Solid Defence Wins Matches
17th September 2022 at Chiang Mai University saw the current leaders of the World Flair NTR 10’s League, The Chiang Mai Cobras taking on CMU/MAE Uni Lads, in what could have been a tricky fixture for the Cobras. With players plagued by injury and influential hooker Charlie Jones serving a one game ban, the Cobras would need to dig deep to hold back what was a strong Uni team.
The game kicked off under grey drizzly skies and the Uni lads were immediately onto the attack, probing down the middle and attempting to get their fast-outside backs into play. The Cobras defence has got better as the season goes on and with Rowan Carroll, a menace at the breakdown, and Pattarapon Ekdamrong creating mayhem in the loose, the Uni lads were going backwards.
They say defence wins matches and from turnover ball, fast hands saw wing Singsatorn “Action” Nonthanat outpaced the cover to score and put Cobras 5-0 up. With the score came the rain, which made handling more challenging, but both sides kept up the attacking intent and Cobras went in for a second score when Singsatorn “Action” Nonthanat broke free, after a scrum was awarded for a knock on. With Damion May slotting the kick Cobras were 12-0 up. A clearing kick just before the break by Kon Papadopoulos was knocked on close to the CMU/MAE line and as he went to collect the loose ball he was upended for a penalty. Richie Davies was aware that the uni lads were in disarray and took a quick tap, to stroll over. 19-0 at the break.
The rain was falling heavier now and as the Uni lads began to tire, after relentlessly being put down in the tackles, mistakes began to creep into their game. Even though the Cobras began to take control, they had to fight for every possession and metre of ground. A surging run by Carroll was stopped short by a brilliant cover tackle but Peem Parintorn was on hand to finish it off. Two more tries from turn over ball by Chotipat “Boss” Jantarajumnong & Phuping, both converted by May, gave the Cobras a 38-0 cushion going into the last period.
The depth of the Cobras side is becoming evident as they took control of the game. The Uni lads battled hard, but every break they made was stopped in its tracks and with relentless pressure, from Dave McRitchie & Kong at the breakdown, the will to compete began to whither. Scrum half Toprit Lekkijcharoenchai was creating all sorts of problems for the opposition and set up Kon Papadopoulos, who scored a fine individual try, closely followed by Action getting his second. With the clock running down, the Uni lads were trying to break out and get on the scoreboard, when a Matty Valentine hit forced them to lose the ball. Papadopoulos was alert and pounced on the loose ball to race away for the final score. With May knocking over the kick it was 55-0 for the final score. A result that didn’t reflect the closeness of the game. The Cobras’ clinical play with turnover ball was crucial and along with their solid defence, was the difference in trying conditions. The Uni lads battled to the end and can hold their heads high. They are improving game on game and are in with a chance of making the final on November 12th.
Next game is the Round 6 Clash between Lanna Rugby Club v Cobras in San Khampeng on September 24th Kick Off at 4.30pm