Last Saturday April 14, a bunch of Jakarta Rugby players better suited to sitting on the couch watching Rugby with a beer in their hand, than playing it these days brushed the cobwebs off the boots and headed out to BIS to take on a touring team called the Doha Dogs. Komodos Club Captain, Gareth Rae who was unfortunately absent on the day commented yesterday that this was the ‘first ever Vets match for the Komodos Club’ and Indonesian Rugby commends him and the Club for this initiative to add another dimension, all be it ‘a dated one’ to Indonesian Rugby.
The Doha Dogs arrived at the ground in taxis after their concierge at their luxurious digs (they were once), the Hotel Melawai said that their bus had not shown up and was not likely to show up. Think of what could go wrong in transporting 20-odd gents in taxis from Blok M to Bintaro. You don’t have to think hard on this one and as you would expect the players arrived having taken a variety of scenic tourist routes with a similar variation in cab fares charged.
Once at the ground, the Doha Dogs got themselves kitted up and at that point it seemed apparent to the Komodos that they were giving away at least 20-25kg per man to most of the Doha forwards, who obviously enjoy the good life in the Middle East. The Dogs said that their team had an average age of 52 and that they would prefer four 5-minute quarters as opposed to the suggested four 20-minute quarters; this was settled by agreeing to play 15-minute quarters with ample water breaks.
The game got underway with the Komodos deciding to run the big Doha boys rampant with their backs and this resulted in two early tries to Kristian Vandermeer, including a scorching run down the wing to have the Komodos leading 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.
After refueling their tanks the Dogs settled into the match and began to dominate up front with their big, bruising forwards destroying the Komodos scrum on several occasions and also taking just about every lineout ball to control possession. Despite their glut of ball, it was not until early in the second half that the Dogs finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a great try by their halfback, who proved to be their best player on the field all day, to peg the score back to 12-7. It was at this point that the Komodos realised that the Dogs were starting to maul them up front and was only due to a fortuitous mistake by their no.8 as the the Dogs were going for a pushover scrum that saw the ball come out the side of the scrum resulting in the Komodos moving the ball quickly through the backs and sprinting to the other end, sending the ageless Bobby King over for a try to have the Komodos back in control 17-7 at three-quarter time.
The final quarter was once again dominated by the Dogs’ forwards who scored another try to close the score to a margin of 5 points and right to the final whistle they kept attacking only to be repelled by the gallant Komodos defense. So there it was, the first ever game of Komodos Vets Rugby had seen them home 17-12 against a very good touring team in the Doha Dogs.
Following some post match beers, there was an evening celebration at Murphy’s in Kemang where the old saying of ‘the older I get the better I was’ was in full swing.
Indonesian Rugby would like to thank the Komodos Rugby Football Club for organising this match, with a special mention going to Jamie Richards; the Union would also like to thank Danone for supplying ample Aqua and Mizone for the players and Ref, International SOS for being on had to help any injured players and Murphy’s for supplying the post match beers and the venue for the evening.
Last but least, Indonesian Rugby would like to thank both teams for playing the match in the ‘Spirit of Rugby’.