The 24th Bangkok International Sevens rugby tournament takes place November 9-10, 2019, at Bangkok Patana school.
Buoyed by the huge success of the recently completed Rugby World Cup in Japan and the rapidly growing interest in the shorter ‘seven-a-side’ format of the game, the Bangkok Sevens is expecting more exciting rugby and larger crowds than ever.
Tournament Director David Adamson had the foresight to ensure the event was one of the first in the region to offer and encourage the women's game alongside men’s and youth rugby.
It's a fun weekend with some serious action for competitors, with teams from as far afield as Africa and New Zealand matching up against entries from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand itself, and some serious entertainment for spectators.
Many observers believed that 2019 would be the year when the most successful side in the Chiang Mai Sixes would finally meet their match.
NCL Dynamites had won six matches in a row to reach the Cup final as they comfortably disposed of UN Irish Pub in the semi-finals, but Gloucestershire Gipsies had matched the defending champions win for win as they also had an unbeaten record after easily beating NCL Masters in the semi-finals.
Gloucestershire Gipsies were in fact regarded at potentially the stronger side at least on paper, but it was a different story when the two teams met in a high-class Cup final. Faysal Ahmed bowled Henry Cooper, the leading run-scorer in New Zealand first-class cricket last season, with the third ball of the innings and Toufiqul Haque dismissed Ben Hyde in the next over as Gipsies slipped to 16 for 2. Nick Kelly and Tom Smith had launched an array of shots earlier in the competition, but although they rebuilt the innings they found the Dynamites bowling and field tough to combat.
Down 3-0 late in the second period of the 2018-2019 SHL final, Thai national team star Yean Thanakroekkiat started Hertz’s comeback with a blast over TRUE goalkeeper’s Lance Parker left shoulder and finished it off by scoring in the overtime shootout capping off a spectacular 4-3 rally to earn Hertz its second straight SHL title.
TRUE jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on goals by Tan Limpinphet, substitute Hideki Nagayama and Kim Lidberg, who played for Hertz last season. Hertz replied with Yean’s blast, then came within one late in the second period on a very strange goal when the puck bounced off the top of the TRUE net behind Parker, and then bounced off Parker’s back into the net (the goal was credited to Andy Brine).
The momentum shifted Hertz’s way at that point and they scored the tying goal when Champ Supadilokluk blasted one past Parker midway through the third period.
The teams then played four minutes of 3-on-3 overtime but the score remained knotted at three. Yean then scored on his shootout chance, leaving Patrick Forstner with a chance to tie it again and send it to another shootout round. But Hertz keeper Dream Ungkulpattanasuk stopped Forstner as he attempted a deke to the right side of the net, ensuring Hertz’s come-from-behind victory.
Oduya played two games on both February 7th and 10th showing little signs of rust although he has not played competitively in six months.
Last season in the National Hockey League he teamed up with superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson on the Ottawa Senators blue line to form an elite defending duo.
In Oduya’s first SHL game he helped the Novotel Spitfires beat AWARE 4-2, a team that the Spitfires have not beaten all year. In his second match, Oduya joined TRUE and helped that team to a 7-3 win over Hertz.
The drama came in his third appearance, the first game on February 10, when he played for TRUE again, this time against the Novotel Spitfires. The teams were tied at three after regulation time, and then after a 3-on-3 four-minute overtime session they were still tied, so they went to a shoot-out.
Both teams first two shootout attempts failed and Novotel’s Michael White failed to win the game on Novotel’s third attempt. This sent Oduya in alone on Spitfire keeper Yves Gaboriault and he blasted it by Yves to give TRUE the dramatic victory. Gaboriault had make two spectacular shootout saves prior to Oduya’s game-winning goal.
Coming later this month, the week-long Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, one of the largest and long-lasting amateur cricket tournaments in the world, having been played every year since 1988.
The 31st tournament brings hundreds of people to visit the historic city of Chiang Mai each year for seven days of partying and cricket.
