Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garudas sweep past Siem Reap in 86-0 rugby rout

Garudas sweep past Siem Reap in 86-0 rugby rout

Garudas sweep past Siem Reap in 86-0 rugby rout

LOCAL rugby team PSE Garudas obliterated an understrength Siem Reap squad 86-0 Sunday at the Navy base ground, serving notice to their next opponents, the Sisowath Knights, in the process.

The winners of the last four Premierships opened the rout with a swerving, angled run down the middle by lock Lim Bun Pov through tissue-paper Siem Reap defence, to touch down beneath the posts. Halfback and captain Pich Rattana converted his kick for a quick-fire 7-0 lead.

The try was a clear sign of things to come, with the speed of the PSE line and the accuracy of their passing game proving simply too much for the visitors, who travelled with only 13 players due to players’work commitments. Eventually some players filled in from an under-20’s match played earlier, but the lack of combination and familiarity was telling as the Garudas line was never really troubled.

Winger Bros Sophan crashed over moments later, despite ignoring a huge overlap, to double their advantage. Newcomer Tom Elvin was then almost thrown out of the front-rower’s club when he scored following a quick tap kick. Winger Vanak Vireak drew two defenders and offloaded to Ut Vuthy for a streaking breakaway try, which put Garudas 28-0 up at the first 20 minute drinks break.

The powerhouse club effectively ended the match before half time, with tries from Phorn Rawitt, Pich Rattana and a second by Bros Sophan to bring up an unassailable 43-0 half-time lead.

The cakewalk continued in the second half as a further seven tries were scored, including a second for Elvin, and a brace for both Vanak Vireak and spectacular winger Nheb Rata. His second try was the play of the match; darting towards the line and avoiding defence with a commando roll, before hopping up and superman-diving over the line in the one motion. Pich Ratana made good on eight of his 14 conversion attempts.

Garudas coach Brad Jones said the lopsided score allowed them to perfect their own style heading into next week’s match against Sisowath. “I’m very pleased with the boys, the way they’re actually starting to play a much wider game,” he said. “We’re moving away from trying to kick the ball past the defence, and we’re actually starting to use the hands to score tries. So it was a very good lead in for us against Sisowath next week.”

Vank Vireak started for the Garudas, as did big Kiwi prop Elvin, who stepped off a plane from New Zealand just two weeks ago and dominated, despite struggling with the Cambodian heat in his debut match.

“The new recruit did very well,” Jones said of Elvin, who has signed on until the end of the season in April. “I think his fitness levels were found wanting, but I’m very pleased to have him on board and not in the hands of Sisowath.”

Garudas currently sit on top of the Premiership, but only due to a superior points scored difference over Stade Khmer, who upset them earlier in the season. Sisowath are third by points difference over Siem Reap, but take on the leaders next weekend with their squad at full strength.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • US’ Cambodian ambassador appointment blocked

    The US Senate returned the nomination of Patrick Murphy as Ambassador to Cambodia back to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, as the American government shutdown entered its third week. The US Senate website announcement said it returned Murphy’s nomination as ambassador as his

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million