SEOUL SURVIVORS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Maybe Next Weekend
IN BRIEF: This weekend is the YSC game against Shanghai. Please come down and support the Survivors, the Killer Bs and the Sisters, Saturday, May 29th at Jamwon. Next Saturday is the second touch tournament in the series. Contact Nathan Atkins if you are interested in playing.
Dues for the year 2010 are 50,000 won. There will be a dispensation for those who register later in the year. You will receive a complimentary Survivors tie once they come on line.
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M A Y
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Survivors chalk up first YSC win over Guangzhou
Jacob will have new team polos available from Saturday, May 29 at the Shanghai match. Cost is 15,000 won.
CONTENTS: Page 2: Shanghai preview, Gumi report. Page 3: Player Profile - Beau Spencer. Page 4: Korea 10s League Seoul Page 6: A5N Update. Page 7: Survivors Mailbag. Page 8: PNU match, directions.
2009’s clash between the Oakwood Seoul Survivors and the Guangzhou Rams was a one-sided affair at Jamwon. The end result was 71-0 in the locals’ favour. By Jacob Leonard A decade after the first Seoul Survivors tour to Guangzhou, the 2010 edition of epic rugby tours was nothing short of spectacular. As normal with a Yellow Sea Cup tour, the weekend consisted of three parts: the trip, the match and the nonsense. The trip was short and sweet, the Survivors flying from Incheon on Saturday, April 24 at 9:30am and returning on Sunday, April 25 at 10:20 pm. Despite the briefness of the visit, all had heaps of fun. New nicknames were coined and a few more famous tour quotes added to the historical “Seoul Survivors‟ Library of Quotes.” Captain Simon Walsh earned the nickname “SMS” or “SeventyMinute Simon”, after another spell in the sin bin whilst the “Gray Captain” adds “Black Betty” to his growing list of monikers. The quote of the tour was added by none other than the “Gray Captain” himself: when asked about the previous night of
fun, Jeff Barg stated in a disgusted tone of voice “that the place was 95% „ladies of the night‟.” In reply to the rookie‟s statement, Ted “The Gray Captain” stated with happiness, “I loved that place.” You can take Ted out of Manila but you can‟t take Manila out of Ted. Now, let‟s look at the match. The Survivors started the match in the first half with 15 players and were lucky to end the match with 15. In the first half, the Survivors went into the lead with a wonderful try by Hikaru “Hiro” Tamoto and a fingertip score by Jacob “Waterboy” Leonard. The Survivors also added to their first half score with a penalty from the deadly boot of Newton Thompson. After playing 10 minutes without the pitch captain, the Survivors finished the first half with a 15 to 5 lead over the Rams, who clawed one back through one of their People‟s Liberation Army (PLA) players. The second half was a different story (Continued on page 2)
Survivors gear up for epic Shanghai clash By Kurt Taogaga 10-8, those two simple numbers have haunted the Survivors since early last year. The margin of two points was all that stood between the Survivors and raising the Yellow Sea Cup in triumph for the first time since the inaugural year in 2005. 10-8 will become a catch cry for the 2010 team. For the young Survivors squad, those two numbers represent in basic form the age-old adage; „close but no cigar.‟ The score line represents disappointment and heartbreak. That the game took place early in last year‟s season and still allowed for a mathematical chance of YSC victory came as no consolation to 2009‟s crop of players. This year, the black and greys will look to put the result beyond a shadow of a doubt using a mobile forward pack combined with some very large backs to tire the Hairy Crab‟s defence. The Seoul vs. Guangzhou (Continued from page 1)
altogether for the Survivors. The Rams started the second half with 15 unanswered points. With the Survivors down 20-15, the forwards duly took over the field. Thompson added an extra penalty kick and the conversion to rangy lock Rico Colón‟s game-winning try. After many ups and downs, the Survivors found a way to come out on top with a score of 25-20. The man of the match for the Survivors was none other than Rico Colón. The Rams‟ man of the match went to Frenchman Cyrille Guillot. Special thanks go out to David “Junior” Barnaby, John Goddard, and Junior‟s friends Geoff Lam and Rob Dickie for making their way to the game and helping the Survivors secure a victory. Another big “cheers” goes out to the Guangzhou Rams and Hooley‟s Bar for a wonderful after party. I‟m pretty sure that with all the complementary beer no one remembered the rest of the evening. As for the nonsense on tour, you should save some money and make sure you go on the next tour. What goes on tour stays on tour.
