Stade Khmer rugby players returned home from Thailand late last night after a resounding first appearance at the 14th Chris Kays Memorial 10s Tournament in Pattaya over the weekend.
The annual event, hosted by the Pattaya Panthers and held at Horseshoe Point resort, is held to keep alive the memory of their former captain, who was killed in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Accompanied by some experienced and mostly French expatriates, the Cambodian players made up for the lack of physicality with an enthusiastic approach to each game and “never shirked a tackle”, according to Panthers chairman Jim Howard.
Saturday’s pool games saw Stade Khmer win one, draw one and lose to the highly rated Mosquitoes F Team, which included some Thai internationals.
The Cambodians reached the semi-finals of the Plate on Sunday, where they succumbed to an honourable 10-5 defeat by former tournament champions Old Bangkok Bangers. “[Stade Khmer], led by Jean-Baptiste Suberbie, have displayed great sportsmanship and are certainly welcome to come back every year,” Howard added.