Cobras Finish With a Strong Win over Lanna Rugby Club
After 9 weeks of rugby, the worlds first Rugby 11’s league, the Dimbulla Estate CNX Rugby 11’s League, came down to the final round of matches. The league champions had already been decided in the previous round with CM All Stars beating CM cobras & winning the trophy. The game today between the Lanna Rugby Club & the CM Cobras would determine who would be runners up.
The game kicked off in brilliant sunshine and was a close affair for much of the first period. Cobras were on the board early when Jack McPherson attacked the line to put Jono Nunn into space to score under the posts. McPherson converted for a 7-0 lead. Lanna have proven this season to be resilient and fought back to score just before the break. Kick missed. 7-5 Cobras.
In the second period, the Cobras began to assert control. From a line out 15 metres from the line, Ry McLaughlin hit the line at speed before offloading to Dave McRitchie who was held up just short. Pattarapon “Rush” Ekdamrong picked up from the back to drive over to extend Cobras lead. Cobras were beginning to take control in the midfield with some strong forwards play, with Nils Deichert continuing his fine season, with solid defence and line breaks.
All the pressure finally told and Rowan Caroll was there to score his first try for the club, when, after the initial attack broke down, he was on hand to pick up an errant pass and score. McPherson added the extras and it was Cobras in control, at 19-5 at half time.
Cobras had their tails up and continued the good work. After multiple phases took them within striking distance, Rowan Caroll was on hand to sidestep a tiring defence, to score his second. With McPherson again getting the kick the Cobras were in control at 26-5. Credit to the Lanna team, as they refused to lie down and they hit back almost immediately scoring a fine individual try to cut the deficit to 26-10. That however was as good as it got for Lanna. Parit “Ken” Sanwichai, scored the try of the game, getting possession in his own half, he weaved his way through the Lanna defence to score an outstanding, individual try. With McPherson kicking the conversion it was Cobras 33-10 as the whistle blew.
The relentless, high pressure, speed game by the Cobras, told in the final period as the Lanna team began to tire. Cobras captain McPherson was having a man of the match performance as he ran in two converted tries, between a penalty try, that sealed the game. With referee Kiattichai Noptakul, blowing for full time, it was a convincing 54-10 scoreline for Cobras. A convincing win in the end for Cobras, though it was a tightly contested match.
The second game between Chiang Mai All Stars and CMU Gallant was turned into a 15 a side exhibition match, which showcased the abundant local talent, that has been on show throughout the league season. Both sides showed their attacking intent, in what was a thoroughly entertaining game. The All Stars, deserved champions, were given a run for their money, as Gallant kept their best performance of the season, for last. In the end the All Stars prevailed to sign off the season with a win and a 7-1-win ratio.
The awards party was held at The Welcome Inn with all teams well represented. The first award went to Nisachai Ball Maneesai, who made sure the pitch was prepared, come rain or shine. Next up the officials were given appreciation awards for all the hard work running the line and controlling the game from the middle. The main awards kicked off with Chatchanan “Bright” Piaesupong winning the forward of the year for an exceptional season. Lannas’ Phil Gwyther & Cobras’ Ry McLaughlin were both nominated and would have been worthy winners in their own right.
Jack McPherson, was given the back of the year in what was a close fought battle with Lanna’s Jamie Pell. McPherson was also presented with the coveted top try scorer award, for the 14 tries that he scored throughout the campaign. Cobras’ Pop Borwornpak Boonrueng, All Stars, Pudis Sangsuwan & Chatchanan Piaesupong along with Lannas’ Jamie Pell all finished joint 2nd on the try scorers list.
All Star scrum half Pudis Sangsuwan was declared player of the year for a sensational season, where he was often the difference between winning and losing.
The Chiang Mai All Stars were presented with the champions trophy and declared the Dimbulla Estate CNX Rugby 11’s League CHAMPIONS 2023.
A fantastic league season which has showcased the rugby talent in the North along with the traditional camaraderie that rugby is renowned for. We will be looking to expand the league in 2024 and continue developing rugby in the region.
Dimbulla Estate Chiang Mai International Rugby 11’s Tournament
25-26 November 2023