precision boot of Newton Thompson and the bullocking running of Mona Tumamao should see the Survivors exploit any weakness in the backline. The Survivors have had a number of close games against Shanghai in recent memory, last year‟s slim margin being one of the most outstanding. It was only the final acts of the game that sealed Seoul‟s fate in 2009. Two
The Survivors will rely heavily on her mobile forward pack to gain ground.
penalty chances went begging that would have given the Survivors victory by the slimmest of margins. The Survivors will want to use last year‟s result as motivation for the upcoming encounter at Apgujeong‟s Jamwon Rugby Pitch. The black and greys remain unbeaten at their home ground at 15s and will defend that record this Saturday, May 29th. The Seoul lads know that in order to be true Yellow Sea Cup champions this year they have to beat the top side in the competition and that team has undoubtedly been the Shanghai Hairy Crabs for the last few seasons. There‟s no lack of motivation in this match and the stakes are extremely high for both sides, with the winner expected to continue on and become the 2010 holder of the YSC trophy. Though, Beijing might have a thing or two to say about that later in the year, with the Survivors travelling there to make their claim at the championship.
Survivors Visit Gumi and Gyeongsan By Kurt Taogaga The Seoul Survivors, in conjunction with the Seoul Sisters, journeyed across the peninsula to the small town of Gumi in Gyeongsangbukdo, 40 minutes north -west of Daegu. A packed bus left Itaewon‟s Hamilton Hotel at 6:30am to deliver the intrepid players to their destination. The Gumi rugby club played host to a few 10s matches between the hosts and the visiting teams from the big smoke, who were surprised to discover that the pitch for the day held true to the rural setting of the game. Fording a small stream and making a path through vegetable patches isn‟t the usual way Survivors travel to rugby games. Playing on that wonderfully rustic field, however, only illustrated the desire of the two sides to play rugby in any conditions for the simple love of the game. Also in attendance were a few players from Mavrik Jeon‟s Busan Bulls, who are attempting to form their own squad in the southern port city. The Sisters added to the weekend‟s action with a demonstration match of women‟s 7s that illustrated
how far they‟ve come in recruiting new members into their club. The Survivors predictably dominated proceedings, firstly against a Gumi side, then a combined Gumi/Busan team. The games were a perfect opportunity to develop rugby in Gumi who are fast becoming Korea‟s rising expatriate star. The Gumi club originally started off as a touch team playing in the Seoul tournaments in 2008 and 2009. The lure of contact rugby proved too much for many of her players and through the efforts of some dedicated folk down south have managed to put together a very competitive 10s side, finishing second only to the Survivors in the recent Korea 10s tournament in Seoul. After the Asian 5 Nations match in Gyeongsan, the Gumi club hosted a great party at their clubrooms, the Waegook Cook. New rugby friendships were forged and old ones renewed. Thanks to Derrick of the Waegook Cook for his hospitality and also to Willie Sproule and Wietsche Bresler for their organisation of the field and the games.
Player Profile: Beau Spencer Nickname:
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Nuggety hooker, Beau Spencer, has been a regular performer for the Survivors squad since he first arrived on the peninsula. The Kentucky native throws himself headfirst and without second thought into both attack and defence and displays a ferocious will to dominate opponents on the field. As much a regular on the social circuit, Rodeo will be missed when he makes his return to the USA to study later this year.
