Indonesian Rugby – 2013 in Review

Indonesian Rugby – 2013 in Review

This year has been monumental for Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia (PRUI) both on and off the field, culminating in the Union becoming a Full Member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) on November 20, 2013. Another fantastic achievement for Indonesian Rugby off the field was achieving recognition from KONI on August 28, 2013 that Rugby could now be regarded as a “National Sport”. Together these two achievements show just how far Rugby has come in Indonesia since the seven Co-Founders decided to get the ball rolling back on May 10, 2004.

This year saw the Union launching a new development program through a number of “Hubs” in Jakarta, Bali and Papua. Indonesian Rugby was assisted by two Rugby Coaches on loan from Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) who visited each of the “Hubs” along with Akmal Nasser and Jamie Johnston from Indonesian Rugby. The purpose of these “Hubs” was to allow more players the opportunity to participate in Training Clinics, which at the same time acted as selection trials for the Indonesian National Men’s Rugby Team, the Rhinos. The Union is thankful to Leighton Indonesia for its assistance in hosting these “Hubs”. It is hoped that these “Hubs” are further developed in 2014 and a fourth “Hub” is planned to be added in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

On the field one of the biggest achievements this year was the launching of regular Saturday morning Indonesian Women’s Rugby Training sessions involving a group of young ladies from Mama Sayang’s Orphanage and the Jakarta Banteng’s Rugby Club. These ladies have embraced the Game of Rugby thanks to the Coaching efforts of Stephen Barber, David Nye and Peter Klestov plus fantastic support from the Jakarta International School (JIS) and Britmindo. The young ladies toured Bali in mid-October thanks to great support from Britcham, the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF), Britmindo and a group of eight friends known as “GR8 Mates”. The ladies team was known as “Cendrawasih Muda” and had the opportunity to play against club sides from Malaysia and Australia. Dharma from “Cendrawasih Muda” was voted the MVP of the Bali Women’s Tournament.

Indonesian Rugby also assisted the Britcham ‘Give Kids a Sporting Chance’ Foundation for the third year running as part of the 2013 Jakarta Highland Gathering at Karawaci. During the day over 300 children were exposed to a number of sports including Rugby. It was very encouraging to see three young ladies namely Ester, Vini and Ayu join George Speirs and Stephen Barber in conducting the Rugby Training Clinic.

Schools Rugby Development continued in earnest with the hosting of the Indonesian Schools Rugby Tournament at the Senayan Sports Complex. Following this tournament the first ever Indonesian National Under 20’s “Harimau Muda” Squad was selected. Additional players from Bali were later added to this squad, who trained in Jakarta before touring Johor Bahru, Malaysia to participate in the “Asia Junior 7’s Under 20’s Tournament” in September. The team was sponsored by HSBC and despite not recording a win the players all came away having experienced their first international tournament and the honour and being young ambassadors of Indonesia. Harimau Muda was coached by Akmal Nasser.

Indonesia was also represented on the international scene by the Indonesian National Men’s Team, the “Rhinos” who participated in the 2013 HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division III Tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Players represented in the Rhinos were selected from all over Indonesia, most of whom were in their early 20’s indicating the youthful approach the Union is taking towards the future of Rugby in Indonesia. In their Semi-Final match against Guam the “Rhinos” were outclassed 15-33, however the team was able to regroup well and recorded a handsome 37-13 win over China in the 3rd/4th Relegation Match. Indonesia’s win over China was the team’s third win over a Full Member country of the IRB. The Union is very thankful to Britmindo for sponsoring the 2013 “Rhinos”, National Team Coach Jamie Johnston, Assistant Coach Simon Jones (on loan from the IRB), Team Manager Akmal Nasser and others behind the scenes who ensure the “Rhinos” made it onto the field for two tough matches in two days.

