Rugby Culture Growing in Yogya

Rugby Culture Growing in Yogya

Yogyakarta (Jogyakarta) is better known as the fine arts and cultural capital of Indonesia, but these days a new culture in the form of Rugby Union is quickly gaining popularity thanks to recently formed “Jogya Chiefs Rugby Club”. The Chiefs are led by Vagi Vegaz Sarwom, better known as Vexz Thoa to his mates who is the guiding light behind the Chiefs and earlier this year represented the Indonesian National Team playing on the wing. On Saturday July 6, the Yogya Chiefs invited the Bali Hanoman to play a match as a way of introducing 15-a-side Rugby to the Yogyakarta community.

Prior to the main match there was a friendly four-team Touch Rugby tournament which saw players from both clubs mixing together, along with a few locals and Rugby fans in the crowd. The Blue Team captained by Jogya Chiefs scrum half Fajar Spetian run out as the Touch Rugby Champions ahead of the White Team captained by Chandra Priday from the Bali Hanoman.

The main game between the Jogya Chiefs and Bali Hanoman kicked off at 3pm in front of a boisterous crowd eager for some Rugby action. Young forward, Christopher Dharma led the Bali Hanoman onto the field in his final game before heading off to Australia. Christopher played with a ‘never say die’ attitude alongside Bali veterans Moses Kalo, Kurt Lovell, Markus Didikus Ria and new recruit Todd Gisondi.

The first points of the game came from Jogja Chiefs Vincent Moi-he who scored a converted try under the sticks following a great dummy pass. Moses Kalo from the Hanoman quickly retaliated with back line move seeing Francis over in the corner, which was then followed by another try to the visitors. Just minutes before halftime, the Bali Hanoman displayed some great defensive Rugby pinning down the the Chiefs in their own 22, before a superb 80m kick and chase by Chiefs flyhalf Mahmood Kalworai found flyer Vegaz Sarwom who scored a sensational try to see the Chiefs edge ahead 14-12 at the break.

In the 10 minute period after halftime the match became a tough and torrid affair with some hard Rugby being played by both teams. During this period both teams scored a couple of tries each before a try in the corner by Kalorai from the Chiefs saw the score 22-27 in favour of the Hanoman. This try lifted the Chiefs who then scored another try to tie the score up at 27-all and the match was set for a tense finale. Time was almost up on the clock when Bali Hanoman’s winger Markus Didikus Ria scored under the posts from a ruck, sealing a memorable victory for the Bali Hanoman by the narrow margin of 32-27.

Jogja Chiefs Coach Vegaz Sarwom plus Team Manager Vincent Moi-he both agreed that events like this were the way to go to help promote Rugby in Yogyakarta. They also said that the Chiefs would love to host future Rugby matches. All agreed that the event was a great success thanks to the strong relationship between the Bali Hanoman and Jogja Chiefs Rugby Clubs, who have now played a home and away series this year. The Jogya Chiefs also extended special thanks to Kurt and Faiz Lovell from the Bali Hanoman in helping to organise the weekend plus getting the Bali Hanoman ready to tour. Last but least the Jogya Chiefs offered thanks to sponsors Oxen Free and Yucil who was the match Referee plus Fajar from PRUI, plus all the players and supporters from the Jogja Chiefs who helped make the entire weekend a fantastic success.