The plan was to meet up at Don Muang to catch the 11.10 flight to Manila. A phone call from Pascal made a mockery of detailed planning – he would meet us in Manila after he’d rescued his car from the boys in brown, catching the Air France flight with all the other ‘comb owners’.
Beer and red wine seemed a good idea for breakfast, especially as it was free. Breakfast continued long after we had landed, whilst waiting for the Pot Bellied Pigs to arrive from Hong Kong, during the drive to Angeles City, during the weigh-in at Sub-Delicious and on long into the early hours of Saturday morning. Most of us managed to finish breakfast just in time to grab a few hours sleep before, err, breakfast! Marvellous!
Pascal managed to get to the hotel just in time for bed. Good effort mon amis.
Saturday morning descended abruptly with Wee Dave Thomas hammering on the door. B’stard. Saturday’s breakfast was much more subdued, contained non-liquid food and was about 15 hours shorter.
Perfect playing conditions greeted us at Clark Airbase. We had a couple of hours to wait before our first game, which was spent gazing at the local ‘scenery’ (which was quickly rounded up by our ‘manager’ – pictures only 1000B each!) We were actually playing under the name of the BanKhoK BangSimians (in the Orange jerseys of the Koh Samui Simians), as we were playing as a joint Thailand team joining forces with a Koh Samui Simian (from Penang, obviously).
Our first match was against the MAAP Warriors from the Philippines. They were young, fit and quick – we were old, decrepit and slow. What we lacked on the pitch was more than made up for in the bars. We seconded a few of the Nomad boys and it was game on. The first half produced only three main periods of play. Two tries for us (Coach leaving a trail of destruction down the wing after a 60yd run for his first try of the tourney) and Pascal showing Gallic flair by kicking one of the opposition in the head. The second half was more of the same. BanKhoK BangSimians 29 – 5 MAAP Warriors
The second game was going to be much tougher. The game was handicapped 4-2 in favour of the Pot Belly “Wee Heavies” as they were basically a bunch of beer swilling fatties – nice one lads. Half time again saw us two tries up, with the Nomad boys supplying some excellent support again. The second half was a different story. The Nomad boys went off to prepare for their match, which was next and the “Wee Heavies” made wholesale changes to their team to try and steal the game. They soon put three tries past us, as our backline was made up almost entirely of forwards. Wee David scored a lovely try at the death to even the try count, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. Beaten by the handicap system 21 – 19.
We were in the plate semi-final against the Makati Wolves (the Nomad’s second team). Despite protestations from our Nomad rebels, their coach refused to allow his guys play against each other. We grabbed some of the Pigs and a couple from the MAAP Warriors and again managed to start the game well with two quick tries. But again we couldn’t keep it together in the second half, going down 17 – 10. It wasn’t all doom & gloom; we were now free to find a fine restaurant and have a couple of glasses of wine before retiring early (or something similar).
Many thanks to everyone involved with the tourney. What a great weekend & we’ll see you next year.
More pics here