The 2019 Sixes will run from Sunday, March 31 to Saturday, April 6 at the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club, where 30 men’s teams will be competing for five trophies.The ladies competition involves six teams.
The 2018 champions, NCL Dynamites, will be returning from Bangladesh to defend their title, while local favourites Lanna CC are tipped to win the Bowl again.
New entrants, the RUC Rascals, a gold mining team from Indonesia captained by Colin Harlow, are also expected to field a strong unit, while old favourites including Blythswood CC of the UK, the Tokyo Dingbats, Ios Malakas and the Beijing Ducks all return for another year.
February 16 and 17, 2019 Patana Sports Complex, Sukhumvit Sol 105 Entry is free
THE largest and most festive rugby spectacle in the region is about to kick off again. The Bangkok International Rugby Tens tournament will be held on 16-17 February 2019 and will once again play host to rugby teams from around the world.
The event is organized annually to raise funds for Nak Suu, a charity that helps underprivileged children in the slums of Bangkok. Children in these areas are being subjected to substance abuse, prostitution, lack of education and poverty.
Not only does Nak Suu provide the children with a meal, English learning and something positive to look forward to, the programme also encourages and educates children in constructive life choices, values and skills, through a sports-based programme, in this case rugby.
AWARE's Christian Olofsson's penalty for a centre-ice hit seemed to spark his team as they were trailing 2-0 at the time of his infraction. They went on to score five unanswered goals to win 5-2 while outshooting Hertz 36-19. Aaro Vuorma, who drove in from Pattaya with Matt Sigel to substitute for AWARE, scored twice, earning player-ofthe-game honors; Harrison Oztemel, Phu Suwachirat and Devin Michael also scored for AWARE.
So, Corry took all that seething, and connecting with his new linemates Michael White (goal and two assists) and Brandon Vick, scored a hat-trick and added an assist for a four-point opening night.
Captain Mike Wilson had a strong game for TRUE with a goal and an assist while teammates Jordan Ashton and Peter Borjesson each chipped in a goal and an assist.
SHL action take place at the Rink, 7th floor, Central Grand Rama IX, and admission is free; check out the schedule at www.siamhockeyleague.com
For the SHL preview podcast go to: https://youtu.be/huNYrKCW9Rs
The South Asia Games (SAG) is a regional tournament involving teams from Southeast Asia including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hanoi, Saigon, Jakarta and guest teams from clubs such as Shanghai and Taiwan. We expect over 300 players, men and women, to travel to Bangkok for the games. The SAG tends to rotate around the clubs in the region and ThaiGAA has previously hosted the tournament in 2012 (Pattaya) and 2015 (Bangkok). Due to the success of last year’s event in Bangkok the clubs are more than happy to travel here again this year.
In addition to Gaelic football there will also be a hurling competition with teams from Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul and the Middle-East. Hurling really is a great game to watch and this is the first time that competitive hurling is being played in Thailand.
We will also be holding a kids Gaelic football tournament so we have something for everyone on the day.
Is Thailand GAA attracting more new members?
The club has experienced a real upsurge in interest over the past few years, and a lot of this has been on the back of the success of our ladies’ team. We regularly get up to 40 players at our weekly training sessions – our record number was 45 in January of this year – and with an equal split of men and women. We have new people attending every week and we welcome all nationalities from complete beginners to seasoned players.
Is the club open to players of all nationalities?
Our members come from many different backgrounds and nationalities. We have teachers, engineers, business owners, finance professionals etc., many of whom have had no previous experience of Gaelic football. Currently we have players from Ireland, UK, Thailand, America, Canada, the Philippines, Australia, Belgium, China and we have as many girls as men playing.
Our next aim is to grow participation among the younger age groups. We have had various international schools play Gaelic football over the past seven years and we are looking to take the sport into some of the local schools.
While historically we have relied on word of mouth we are active on social media – Facebook and Twitter – and are about to re-launch our website.
