Jakarta Komodos Junior Women’s Rugby Team Record First Tournament Win

The Jakarta Komodos Junior Women’s Rugby Team ended a three-year wait for tournament success with a victory at the Rugbypass.com Nusantara 7s tournament at Jagorawi on Saturday.

Two teams, Komodos Red and White, competed in the Kartini Cup segment of the tournament against teams from Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ) and Bandung. UNJ, just back from a tournament in India where they represented Indonesia in the Chennai 7s, faced Komodos White in the final after a number of hard-fought pool and semi-final games in the morning and early afternoon.

Club supporters and members of the senior team formed a tunnel for the girls prior to the game. The atmosphere was electric prior to kick-off, as UNJ had a large contingent of its own supporters there to cheer their players on.

Two first-half tried to the Komodos established early dominance in a game that was characterized by Fijian-style passing and brutal defense. Assistant coach Aaron Meadows said, “Bloomin’ heck, some of the hits took me back to my days of watching rugby league games in Queensland,” adding it was a real joy to watch the girls tackling anything that moved.

UNJ hit back with a try in the second half, but sustained pressure by the Komodos saw them cement the win with a late five-pointer. Club players and supporters erupted in celebration. Tears were shed by players, fans and coaching staff alike as the girls broke into song after what must be one of the greatest moments in Indonesian women’s rugby history.

Head coach Stephen Barber said that after three years of hard work on the training paddock and playing in Jakarta Schools Tournaments, this was the first time that most of the young ladies from the Jakarta Komodos had come up against older players.

“The thing that the Komodos had in their favour was experience and a willingness to tackle anything that moved on the pitch. While we played as two teams on the day, all of the young ladies and the coaches were united in one goal of winning the inaugural Kartini Cup and earning the title of the best Indonesian Women’s Rugby Team,” Barber said.

“Whilst there were a few individuals who shined on the day like Elsa Gloria and Riley Proudfoot, it was truly a team effort that allowed the Komodos Women’s Team to clinch the Final 15-5 over the more fancied UNJ team who a week earlier had all represented Indonesia in Chennai, India,” he said. “My only hope now is that Komodos and Bandung ladies also get recognised for future representation in Indonesian National Women’s Teams, starting with the upcoming tournament in Singapore on April 15-16.”

Barber said the real winner on the day was women’s rugby in Indonesia as this was the first time that a four team competition had ever been held. “This goes down as a real credit to PRUI [Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia] for allowing this tournament to go ahead following my push and to all the young ladies from the Komodos, UNJ and Bandung for willing themselves on to become rugby players,” he said. “I am very proud of all of these ladies and in particular the Komodos ladies and the core group of Mama Sayang girls who I have been fortunate enough to coach over the past three years.”

Results:
Round One
Komodos Whites 10 UNJ 10
Komodos Reds 0 Bandung 15

Round Two
Komodos Whites 20 Bandung 0
Komodos Reds 0 UNJ 20

Round Three
Komodos Whites 15 Komodos Reds 5
UNJ 15 Bandung 0

Semi-finals
Komodos Whites 15 Bandung 0
Komodos Reds 0 UNJ 5

Final
Komodos Whites 15 UNJ 5

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