Sun, May 18, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Taiwan 10s tourney rumbles in Banqiao

By Grant Dexter  /  Staff reporter

Japanese club Kanagawa Tamariva player Daiki Matsumaru, right, tries to break a tackle during their game against New Taipei City at the Taiwan 10s rugby tournament at the Banciao First Sports Ground, New Taipei City, yesterday.

Photo: Courtesy of Taiwan Mike Photography

The nation’s rugby community, along with three teams from Hong Kong and Japan, gathered in Banciao, New Taipei City, for the fourth Taiwan 10s tournament yesterday, with finals set for today.

Fifteen teams in two divisions, not including four children’s teams and touch-rugby players, played 24 games yesterday, with 12 more today plus semi-finals and finals.

The best-placed of the Open Division teams were the Taipei Baboons A in Pool A and the Taipei Blacks in Pool B, both undefeated.

The Baboons beat the Taipei Buffalos 27-0, the Taiwan Ronins 33-0 and the Taichung Marauders 7-0, while the Blacks had wins over the Hong Kong Silverbacks (45-0), Taiwan Fivewoods (19-0) and New Taipei City (12-7).

New Taipei City’s clash with the Blacks was eventful, though the score was 0-0 after eight minutes of the 12-minute game.

Cheng Li-fu scored first after an interchange of passes drew play to the left, which opened space on the opposite corner to give the Blacks a 5-0 lead.

Jacky Lin replied almost immediately for New Taipei, running clear down the left and dotting down under the posts. The conversion made the score 7-5.

Kenny Chen continued the scoring spree with a third try in as many minutes, beating players from 60m out to restore a five-point lead for the Blacks moments before the final whistle.

The Baboons found the Marauders their toughest opponents. From a quick tap Niu Eliuta combined with Damon Adeang to create an overlap on the left that saw Adeang under the posts for the only points of the game just before the end.

In the Veterans’ Division, for players aged 35 and over, the Taipei Silverbacks lost 7-14 to the Kaohsiung T-rex team, who also beat the confusingly named Hong Kong DeA 2nd Youth side 24-0. The Taipei Silverbacks then beat the Hong Kong side by the same score.

In the second round of veterans’ games, the Taipei Silverbacks won both their games to claim the division trophy.

Tournament organizer Lomu Yeh said the use of the Banciao First Sports Ground was a plus for the event, which is presenting its fourth edition this year.

“It’s the first time rugby has been played in this stadium, which is good, because it’s also the first time we’ve had teams travel from overseas to play in the tournament,” Yeh said.

During the lunch break, Galaxy took on the Titans in a demonstration game of touch-rugby and were downed 8-2, but attention was diverted to the other half of the field, where four children’s teams drew some of the biggest cheers of the day for their big runs and enthusiastic tackling.

Angry Birds team manager Bernie Moore said the time for the children was well spent.

“It was a fantastic day. The kids have been training hard for the games and it’s great to see so many parents out,” Moore said.

“The parents loved seeing their kids smash each other,” Moore added.

Games are scheduled to start again today at 10am, when the Baboons are to face the DeA team from Hong Kong. The cup final is to be played at 5:30pm at the Banciao First Sports Ground on Hansheng Road, New Taipei City.

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