As we continue to grow we are fortunate to have the support of some local businesses including AsiaBiogas, LawtonAsia Insurance Brokers, The Drunken Leprechaun and the Irish Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The Irish Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Brendan Rogers, has been a great supporter of the club since his arrival.
How would you describe Thailand GAA in a nutshell?
The local Gaelic clubs in Ireland are the focal points of the local communities. Similarly in Bangkok, our Gaelic football club is offering a home away from home for our members. We play for the love of the sport and to keep fit, but we also provide a social community for expats and locals living here in Bangkok. The social scene is as important as our sports activities and we have various events throughout the year. We organize quiz nights, nights out, participate in fun runs, and support local charities. We are a very welcoming and open club and believe we provide a unique environment to the residents of Bangkok with a healthy mix of sports and social activities. We bring people together who will be friends for life.
How can people get involved or sign up?
People can come along to training and see if they like the sport. Training for first timers is free so that they can get a feel for the sport and see if they like it. Tuesdays at NIST from 7.30pm.
From St. Petersburg to Vladivostock, twelve cities and 11 venues, Russia can be proud of putting on a World Cup that dispelled any doubts that it would be a failure.
The hosts, did their country proud by defying their poor pre tournament form and like a wounded bear sharpened their claws by taking some decent scalps, including Spain, which few would have considered possible, beforehand.
I was in the Stade de France twenty years ago when France won their first World Cup when ZZ Top illuminated the Arc de Triomphe in the celebrations afterwards.
That side was good and the current side grew into this tournament game by game and again it was a strong midfield that was the engine in this side.
Sadly for me, the great midfield of Platini, Giresse, Tigans amd Fernandes just came up short when it came to winning the trophy and if perhaps one can discount the Brazilian midfield of 1970, were the best midfield I ever saw. However, with two world titles now, that will be irrelevant to France except of course to the above mentioned.
French keeper, Hugo lloris became only the fourth man between the posts to captain a world cup winning side following, Combi for Italy (1934), Dino Zoff for Italy (1982) and Iker Cassilas for Spain (2010).
Too many to mention, but looking back to the actual final for instance many judged the penalty awarded to France when the scores were locked at 1-1 apiece, very harsh.
Croatian defender, Perisic in real time looked to be unsighted when the pass by Griezmann failed to reach Paul Pogba and inadvertently came off his arm and crossed over the line for a corner.
Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, again in real time signaled for a corner kick to France.
Whether it was the cries of handball by the surrounding French players or the someone in the VAR control room, Pitana changed his call and headed to look at replays.
It took some time for his decision, which he eventually changed and gave a penalty to France.
But here’s the thing, when you watch a reply in slow motion, of course you can see the handball and it looks more compelling. However one has to judge in real time, and in my opinion, Perisic had less than a fraction and unsighted to move his hands.
It has to be hand to ball and not ball to hand, so for me was harsh, but I do think most of the VAR calls were good and I am in favour for correcingt decisions in matches by sometimes blatant cheating.
Good question but an old mate of mine once said give them all skin type gloves to wear and they would’nt be able to hold on to anybody…
Overall France despite some marginal decisions were worthy winners and as they might say in Paris, winning never goes out of fashion.
Photo credit: www.fifa.com
"Is this the greatest feat in the history of golf?!"commented the Golf Association.
The odds of making a hole-in-one are 12,000 to 1 for an average golfer, and around a million to one for an albatross. There is no known figure for making both in the same round, let alone in consecutive holes.
Conor started playing golf eight years, says proud father Jerome Kelly, who runs LawtonAsia Insurance Brokers in Bangkok.
“He is quite modest about all of this - he simply enjoys the game and is in the US at the moment as he is trying to get a place on an American university golf team.
“Conor has no thoughts about turning pro – he’s more focused on getting to university.”
Conor’s sister plays off a six handicap and is currently the women’s champion at Amata Spring Country Club. He is the men’s champion at the course. His Thai mother is another family member with a passion for golf, playing regularly with husband Jerome.