For the first time in the history of Cambodian rugby, the Phnom Penh Social Rugby Club’s “Shining Rahus” won the Indochine Cup, beating arch rivals the Saigon Geckos 19-12 in the final. The year-old club also saw its touch rugby side retain its honours at the International School of Phnom Penh complex on Saturday.
The Rahus clean sweep began with the success of the mixed touch team, which dominated all opposition on the way to a 8-1 win over the Saigon Geckos in the final showdown.
A development team from the PPSRC were also involved as the Rahus Barbarians, competing well but falling to the Rahus first team. This was the Rahus second success following SASSMITT title victory in Bangkok.
“The tournament was played in great spirit with all the players from the teams complimenting each other’s good play. It was great to see that among the teams and we are proud to have defended the title at home,” Captain Weh Yeoh said after receiving the trophy.
The day also saw an under-15s seven-a side school clash between ISPP and Lycee Francais Rene Descartes, with the French side ending up victorious on the day 7-2, with their experience telling in the end. It was the first competitive run out as a team for the ISPP side.
The men’s Tens section for the prestigious Indochine Cup was far more dramatic and included some tense games. PPSRC Rahus and Saigon both won their group games against the Yangon Dragons and Vientiane Buffaloes, leaving the two sides playing each other in the final group game as a dress rehearsal for the showpiece.
Geckos beat the Rahus 12-7 in the group game, but the all-important title clash was a totally different story.
The Rahus started the game with far more intensity than in the previous encounter. Rahus took the lead but Saigon hit back twice to lead 12-7 at the breather.
“The second half, just as intense, saw great pieces of individual skill complement good team work and the Rahus scored twice to take a decisive 19-12 lead.
“It’s difficult to explain just how much work has gone into this club and rugby in Cambodia from people associated with the Rahus,” club secretary and player Steve Noble told the Post.
“I’m so proud of everyone involved. We have more than a dozen nationalities and the group has really bonded and worked hard for each other,’’ he said.
“I’m especially happy that we could send off our coach and some players who are leaving us at the end of the season with this title.
“Coach Jerome Alfonsi probably leaves Cambodia as the country’s most successful rugby coach – having coached the national side to international victories, previously won the national title with Stade Khmer and at school level won silverware with Lycee Francais Rene Descartes,” Noble added.
“To cap it off with the Indochine Cup with the PPSRC feels special.”