CMU Purple/Blacks v CMU Gallant
Round 8 of the Dimbulla Estate CNX Rugby 11’s league and it’s getting down to the business end of the season. The first clash of the day would be the derby game between the CMU Purple/Blacks taking on the CMU Gallant. With both teams having lost players due to university exams, the game was reduced to 8 a side.
The Purple/Blacks have been the dominate team between the two with the most experienced players in their ranks. Gallant to their credit have improved with each game and have become much more competitive as the season has progressed. From the kick off however, it was the Purple/Blacks who got into their stride quicker and took an early lead when Wittawat (Net), went in for a converted try. When Dechathorn (Noom), went in unopposed for another converted try, it was looking ominous for the Gallant side, being down 14-0 after the first quarter.
Gallant, however, immediately hit back after the restart when Pong went in under the posts and converted his own try. Purple/Blacks were in a game now and though they had plenty of possession a combination of dropped balls and stirring defense kept them bogged down in midfield. Pong again saw an opportunity and took it, slipping two tackles to again go in under the posts and converting for a 14-14 half time score.
The third quarter once again saw the Purple/Blacks gain some semblance of control and an early converted try by Dechathorn (Noom), settled the nerves, to give them a 21-14 lead. The Blacks sensing that the Gallant were tiring, kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Dechathorn (Noom), broke free to score his third of the day. 28-14.
The final quarter was dominated by the Gallant side as they pressed to get back into the game. Two quick tries by Parn & Pond, one of which was converted brought it back to 28-26 to the Blacks. As Gallant pushed forwards for a winner they were penalized and a quick penalty saw the ball spun wide to that man again, Dechathorn (Noom), who skimmed his opposite number to go in for the game clinching try. With the conversion going over the ref blew for full time. Blacks 35-26 winners in a thoroughly entertaining game.
The big match up of the day was the eagerly anticipated game between league leaders the Chiang Mai All Stars and second placed Chiang Mai Cobras. The result of this game would go a long way to determine who would be this year’s champions.
All Stars v Cobras
The Cobras, fielding a depleted team due to injuries and exam commitments, still had a strong side and they took the game to the All Stars from the kick off. Strong carries in midfield from Rowan Carrol and Pattarapon “Rush” Ekdamrong, had the Cobras putting pressure on the All Stars 22. A penalty at the breakdown enabled Jack McPherson to set up a lineout deep in All Stars territory. Hooker Kong took the ball from Rush before offloading to McPherson who gave a sublime delayed pass to Jono Nunn to give him the space to score under the posts. Kick was missed. 5-0 Cobras. After sustained pressure and multiple penalties near the All-Stars line, scrum half Damion May decided to go for the line but knocked on as he went over. 5-0 Cobras.
The second period was fast, furious and exceptional defence from both sides. The wrestle for control of the game was being decided without any quarter given. There were some exceptional skills from both teams and it was already building up to being one of the matches of the season. Cobras’ Nils Deichert was playing his best game as the arm wrestle continued, but with no score by either side, it remained Cobras 5-0 at half time. The lack of fresh legs on the Cobras bench was a concern, as the starting players had put in an enormous amount of work so far.
The 3rd quarter started off as the first half had finished, with both teams in an attritional conflict. The score was still 5-0 half way through the period, when that lack of subs for the Cobras began to tell. With All Stars bringing in players, a missed tackle allowed Isarapong Norrueang to slip through and score under the post. Kick from Chaithawat Thepmongkun went over for an All Stars 7-5 lead. Just as the whistle was about to blow, Chatchanan Piaesupong found space to outpace a tiring defence to go in and convert his own score. All Stars 14-5
The final quarter saw the Cobras on the attack and looking for the score that would get them back into the game. With exhaustion setting in and the attacking efforts beginning to wane, the All Stars finally got the control they had fought so hard to achieve. A quick fire double from Pudis Sangsuwan & Peemchim, converted by Chaithawat Thepmongkun & Chatchanan Piaesupong, saw them go out to 28-5. A final try by Warod Chaikhuna at full time put the icing on the cake for the All Stars and was a cruel blow for the Cobras. All Stars 33-5 winners. The final score didn’t reflect the high intensity, skill levels and closeness of the game shown by both teams.
Both teams can still win the title but the All Stars just need a point in their final game whilst the Cobras need to win both of their remaining games. Clearly the All Stars are champions elect and only some surprise results will deny them the title. Nils Deichert was voted player of the match.
4th November 2023
Chiang Mai University Ground
CMU Gallant v Chiang Mai Cobras
CMU Purple/Blacks V Lanna Rugby Club