2016 Crown Jakarta 10s Hailed as Jakarta Komodos’ Best Every Rugby Tournament
Rugby players, families, friends, supporters and sponsors were treated to a delightful day of action both on and off the pitch with the 2016 Crown Jakarta 10s being hailed as the Komodos’ most successful rugby tournament to date. As in, ever.
Jakarta Komodos Rugby Club fixture Kyle Larson, who assumed tournament commentating duties alongside Club President Mark Manderson, said that in addition to wonderfully competitive Senior’s and Veteran’s competitions featuring teams from throughout Indonesia as well as Malaysia, the Jakarta 10s also hosted Women’s and Junior rugby for the first time.
“We want to thank everyone who participated in Southeast Asia’s best single-day festival of rugby on Saturday,” Kyle said. “We had a great mix of players and fans of rugby in general and the success of the tournament bodes well for the development of rugby in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. And I’m already excited about the Jakarta 10s in 2017.”
In the Senior Men’s Rugby Competition, the Jakarta Komodo Reds reached their first Cup Final in years, where they were beaten by an outstanding Malaysia Polytechnic side – and in the competition below the Komodos “second string” Greens won the Plate.
Jakarta Komodos Rugby Club Chairman Blaise Hope said that the story of the day, though, went to all the Indonesian teams that came this year. “We saw the progress of years of rugby development through outstanding performances from numerous young athletes,” Hope said. “The Player of the Tournament – Andre Fiksi Gumilang Brader – is a student at Jakarta State University playing for one of four teams UNJ entered in all competitions. The Bandung Rams, along with UNJ, also showed major improvement just on last year.”
Hope said that for the Komodos, a first Cup Final for so long was a fitting reward for a year of major rebuilding and recruitment, marked by an unbeaten record in the Jakarta XVs Series. “Guy Markham, 47, deserves a special mention, playing for the Reds and Greens (and in the Vets competition) and scoring the Reds’ only try against Malaysia Polytechnic,” he said. “As does Dominic Wong, whose performance matched his billing as the face of the tournament – adorned on all the posters. With the amount of new players coming in, the Seniors look to have the momentum to come top at home next year.”
The visiting Sumbawa Nagas took out the Veterans section of the Jakarta 10s on Saturday, defeating a valiant Komodos Dinos’ team over a three-game series. It was a special win for the boys from the East, who had lost to the Komodos in the Vets final in Bali last October.
Led by captain John Noldi and featuring former Indonesian internationals such as Warren Wilcox and Andrew White, the Nagas started slowly with a seven-all draw in the first encounter. However, a pacey backline that included fitness guru Ronald White helped the islanders take the second 12-7. The Dino’s Adam Taylor, who must surely run on long-life batteries and eat bricks for breakfast, typified the home team’s grit, determination and tough forward style that kept the games so even.
This set up the final match for a winner-take-all affair and the stakes were raised when the hosts crossed for the first try. However, due to their speed and Ron White’s kicking game, the Nagas took the game 14-7, lifting their first piece of silverware for almost five years.
The Nagas now look forward to the Bali Rugby Fest in October for a chance to fully redeem themselves. Hulking second-rower and occasional Nagas’ guest player Aaron Meadows said: “If we can keep off the beer long enough, we are a good chance to beat any team of codgers in the region.”
Jess Djamhoer, chairman of the Jakarta Komodos Junior Rugby Club (JKJRC), said the 2016 Crown Jakarta Komodo 10s was the first time ever that a junior rugby tournament was held in Indonesia. “For the U8s and U10s the groups were spilt into two equal teams and played two great games with both age groups resulting in draws overall,” Jess said. “They were well-fought games that demonstrated the talent these kids from all nationalities and a large group from the local village have developed over the 2015/16 season.”
Jess said that in the U12 age group, two teams from the Komodos fought hard against the Eagles, the touring side from Malaysia. “But the Eagles managed to get the advantage to take home the cup,” she said. “These games were a challenge for our teams and the Komodos’ teams played their hearts out with true sportsmanship showing at every move.”
She said that in the U14 age group, the Komodos’ team faced challenges from two touring teams: the Bengals and Saracens, both from Malaysia. “These were very tough matches, which saw the Bengals taking the Cup after going into golden try time in the finals against the Centaurs.”
Jess said the purpose of establishing the junior tournament in Jakarta was for a number of reasons, including allowing local Komodos players who cannot normally travel abroad to play matches the opportunity to play in a competition at their home ground. “It’s also a great way to promote junior rugby in Indonesia as well as to show other Asian teams what a great tournament we offer through the Crown Jakarta 10s,” she said. “But overall, the aim was to create a fun rugby day for all the families, which by all accounts was achieved!”
Developing Rugby in Indonesia
Indonesian rugby stalwart Stephen Barber said that when himself and a group of friends established Indonesian Rugby (PRUI) 12 years ago on May 10, 2004, they had a dream that one day we would have both Indonesian men and women playing our great sport.
“With a lot of perseverance over the past three years by myself and in recent times with likes of Aaron Meadows and others, Saturday, May 7, was a turning point for Women’s Rugby Development here in Indonesia with several teams from Indonesia turning out along with the KL Tigers from Malaysia,” Barber said. “There were women’s rugby players from the Jakarta Komodos, Jakarta Banteng, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Bandung Rams and Bali Rugby Clubs playing in an eight team Sevens Tournament, which saw about 90 female players in action.”
He said it was fantastic to see Indonesian male players that have been coached how to play and enjoy rugby are also taking on a role to help coach Women’s Rugby. “Some of these young men are also making an effort to referee the game and that too shows what Rugby Development is all about.”
Barber said another great product of this development was the number of young Indonesian and mixed-marriage boys and girls who participated in U8’s, U10’s, U12’s and U14’s rugby matches on the day. “These youngsters are the ‘future of the game’ and have an important role to play in sustainable Rugby Development.”
“When I look back at the 2016 Crown Jakarta Komodos Rugby Tournament in my heart I know now that efforts to set up Indonesian Rugby and create a ‘legacy’ for the future is indeed happening after so many years of development toil.”
Kyle Larson, in comments that extend to everyone in the Komodos and Indonesian Rugby, thanked the organizing committee (led by Blaise Hope and Jess and Agus Djamhoer) for the tremendous preparations involved in pulling together the tournament, which flowed smoothly and ended ahead of schedule.
“The level of play and exemplary sportsmanship by all players was stellar and a testament to the hard work of the Indonesian Rugby Union, as well as that of the Jakarta Komodos,” Kyle said. “We witnessed development sides squaring off firmly (and victoriously) against established squads; men, women and children all proudly playing and honouring the core values of World Rugby: Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and Respect. It was an honour to watch and cheer on all the squads. The true winner is rugby!”