First rugby memory: Playing goalie in soccer and spearing a guy. The ref said, “This isn’t rugby.” I responded, “What’s Rugby?” Age 12. What are you doing in Korea? Corrupting youth Favourite thing about Korea: The Wolfhound Least favourite thing about Korea: Drift Walkers. Pretty much anyone who can walk in a straight line and drift from side to side. What do you enjoy about your position? The title. Thanks to society’s double standard men take being called “a hooker” as a complement. What don’t you like about your position? My expertise at screwing up a lineout. Do you have a good luck charm/ritual for games? Girls, if they’re available (with my looks usually not). What do you miss most about home? Overweight women. What do you like most at training? Dan Grover’s soul patch. What do you like least at training? Doing it with a hangover
What are your interests outside rugby? Writing (with the occasion drink), reading (with the occasional drink), watching movies/ documentaries (with the occasional drink), and drinking (with the occasional conversation). Do you have a favourite quote or saying? “Does anyone know what I did last night?” How would you like to improve yourself off the rugby field? I’ve always wanted a six-pack. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you be remembered for? Probably for whatever I died from because chances are it will be something I do blacked out and it will be ridiculous.
Korea 10s League By Kurt Taogaga The Korea 10s League kicked off at the home of the Seoul Survivors, Jamwon Rugby Pitch on May 8th, bringing together six teams from around the country to enjoy a festival of rugby action. Involving both expatriate and Korean teams, the tournament is meant to build bridges between various rugby communities throughout the peninsula and foster the growth of the game. In a country where our sport receives little to no official support, especially for expats, the organisers saw an opportunity to seize the reins and formulate a plan to develop rugby on their own terms. The call came back from all over the peninsula that interest existed in setting up a league to be held in various Korean cities throughout the year. The 10s format is a popular one in Asia, allowing for smaller expatriate communities to assemble enough players to put together a team and compete. The Cheongju Knights finished in fourth place at the recent Korea 10s League round in Seoul. Lead by fiery Aussie captain James Nielsen, the Knights felt
The Gumi Barbarians and the Jeonnam Aliens clash at Jamwon. themselves unlucky to drop a few games that they should have won. They will undoubtedly look to improve upon their last result, especially seeing they will host the next tournament in early July. After losing their kit in a previous jaunt to Seoul, the Knights sported a new uniform but were unable to capitalize on a good 15s buildup against Jeonnam and the Killer Bs.
The Cheongju Knights host the next 10s tournament on July 3rd.
The Knights will look to knock off Korea University and claim a spot on the podium at home next time. The Gumi Barbarians provided the closest competition for the Survivors A team in Seoul. The Barbarians have managed to form a core squad in their hometown complemented by expatriate players from around the southern end of the peninsula to bolster their ranks and their likelihood of knocking over the top dogs. Gumi‟s closest match came against the Korea University squad and the roots of a healthy rivalry between the two teams were sown in their playoff for second spot. It was an electric match that saw the Barbarians eventually run out victors and consigning the Tigers to third spot. The Barbarians have a handy roster of players to choose from, including livewire halfback Victor Yang and long-distance Survivor player Joshua “Bumbles” Pearce. Recently, the country boys have also secured the services of ex-Survivor John Bresler, increasing their competitive edge in the league. The Jeonnam Aliens had the furthest to travel in order to partake in this tournament. Bringing only ten players from the deep south, they were always going to be on the
Round 1 - Seoul back foot and managed to enlist all of the available mercenaries to supplement their numbers. They would have been unhappy not to come away with a win from Seoul but showed enough courage and determination to suggest that they could still threaten the middle of the table once they get their full squad back on line. The southern boys were missing key organiser Rob Julien at first five and many of their hulking forward pack. The return of key players and the availability of more players in tournaments closer to home will bring the Killer Bs into their sights as they look to climb the ladder. Their match with the Survivors B squad yielded only a five point margin at 5-0. They can take heart in a fair effort far from home and build on their Seoul appearance to become true contenders.
