COBRAS DOWNED BY CMU/MAE IN TORRENTIAL SLUGFEST
Tropical storm Noru did its utmost to derail the World Flair Chiang Mai NTR 10s league round 7 match, continuously lashing it down for days. Leaving the worst of the torrential monsoon for match day, between undefeated Cobras and CMU/MAE, it was touch and go if the game would go ahead. That the game did go ahead was testament to the attitude of both teams, who would rather play a game than be side-lined, because of a bit of nasty weather!
With the rain lashing, the wind howling and dirty black clouds all around, the Cobras received from the kick off. It was obvious that the conditions were going to create all sorts of havoc and Kon Papadopoulos got the scoreboard ticking almost straight away with a side step to go under the posts. The soggy ground made drop kicks almost impossible and Cobras were leading 5-0. The CMU/MAE team had brought in reinforcements with a lot of the side making debuts. From the restart a knock-on by the cobras was gobbled up, for the CMU lads to canter in under the posts. Again, the soggy ground prevented a conversion and it was all square.
The second period was a game of attrition as both sides tried to keep it tight and gain some momentum. Though Cobras had the bulk of possession they were finding it difficult to breakdown the Uni lads’ line of defence. Papadopoulos did however find a chink in the line down the far side, with a clever little interchange with Puping to go under the posts. 10-5 Cobras. The uni lads hit back straight away when the kick off went awry and the CMU winger saw a gap and went through it, before Cobras had a chance to close it down and scored. 10-10. Cobras were on the ascendency and should have scored but wrong choices, solid defence and lost balls kept them at bay. After some sustained pressure it looked like they would finally get the score but the final pass was knocked forward with the line gaping. The Uni lads were aware and picked up the loose ball and with the cover stretched across the park, raced through the middle. Phil Savage on debut gave chase and almost ran him down. With the try being converted it was 17-10 to CMU/MAE.
The final period was all Cobras. Camped in the CMU 22 for most of the half, a combination of great defence and bizarre refereeing kept them out. After repeated infringements on their own line it looked like the Cobras had finally got the score their pressure deserved, when Pattarapon “Rush” Ekdamrong, dived over. As the Cobras started celebrating, the ref bizarrely said play on, giving CMU/MAE the opportunity to clear their lines. As the weather worsened so did the Cobras decision making as they got desperate to score and preserve their unbeaten record, in this year’s league. Again & again solid defence kept them out and eventually the time ran out as CMU/MAE ran out worthy winners on a sodden and cold afternoon. For all the rain and mud, it was pure entertainment with the Uni lads coming out on top.
Congratulations to the CMU/MAE lads, who have improved, as the season has progressed. Cobras are still top of the league standings and the win for CMU has guaranteed them a place in the final on November 12th regardless of the outcome of their last game against Lanna Rugby Club on November 5th.
Cobras play their final league fixture of the year against Lanna Rugby Club in Round 8 at the CMU pitch on 8th October and will be looking to see out the season, with another win, over their rivals.