Due to the withdrawal of another country Indonesia received a late invite to participate in the Singapore leg of the HSBC Asian 7’s Series in early November. The Indonesian National Men’s Sevens Team, the “Harimau” entered the tournament as underdogs coming up against more fancied rivals from Sri Lanka and the Philippines in their pool matches before taking on hosts Singapore in a Plate Semi-Final. Their last match of the tournament saw the “Harimau” come up against the United Arab Emirates in the 11th/12th Place Match. Both teams went into this game evenly matched but it was the “Harimau” who bolted out of the blocks early to get on the scoreboard before running out worthy 27-7 winners. This was the first time the “Harimau” had ever recorded an international win. Indonesian Rugby thanks National Sevens Coach, Gareth Rae for preparing the team for Singapore and Team Sponsor Mafro Sports.

Late in the year JIS, Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) and the British International School (BIS) hosted the first three rounds of the 2013-14 Jakarta Schools Rugby Competition (JAKSRUC). This tournament was first started by Indonesian Rugby in late 2009 and this year it was great to see the New Zealand International School (NZIS) joining regulars including JIS, SPH, BIS, Global Jaya International School (GJIS) and Lycee Indonesia Francais (LIF) as competition participants. These competitions included matches for Under 15’s and 18’s male players. The third round saw the introduction of a girls’ competition as part of the schedule, making JAKSRUC a ‘true’ schools competition.

Off the field Indonesian Rugby assisted hosting the 2013 Britcham Sports Gala Night at the Grand Kemang Hotel. The Union helped organise the Dinner Guest Speaker, John Bentley, who was a former England plus British and Irish Lions representative, along with Dinner Emcee Justin ‘Sambo’ Sampson. This dinner was a resounding success raising much needed awareness and funds to be used for Rugby and sports development for young Indonesians. The Union was very grateful for Asiadrill and Britmindo in providing sponsorship for this dinner.

Another great event off the field was the 2013 Indonesian Rugby Charity Lunch held at the Fez Dungeon in Kemang. This event featured former Wallaby prop Ben Darwin as the Guest Speaker and Emcee Justin ‘Sambo’ Sampson. The Union was very grateful to Atlas Copco, Qantas, Fez Dungeon, the Aphrodite Group, NOW! Jakarta, Berita Satu Media, and OB Golf & Lifestyle for sponsoring this lunch. This lunch allowed the Union to promote its annual nationwide successes plus present awards to those who assisted the Union in different ways including:

  • PRUI Life Member – Stephen Barber
  • Indonesian Rugby Hall of Fame – Brian Huntley
  • 2013 Coaches of the Year – Kyle Larson and Chris Briggs
  • 2013 Referee of the Year – Ari Yudha Pramono
  • 2013 Spirit of Rugby ‘Volunteer’ Award – Vagi Vegaz Sarwom
  • 2013 Jamie Wellington Rugby Excellence Award – Nick Mesritz

All the award recipients were well received by those in attendance and Indonesian Rugby is very grateful for their assistance and many others who give so much of their time to ensure that Rugby continues to develop throughout the archipelago.

In late October, Indonesian Rugby hosted the Tony Robinson, Rob Drinkwater, Craig Brown and Lee Adamson from the HSBC Penguins International Rugby Club. While they were in the Jakarta region they conducted an IRB Level 1 Coaches Course and it was great to see so many young Indonesian males and females participating in this course. The Penguins also visited a number of schools during the week they were in Indonesia and the highlight of their trip was a visit to the Mama Sayang Orphanage at Jonggol, located south of Jakarta. The Penguins enjoyed their Indonesian visit and have vowed to return next year in order to venture further afield in this vast archipelago.

The final significant event of the year was moving the Union’s Office to its new location in the Kinara Building in Kemang. This new office space is sponsored by Fez by Aphrodite and Indonesian Rugby is also thankful to previous office sponsor Santa Fe.

Season Greetings and many thanks to all Players, Coaches, Team Managers, Administrators, Sponsors and Supporters of Indonesian Rugby for your wonderful assistance throughout 2013 and Indonesian Rugby hopes to see you all back on ‘our’ team in 2014!

PS. Next year Indonesian Rugby will be rolling out a great new Rugby development initiative called “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) from the IRB. The goal is to promote GIR throughout all the Rugby-playing provinces of Indonesia. This worldwide program is designed to get young children and youths to “Try”, “Stay” and “Play” Rugby. So stay tuned for more information on GIR and more development news from Indonesian Rugby.