turn for the worse as injuries mounted and inexperienced players were shuffled into key positions. Enthusiasm and endeavour gave out in the end to more hardened and organised opponents. The Killers Bs finished the day in 5th place with one win and four losses. The Killer Bs will now look to knock off the next tournament‟s hosts, the Cheongju Knights, who came one place above them in the Seoul leg as well as reduce the deficit they suffered at the hands of their brother team, the Survivors. The A squad ran rampant throughout most of the tournament but particularly spared nothing against the Killer Bs, already seriously weakened through injury. Grabbing more wins at the tournament and keeping the Korea University were reluctant particiscore respectable against the As will be a pants in this competiThe SS Killer Bs were solid performers huge motivation at the next leg. tion despite coming early in the day, taking a win against the runners-up at last Jeonnam Aliens in their first match, 5-0. year‟s MCST 10s at Unfortunately, the loss of the team‟s most Yonsei. The organisexperienced players, Roddy Bancroft and ers aim to bring Korean university teams into Jono O‟Sullivan, saw their fortunes take a the fold and become an inclusive competition for all those who would like to enjoy rugby, not just expatriates. KU‟s acid test came in their final match of the day, where they lost a tight game to Gumi to hold onto third place and still gain a foot on the podium. Hopefully, this encouraging result entices the Tigers to see the league through to its conclusion. The true test of Korea University in this 10s league will be if they decide to leave Seoul and travel to the other tournaments planned for cities around the country. Travel will be necessary to accrue points over the course of the series but if they were hesitant to play in their own hometown, one wonders of they can continue to be a key player in the future? If they do decide to take this series seriously, they could become a true force to be reckoned with, given their natural flair, fitness and pace. The Seoul Survivors were the runaway success of the Seoul tournament and are the hot
favourites to win the league outright. However, the Seoul boys will be aware of the Barbarians breathing down their neck and the fitness and pace of the KU Tigers. The coaching team will be happy with the clinical nature that the A squad dismantled opponents at Jamwon, finding gaps at will, regaining their own kickoffs and using their deadly backs to open up defences. Seoul‟s forwards also boast a brace of mobile hunters, including captain Simon Walsh and dynamo Kenneth Park, well-suited to the 10s game. Veteran Brian Bruckman ended the day with five tries as did firecracker centre Nathan Atkins, illustrating the Survivors‟ will to attack from anywhere through both the front five and the back five.
The Survivors two squads clash in the Seoul leg of the Korea 10s League.
Asian 5 Nations concludes, Korea relegated to 1st Division By Kurt Taogaga
backs, running out to a 32-8 result. The to the tune of 21-19. Korean campaign starting off on the The HSBC Asian 5 Nations is finished wrong foot in a surprisingly heavy defeat Korea vs. Kazakhstan and the news is all gloomy for Korean to the Hong Kong squad. The most recent game, held at Incheon‟s rugby. Their fifth place finish has seen Munhak Stadium and dutifully attended them drop from the Top Five into the 1st Korea vs. Japan by a contingent of Survivors, shaped up Division (second tier) alongside Singa- Things weren‟t going to get much better to be a do-or-die match for the Koreans. pore, Malaysia and the yet-to-be- as Korea Rugby Union President, Choi Either team could finish in fifth place if decided winner of the 2nd Division. Sri Tae-Won, could have been forgiven for they failed to win and/or secure a bonus Lanka will be promoted into the Top 5 thinking that their recent match against point from the encounter. next year, taking Korea‟s place and Japan in the Asian 5 Nations was being The May 22nd showdown, in drizzly finishing a remarkable rise for the Indian played in hostile territory rather than the conditions, went in Korea‟s favour for Ocean islanders. newly re-purposed Gyeongsan Rugby the first twenty minutes. The home side The result is a rather ignominious end to Stadium. A chorus of boos rang out from raced to a 17-0 lead but, as they have the Koreans‟ 2010 campaign, which the supporters in response to Korea‟s demonstrated in past matches, were started the year with the slogan “World decision to knock over a late penalty unable to keep their focus and allowed Cup 2011”, boldly flaunting the KRU‟s despite being 73-10 down. A