STADE Khmer easily saw off this year's rugby debutants Siem Reap Club yesterday afternoon in a 46-0 win at Phnom Penh's Old Stadium.
Siem Reap started the brighter of the two sides in a gutsy start but were unable to put points on the board during a 10-minute opening spell camped in their opponent's half.
They paid dearly moments later. On 12 minutes, Stade Khmer opened the scoring from a well worked set play in the Siem Reap half that ended with winger Chea Chamroeun touching down in the corner. From there it was one-way traffic, Stade Khmer running in four more tries in the first half - with one more to Chea Chamroeun, two to centre Khoeun Sangsa and one to left-winger Man Salida - although only one try was converted by flanker Doul Khemarin. By half-time, it was 27-0 Stade Khmer.
In the second half, Siem Reap produced more resilience in defence as they made Stade Khmer work hard for the points. One notable passage of play saw Siem Reap pressuring the Stade Khmer try line for a prolonged period, a try agonisingly close.
The more experienced Stade Khmer backline, led by fly-half Francois Bleriot, captilised on a series of Siem Reap handling errors to produce three more tries in the second half - one each to Doul Khemarin, substitute winger Em Khompeak, and Khoeun Sangsa - who completed his hat-trick. Flanker Kong Vandy succeeded in converting two of the tries to complete the rout.