Jakarta Komodos Junior Rugby Club Make First Ever Final in International Tournament

For the first time in our club’s history, the Jakarta Komodos Junior Rugby Club’s Under 10 team managed a slot in the cup finals of a youth tournament. We still could not beat the KL Tigers. However, we played as a pack with passion and our performance marks a huge improvement on the disappointing thrashing by the same opponents a year ago.

The Bangkok International Rugby Tens Tournament took place on February 27 and 28, 2016. It is major festival on the Asian rugby calendar that was attended by more than 1,600 players in the juniors, men’s open, women’s open and veteran categories. This was the first time for the Komodos Under 10 team had participated in the event. We competed against teams from Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

The results were as follows:

Saturday, 27 February:
– Komodos (20): Bangkok Lions (5)
– Komodos (25): AGOAL Rugby Academy Sri Lanka A (0)
– KL Tigers A (20): Komodos (5).
Sunday, 28 February:
– Komodos (15): AGOAL Rugby Academy Sri Lanka B (5)
– Komodos (20): KL Tigers B (0)
– KL Tigers A (15): Komodos (0)

A year ago at the Tanglin Tournament in Singapore, the KL Tigers A team thrashed our young boys and girls by scoring 11 tries in one game. Even worse, we also lost all our other games and scored only one try. That was where we closed the mid-year season and where we kicked off the new season – no glory, no pride and very little enjoyment. Change was necessary. We simply had to improve as we are passionate about the game and eager to bring more rugby enjoyment and solidarity to boys and girls.

Keen to start the new season and eager for some wins, our coaches and parents got the pack together in September 2015 and changed 3 things:

1) We integrated the Karangan village boys and girls with our regular training groups. At the beginning of the 2015 season, Jess and Agus Djamhoer led a programme whereby rugby was introduced to village children who live next to our training grounds in Jagorawi (see more about that here https://jakarta-komodos.com/jakarta-komodos-release-viral-video-documenting-local-kids-first-trips-abroad-to-rugby-tournament/). By September these kids had learned enough to become part of our U10 and other teams

2) Have rugby practice for U10 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, instead of only on Saturdays. On Tuesdays we focus on individual skills and fitness training, while Saturdays are dedicated to teamwork

3) Ensuring that playing matches on Saturdays is very much part of our training practice. We did this in the past, but with the Karangan Village boys and girls now fully integrated in the U10 age group, we can have full size team matches every Saturday.

From September to the February cup finals in Bangkok, our boys and girls have learned to play as a pack and to love the game. Our strategies have helped them, but it is their passion for their team that got them into the cup finals – a passion shared by parents. It is this passion that motivated our boys and girls for the full 15-minute duration of the match (play-offs were 10-minute matches). The KL Tigers scored twice in the first half. At half time Coach Jess told our team to keep focused and give it all for the team. And so they did to only concede one more try in the second half. With that and many tears we concluded our first ever cup final. Their cries were not of the attention-seeking type, nope it was the same type of that we saw in the 2015 World Cup when big boys fell out of the competition. They cried because it mattered to them. Our kids cried because they are passionate about something. And that something is their team, their pack, their game.

From here we will go on to the end of this season in May and will participate in the youth tournament of the Jakarta Tens. We hope that a few overseas teams can come and play with us.