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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Geckos edge Koupreys

A Saigon Gecko (centre, in red) player tries to evade a tackle from a Cambodia player during their friendly match at the Army Field
A Saigon Gecko (centre, in red) player tries to evade a tackle from a Cambodia player during their friendly match at the Army Field on Saturday. Sreng Meng Srun

Geckos edge Koupreys

The Cambodian national rugby team were beaten 19-15 by visiting side Saigon Geckos on Saturday at the Army Field in Russey Keo district, which served as their first tune-up game ahead of their appearance at the Asian 5 Nations Division V tournament on June 19-21.

However the Koupreys can take heart in the fact that the honours were shared across all four quarters of the game, with both sides claiming the most points in one quarter each while the two others were drawn.

Cambodia’s Dul Khemrin scored the home side’s only try of the match.

Koupreys coach Jerome Alfonsi told the Post that his team had improved a lot over the past year and were ready for the A5N fixtures in Brunei.

“The first 10 minutes were very hard for the Koupreys, but the rest of the game belonged to us. We just missed more tries,” he said.

“Saigon said they never played a Koupreys team at this level.”

Alfonsi noted that all of his first choice squad members were present on Saturday, and lauded the performances by his captain and flanker Ut Vuthy, scrum half Jean-Baptiste Suberbie, and second rows Ra Doh and Samchan Pirun.

Another friendly game against the Geckos is scheduled for next month as well as a clash against the Cambodian Barbarians. The Koupreys face Mongolia in Bandar Seri Begawan on June 19 in their opening Division V fixture before playing hosts Brunei on June 21.

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