rushpon Ekdamrong.
Payap Rugby Club v TNSU CMI Rugby
The game kicked off and TNSU were quick out of the blocks putting the Payap defense under sustained pressure but they couldn’t find the breakthrough which their high tempo fast moving game deserved. A strong defensive line and solid hits eventually saw a turnover by Rowan Carroll who fed the ball out to Pepper who surged through the line to set up Kritsanukorn Jaingam for the first score of the game. Pepper injured his knee in the buildup to the try and had to be replaced which was a big blow to the Payap side. From the restart TNSU were back on the offensive and it wasn’t long before they finally found some space down the far side for Sivichai Kunkaewchai to race in for a try to level Up the scores. As the end of the half approached, a breakdown penalty for Payap was taken quickly and spread out wide where wing Rittikul Boonrit evaded his opposite number to score and give Payap a slight 10-5 lead at half time.
The second half saw TNSU almost equalize from the kick off and only some desperate cover defense saw the winger bundled into touch 5 meters out. As the half wore on the bigger Payap forwards began to assert control and TNSU were on the back foot and finally their creaking defense gave way and Payap forward Sittichai Deechan went over for what would be the final score to give Payap the 15-5 win and secure some breathing space in second place on the ladder with four games to go.
Lanna Rugby Club v CMU RFC
In the second game the playing conditions couldn’t have been more different with the brilliant sunshine turning to torrential rain as Brian Grieve kicked off. Under those tough conditions the greasy ball was hard to control and many attacking opportunities were lost with the ball slipping out during the tackle. With contested scrums now allowed as covid restrictions have been relaxed it was a far tougher battle up front. The CMU boys were putting in a Sterling defensive display and almost took the lead after a turnover in their own half saw their wing hauled down 5 meters out with Dtun putting in a stunning tackle to put him into touch. Lanna surged up the field from the resulting lineout and, with scrum half Mark Harris marshalling his forwards, took play into the CMU 22. With the rain hammering down Grieve decided to take matters into his own hands and picking up from the breakdown drove for the line to score the opening try and give the lead to Lanna as the whistle blew for the break.
It was obvious to both sides that a wide expansive game was impossible in the monsoonal conditions and after the restart both teams kept it tight. CMU got back into the game when, after sustained pressure on the Lanna line, saw their captain Josh going in to level up the scores. As the game wore on it took a brilliant break out of defense by new boy Ted Guggenheim to get Lanna within striking distance of the CMU line. Prop Brave drove for the line but was held up short, Paul Boswell then had a go but was again held up before captain Dave McRichie was propelled over to put Lanna back into the lead. From the restart CMU should have equalized as they broke the line but the player overstepped the in goal line to give Lanna a reprieve and a 22 dropout. With the weather conditions deteriorating the rest of the game was a ferocious forwards battle with neither team gaining an advantage and although CMU created a couple of chances Lanna held on for an important win to solidify their top of the table status.
The Lanna Lions continued their Lions Cub youth program hosting 25 kids before the main events and putting them through their paces. This initiative continues to grow attracting more kids each week with the aim to eventually being able to field teams in various age groups both boys and girls.
Keep up the good work lads !