little more Kazakhstan back in the game through intentions to be the second Asian repre- fortitude and courage was demanded by hard-running superstar Anton Rudoy sentative in New Zealand next year. The the mainly expatriate crowd, many of and the boot of Maxim Lifontov. The Korean ruling body will have to recon- whom had travelled long distances to visitors ran out eventual winners, 32-25. sider their lofty ambitions in preparation Gyeongsan to watch the match. The for digging themselves out of the murky clash of the top two sides in Asia did depths of the A5N‟s second tier compe- little to confirm Korea‟s status as likely tition. repechage challengers in Uruguay. Korea was outmuscled and outfoxed by John Kirwan‟s „Brave Blossoms‟ and look likely to finish well down the ladder in the 2010 Asian 5 Nations having already lost to Hong Kong. The home side will rue missed penalty chances and a yellow card in the first half to halfback Pak Wan-Yong that denied them any chance of staying in contact with the Japanese when the match was still evenly balanced. On the other hand, Japan validated their status as Asia‟s sole superpower and world top 20 ranking with a clinical Man-of-the-match Anton Rudoy. second half display lead by New Zealand Kazakhstan’s incisive fullback, Maxim import Ryan Nicholas. Nicholas slotted Lifontov. penalties, goals and set up his outside Korea vs. Hong Kong Expecting a tougher outing against the winger, Kosuke Endo, for five tries. Koreans, Hong Kong halfback, Tim Korea vs. Arabian Gulf Credits Alexander, was scathing in his assess- Perhaps Korea‟s worst defeat came at Editor: Kurt Taogaga ment of the visitors. “Mentally, they‟re the hands of surprise package, the AraContributing writers: Nanot the strongest side you‟ll ever play”, bian Gulf. The Gulf side, which will be he said, illustrating his team‟s strategy of replaced by a United Arab Emirates than Farren; Richard Jang; holding out the Koreans defensively team next year, were the recently pro- Jacob Leonard; Kurt until their discipline and cohesion began moted team from 2009 and expected to Taogaga to wither. finish well down the ladder but, in the Photos: Guangzhou/Korea Once the Koreans showed signs of stifling Middle Eastern heat, managed to 10s - Robin Ash; Kazakhstan weakening, Hong Kong were then able cause a massive upset and send Korea to take advantage with their speedy reeling into a possible relegation match, - Getty Images
Survivors’ Mail Bag The Emu brings a box of crayons and his own brand of irreverent humour to the Maybe Next Weekend newsletter this month.. Remember to send your questions to:
Is Ted Gray really Ed Gay? - Longtime reader, first time writer, Quagmire. A very interesting question posed by young Quagmire, although I am not a Forensic Archeologist, I will do my best to answer! Firstly, the last time Ed Gay was seen in Korea, he appeared on the cover of an English expat magazine many years ago. Ed Gay was interviewed and his slick and suave insights on Korea and life got the masses (the Survivors) whipped up into a huge hysteria. The magazine cover popped up all over Korea, well mainly Pub Scrooge, defiled with comments of adulation and the like. From that day on, Ed Gay has gone into hiding! Sherlock Holmes would look for clues and comparisons to find the evidence and I‟m going to start off with the basics. Ed Gay oozed a Fonzie-like skill, which I believe was once possessed by Ted. He was once known to click his fingers and the hordes of Koreans would sally up to his side, duke boxes would spurt “Whoa Black Betty Bam Balam” and black balls would sink (unless in Kurt’s hand). Black leather jackets, tight blue jeans and collared shirts curling under the aroma of dense manly aftershave, there‟s links here. They both rode exquisite machines of power and loved to feel their slick backed hairdos flow ever so slightly in the wind as they left the cops behind. Nowadays, Ted wears a helmet in winter. I‟m sure Ed Gay would shun such weakness. Ed Gay was multi-talented: a Professor, TV Presenter, Author, Cavalier Rugby Player and All Nations Player. Now Ted Gray had a very similar resume but alas the now Dictator enjoys more relaxed sports such as Pub Quizzes and well you‟d have to ask him about the rest! So the line starts to blur between the two! I believe I shall get to the root of this perplexing puzzle by donning my charlatan private investigator‟s costume and I'll hunt down the missing ED GAY and indeed see if he too can beat Chuck Norris with a flash of the Dictator’s SMILE! This act alone will determine if Ed Gay is indeed Ted Gray, the Immortal Dictator! Hold on to your crutches, Quagmire. The EMU is on the job!
