The Banger Colts arrived in Phuket Friday afternoon. After hotel welcome drinks the Colts headed to Hooters for the welcome party, greeting old and new friends from clubs around the world. Unity within the rugby culture. Whilst a lot of beer was consumed it was not a late night.
The squad were up at 6:15am for breakfast and then onto the bus. On the way to the pitch the heavens opened up, stormy conditions prevailed not uncommon at Phuket rugby tournaments. First contest was against the Nerang Bulls from Australia. The Colts put on a excellent show of defense in extremely wet conditions however, struggled with ball control and lost the game 10 – 0.
The second game was meant to be against the ACC Wildcats from the UK however, they were unable to field a team. The Colts thinking on their feet, decided to entertained the crowd with an inner team boat race !!!! The final game on day one was against the Melanins from Japan a club the Bangers have played many times over the years. The Colts stepped up for this game and ran out the winners, with James Jackson scoring a superb seventy meter try. Mike Swagger had also had an excellent game, preventing a certain try. Final Score 15 – 0..
Back at the hotel, the court session over, the Colts prepared for their night on the town. The boys partied hard on Patong dressed in their Village People theme costume. No bizarre incidents were reported. Their "What Happens On Tour Stays On Tour" antics over the years, are the stuff of legends.
After Saturday nights party, the Sundays early wake up was a test. The team went to the ground in two buses. Unfortunately the second bus arrived at the pitch to find the game had already kicked off at 9.00am. Eight Colts had managed to get there just in the time, for the match against the Bush Turkeyz from Australia. The Colts won and cruised into the semi final 17 points to 0.
Late nights coupled with a long wait between games were taking it’s toll. The semi final encounter was against the British Army side ACC Apache. A frustrating game festered with penalties and puzzling referee decisions. A yellow card for a ‘late tackle’ saw the Colts a man down facing a battle against a bigger and stronger British Army team. Final Score 15 – 5.
The Colts could have tactically decided to bring back silverware from a lower tier but that is not the Bangers way. An early exist from the tournament meant we could head back to the hotel for a swim in the ocean and a goodbye drink. For Chris Fargus, this was his last tour before he heads to back Australia. He will be missed by the club. The end of a great tour and a prime example of the club spirit of "Fun, Friendly and Fraternity".