Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer rugby is winner on the day

Khmer rugby is winner on the day

Khmer rugby is winner on the day

Cambodian team clinches Angkor 10s title for first time

Photo by:

Stade Khmer players pile onto Tyron Edgar (#02) of the Billabong Sharks during their Angkor 10s match at Old Stadium on Saturday. 


Les Piliers d'Angkor beat the Billabong Sharks.
Lach Sopheara and Out Vuthy scored a try each in Saturday's Angkor 10s final at Old Stadium, fighting back from a 0-5 deficit after Sun Malen scored first for the Billabong Sharks.

CENTRE Out Vuthy picked up a loose ball and dashed in to score three minutes into "sudden death" extra time, giving Les Piliers d'Angkor a 10-5 victory over the Billabong Sharks in the Cup Final of the ANZ Royal Angkor 10s rugby tournament Saturday afternoon at the Phnom Penh Old Stadium.

It was an historic win by Les Piliers, marking the first time an all-Khmer side has won a championship trophy in the eight-year history of the 10-a-side tournament.  

The team, made up mostly of players from the Koupreys, the Cambodian men's national side, breezed through the preliminary rounds of the day-long tournament before facing the Billabong Sharks in the final.  

The Sharks, a local club side featuring a mix of Khmer and expatriate players, took a 5-0 lead shortly before the end of the first half. Winger Sun Malen took a pass from a ruck and scampered in untouched for the try from 20 metres out.

Early in the second half, Les Piliers levelled the score at 5-5 with a try by centre Lach Sopheara from 15 metres out.   

Both teams had a chance to win in the closing minutes of regulation time. Les Piliers twice drove deep into opposition territory late in the game, only to have their efforts stymied by costly penalties.

The Sharks had their best opportunity to win with less than a minute left in regulation with a 15m penalty kick attempt.  But fly half Greg Eggins' boot sailed just wide of the mark, forcing extra time.

This is a great achievement for our players. I am very proud of them.

Great strides
Cambodian Federation of Rugby Philippe Monnin said the performance of the all-Khmer side demonstrated the great strides that have been made in Cambodian rugby development.

"When the [Angkor 10s] began in 2001, we had no Khmer players participating.  Then in 2002 we had two," said Monnin. "Each year we had more players participating, but this year is the first time an all-Khmer side has won this international tournament.

"This is a great achievement for our players. I am very proud of them."

Vong Vannak of Les Piliers was awarded the FCC Player of the Tournament award.

"Playing against foreign players and international clubs in a tournament like this is important for me. It helps me a lot to improve my playing techniques," said the  fleet-footed 24-year-old, who is a starting flanker for the Koupreys.

Photo by:


Phnom Penh Post CEO Michel Dauguet (left) presents the Plate trophy to the captain of the French Asia Barbarians "A" team. 

Other trophy games

  • The French Asia Barbarians "A" side captured the Phnom Penh Post Plate trophy by outlasting last year's Cup champions, the Bedok Kings of Singapore, 17-10.  
  • The Dubai Exiles won the Bowl trophy by defeating the French Asia Barbarians "B' side 12-5.
  • Stade Khmer, another all-Khmer team, defeated the Phnom Penh Renegades  22-5 to capture the Golden Cow trophy.
  • In the Angkor Old Boys (over 35) Tournament held on Friday, AOCOUS of Toulouse, France, captured the championship trophy, with the French Asia Barbarian Old Boys in second place.

The tournament's principal sponsor was ANZ Royal Bank, with additinoal support from The Phnom Penh Post, TEAMS, Dan Meats, the FCC and Sharky Bar.  

"Without their help, this tournament would not have been possible," tournament organiser Peter Maley said.

Ray Leos is the director of media relations for the Cambodia Federation of Rugby. He also played for the Billabong Sharks during Saturday’s Angkor 10s tournament.


  • CDRI poll: Most happy but disappointments still exist

    A survey has found that over 70 per cent of Cambodian youths and adults approve of the direction the country is headed in, with the majority of respondents saying they had been doing better financially over the past five years. However, more than half said they

  • Drugs raid on Miami Night Club, 50 held

    Anti-drugs police raided a club in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Phnom Penh early on Thursday, arresting some 50 people and confiscating drug-producing equipment and suspected illegal substances. Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito said on Thursday that police conducted the raid

  • Phnom Penh: The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

    There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of

  • Battambang court releases minor who shot boy

    The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said. Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the