Jakarta Komodos Senior Rugby Team Battle but Fall Short at Bali 10s
It was a tough week going into the Bali 10s, with injury, work, flight delays and other commitments wiping out more than half the original tourists from the Jakarta Komodos Rugby Football Club (JKRFC). On Saturday morning, at Yoga Perkanthi Field, the Komodo Greens were to face the Singapore Wanderers at 8 a.m. Then there were the Komodo Reds’ fixtures in the afternoon and the Jakarta Dinos Veterans’ side. The JKRFC had 12 men.
It wouldn’t matter. Through a long hard day many played every game, and some came back for more to help out a Barbarians side lacking in numbers and facing the mighty Kalamunda Bulls from Australia. If that team’s later match had not been cancelled, many Komodos would have had 10 matches to their name in a single day. As it was, they had to settle for nine.
During one of Indonesia’s worst dry seasons in recent memory, with a dust-bowl field tearing our skin from below and the fierce sun beating down, it was a glorious day of rugby.
A special mention has to go to the grizzled veteran Komodo Rob Kraus, now living back in Australia, who flew out to Bali with two young men, Josh Collins and Craig McKillop. They made their entry into the club in fine fashion.
By Sunday, the injuries had started to take a toll, and with both the Greens and Reds on a collision course in the Bowl competition, the Reds withdrew from their match.
With the option on the table for an improbable chance at silverware in the Shield, in true Komodos style the team chose to stay in the Bowl for a confrontation with their arch-rivals, the Jakarta Bantengs.
In a match described by the referee as the most physical of the day, with two concussions and two yellow cards, and with a growing number of injured watching from the side-lines, the Komodos could no longer hold a grouping of Indonesian international representatives in the Bantengs’ back line, who crossed twice near the end to break the deadlock and take victory.
A great boost for the rivalry as the Komodos prepare to defend their Jakarta XVs title against their strongest challengers in the coming season.
“During one of Indonesia’s worst dry seasons in recent memory, with a dust-bowl field tearing our skin from below and the fierce sun beating down, it was a glorious day of rugby” - Komodos Chairman Blaise Hope
The Bali Rugby Festival is when the Komodos remember their worst day, on October 12, 2002, when six ISCI rugby players were killed in the Bali bombings. Every match was played with their names and the date on our jerseys. Lest we forget.