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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rugby fans in for a treat as Angkor 10s kick off

Rugby fans in for a treat as Angkor 10s kick off

Rugby fans in for a treat as Angkor 10s kick off

Twelve teams from six countries gear up for two days of fast and furious 10-a-side action

RUGBY SCHEDULE

  •   All matches at Old Stadium, Phnom Penh
  •   Free entry

'Old Boys' (Over 35s)

FRIDAY

   12:00    Unquenchables v Indochine Barbarians

   12:45    FAB Old Boys v AOUCOUS

   14:00    Unquenchables v FAB Old Boys

   14:45    Indochine Barbarians v AOUCOUS

   16:00    Indochine Barbarians v FAB Old Boys

   16:45    Unquenchables v AOUCOUS

2x15-minute halves; 2 points for win, 1 for draw

Angkor 10s
SATURDAY
POOL A            POOL B

    FAB I             Bedok Kings

    Garudas         Billabong Sharks

    FAB II             Stade Khmer

    PPenh Renegades     Dubai Exiles

Pool rounds

   08:30    Billabong Sharks v Stade Khmer

   09:00    Bedok Kings v Dubai Exiles

   09:30    Garudas v FAB II

   10:00    FAB v Phnom Penh Renegades

   10:30    Stade Khmer v Dubai Exiles

   11:00    Billabong Sharks v Bedok Kings

   11:30    Garudas v FAB

   12:00    FAB II v Phnom Penh Renegades

   12:30    Billabong Sharks v Dubai Exiles

   13:00    Bedok Kings v Stade Khmer

   13:30    Phnom Penh Renegades v Garudas

   14:00    FAB v FAB II

   14:30    CFR Development Match

Final Rounds

   15:00    Spoon Final (4th Pool A vs. 4th Pool B)

   15:30    Bowl Final (3rd Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B)

   16:00    Plate Final (2nd Pool A vs. 2nd Pool B)

   16:30    Cup Final (1st Pool A vs. 1st Pool B)

 2x10-minute halves

INTERNATIONAL rugby returns to Cambodia Friday with the eighth annual ANZ Royal Angkor 10s at Old Stadium in Phnom Penh.     

Twelve teams representing clubs from Cambodia, Australia, France, Vietnam, Singapore and Dubai feature in the two-day tournament, which kicks off at 12pm Friday with the the "Angkor Old Boys" - over 35 - competition.     

The action picks up Saturday with the main event Angkor 10s tournament starting at 8:30am and running throughout the day until the top two teams square off in the Cup final at 4:30pm.

Rather than the standard 15-a-side, 80-minute format, Saturday's matches are 20-minute affairs with each team fielding 10 players at a time.

Tournament organiser Peter Maley says makes for a faster game. "There's a lot more open field running, which I think spectators will enjoy," he said.

The Angkor 10s was launched in 2001 in Siem Reap and has earned a reputation for being one of the most popular social rugby tournaments in Asia.

Admission to both days of the tournament is free and Food and drink will be available for purchase at the stadium.

Propping up Cambodia

Singapore's Bedok Kings are returning to defend their title and will have to get past three teams primarily sporting Khmer players to do so.

Stade Khmer, PSE Garudas, and Billibong Sharks are loaded with Khmer talent, including several members of the Cambodian National Rugby Team, the Koupreys.

There’s a lot more open field running, which i think spectators will enjoy

Prop Chro Kim Seang and fullback Vannak Vireak are widely regarded by local coaches and coaches across Asia as being the two best Khmer rugby players in the country.
"Both of these guys are tremendously gifted and they continue to improve every season," said Cambodian national coach Brian Thomas.

"They're intelligent players who understand the game well, and are also excellent leaders on the pitch."

At 85kg, Chro Kim Seang may be bigger than most Cambodian players, but compared to most international-level props he's tiny.

Yet, according to Thomas, that size disadvantage doesn't appear to work against the 24-year-old.

"Seang's got great technique in the scrums - he gets down low and he's as strong as a bull. He's also fearless. I've seen him totally dominate experienced foreign players who are 20-30 kilos heavier than he is - it's a sight to behold."

The softly spoken 24-year-old from Kandal province plays for the Sisowath Knights during the domestic season.

All eyes on Vireak

Vannak Vireak, meanwhile, is considered one of the fastest backs in the country, though Thomas points to the intangibles he brings to a team.

"Vireak can be a devastating open field runner and he's an excellent tackler," said Thomas. "But he's also very cool under pressure, and never lets his emotions get the best of him, which sometimes happens with Cambodian players. And he's one of the most unselfish players on the national team - a real leader."

The 24-year-old from Pursat province currently plays for Phnom Penh club PSE Garudas, the reigning domestic club champion. 

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