PNU fight hard in national Spring League In early April, our mates from Busan were doing it tough in the university Spring League, bringing up the question of whether we could foot it there. Richard Jang went to catch the action. By Richard Jang On a sunny Monday afternoon, true Korean-style dirt rugby kicked off at the Onsu rugby grounds with a massive crowd of parents that made the match look more like a midget hockey game than a university rugby match. With all that behind, Pusan National University (PNU) Eagles marched out to the dirt pitch to play their biggest match of the Korean Rugby Union Spring League against Wonkwang University. With Wonkwang University recruiting rugby players from the high school academy system, the size difference stood out, but the game showed size isn‟t such a big factor. After the ritual singing of school songs, the Eagles kicked off and from the first
ruck of the game, their lanky tighthead pushed back the big Wonkwang forwards and forced a turnover. The Eagles spun the stolen ball wide and, just before the line, the ball was knocked on. First scrum of the match, the PNU Eagles were at least fifty kilograms underweight. The size difference was obvious from the far sideline but the Eagles wheeled the scrum and got the ball back. From the successive scrum, PNU gathered the ball from the number 8 and the first five put through a drop kick to get on the board, 3-0, to the Eagles. PNU played the first twenty minutes deep in the Wonkwang zone but they failed to execute their chances, despite numerous phases of play. The experienced Wonkwang side held firm and exploited the Eagles‟ greenness with an intercept on the wing. They ran seventy metres downfield to score a try under the post. From there, the tide had turned. PNU still dominated forward play but numerous knock-ons killed their momentum. Wonkwang‟s first five was sin -binned late in the first half for repeated high tackles and PNU put the gas down to score a try before half time. A couple more PNU knock-ons and an advantage
call saw Wonkwang score the last try of the half. The second half saw some more fierce rugby with some massive tackles and big scrums. PNU came out flat in the second spell, allowing two quick tries from the start. With a long huddle at the end zone, they re-gathered and started pushing hard again. PNU scored their first try of the match when the first five chipped the ball into the corner and the prop ran into gather the ball before the Wonkwang backs did. Wonkwang looked shaky from there on, allowing PNU to rampage around the field. But their finishing touch needed some refining, knocking the ball on two metres from the line and failing to score on a 3-on-1 chance. With five minutes on the clock, the Wonkwang number 10 was sent off for repeated high tackles. PNU gathered to push harder, and the last try of the match came in the classic orthodox style of using numbers out wide. PNU wing finished with a twenty metre run into the corner of the field for a try. Final score: 13-25. But the score doesn‟t reflect the game itself by any means. It was one great game to watch on a nice sunny spring afternoon.
Public Transport : Apgujeong Stat ion ( # 3 3 5 ) Exit 6 . Walk down t he road for about 50 0 meters and t hen t urn right bet ween Shinsa Middle School and Hyundai High School. Walk t o t he end of t he road and t urn left at t he T-junct ion. Keep walking, after 75 met ers t here is a t unnel on your right . This t akes you under t he Olympic Expressway and brings you out in a car park by t he river. The rugby pit ch is on t he right of t he car park. Driving: Go sout h over Hannam bridge over t he Olympic Expressway, t urn right t owards Apgujeong St n. The road loops around and you head east parallel wit h t he river but sout h of t he Olympic Expressway. After 5 00 m t urn left at t he t raffic light bet ween Shinsa Middle and Hyundai High schools. Go to t he end of t he road, t urn left and after 7 5m t urn right t hrough t he t unnel under t he Olympic Expressway. The rugby pit ch is on t he right of t he car park.