The World Flair NTR 10’s League round four encounter was between CMU/MAE and the Lanna Rugby Club held at the Chiang Mai University ground. After recent heavy rain the pitch had drained off well and a solid surface boded well for some exciting rugby.
Lanna won the toss and decided to kick off. CMU/MAE received the ball and scored straight away when New saw space down the blind side of the ruck and he out paced the cover to score under the posts for a converted try. Lanna hit back strongly with their big ball carriers and with the Uni lads dropping off tackles, ran in four quick tries by Carlos, Smithy, Zeph & Dtun. With only one try being converted by Dtun suddenly Lanna were 22-7 up and looking strong. CMU/MAE were looking down and out, slightly shellshocked and needed to regroup quickly. With the clock winding down a fine individual try by Phuping gave CMU/MAE a glimmer of hope as the ref blew for the break. 22-12 Lanna.
Lanna, looking for their first win of the season, came out with determination and were immediately back on the scoreboard after a fine break by scrumhalf Nik saw him score under the posts for another converted try. 29-12 Lanna. Midway through the period Lanna lost some of their steam as the relentless pace began to get to them. With Josh Lim leading the charge the Uni lads began to gain the upper hand and four unanswered tries by Kas(2), Tor & EQ, one of which was converted by New, saw them take the lead 34-29. The final play of the period saw Tom Stubley break through for a trademark try. With Dtun unable to convert it was 34 all going into the last period.
It was obvious that all the effort Lanna had put in during the earlier part of the match was beginning to get to them. They started dropping off tackles and passes that were sticking, began to go down as fatigue set in. The Uni lads though were going from strength to strength and their high tempo game, saw gaps appearing in the Lanna defense, as they began to tire. Kas weaved his way through a tiring defense to score his hattrick which New duly converted, to put the Uni up 41-34. With Lanna pushing for a score to draw level, they lost turnover ball on the right and Uni’s Phuping broke away and went in for his second of the match to stretch the lead out beyond the bonus point 46-34. With time running out Lanna kept plugging away but a knock-on mid field saw full time blown with the Uni lads winning a thoroughly entertaining game 46-34. Lanna have made big strides this season under coach Matt James’ direction and it is surly only a matter of time before they get back to winning ways.
A fine performance by both teams in a game that ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way. A thoroughly entertaining high scoring match.
Next game is CMU/MAE against unbeaten Chiang Mai Cobras on 17th September at CMU pitch.