Bertempat di Lapangan ABC, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Banteng Rugby Club (JBRC) menyelenggarakan acara “Banteng Internal Sevens – Rugby Sevens di Jakarta” pada hari Sabtu 17 Juli 2010.
Empat tim yang terdiri dari gabungan senior dan junior JBRC bertarung dengan keras untuk menunjukkan kepada Jakarta olahraga Rugby Sevens yang pada awal tahun ini terpilih untuk dipertandingkan sebagai cabang pada Olimpiade musim Panas di Rio de Janeiro 2016 nanti. Event yang disponsori oleh Laing-O’Rourke, Britmindo dan AEL ini sekaligus untuk memperebutkan “Craig Senger Cup” yang dicanangkan untuk mengenang salah satu anggota JBRC, Craig Senger, yang tewas dalam tragedi bom JW Marriott II setahun yang lalu.
“Craig Senger lebih dari sekedar pemain rugby.” jelas Bobby Orlando yang dijuluki ‘Babeh’ oleh teman-teman satu klubnya, “Ia seorang yang sangat mencintai Indonesia, terbukti dari ia memilih untuk bermain bersama tim yang mayoritasnya adalah orang Indonesia dan bukan ekspatriat, sementara ia sendiri orang Australia. Dia orangnya sangat sportif dan juga senang bercanda… apalagi kalau dia suka salah mengucapkan kata-kata dalam bahasa Indonesia… lucu banget! Tapi itulah… dia memang berusaha keras untuk bergabung dengan orang kita…” kenangnya.
“Rugby itu olahraga yang sisi sosialnya sangat positif dan penuh keakraban,” kata Denny selaku Ketua JBRC, “Sekarang dengan banyaknya anggota dari tingkat sekolah hingga tingkat senior, kita serasa punya ‘keluarga’ besar sekali dan kita menginginkan lebih banyak orang lagi yang dapat merasakan suasana ini.”
Pada akhir turnamen, Tim Debeejeez keluar sebagai juara setelah mengalahkan Tim Revo pada final sementara Tim Manis Manja mengalahkan Tim Flying Lily untuk mendapatkan peringkat ketiga. Para anggota JBRC wanita juga sempat melakukan pertandingan eksebisi di antara kedua pertandingan final.
“Kami dari Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia sangat bangga terhadap JBRC atas terselenggaranya acara ini,” kata Stephen Barber selaku Ketua PRUI, “Besar harapan kami bahwa Rugby Sevens semakin terkenal dan banyak dimainkan di Indonesia sehingga cita-cita kami untuk turut dalam Olimpiade 2016 dapat menjadi kenyataan.”
Dengan penuh semangat, walaupun terdapat luka dan lecet akibat tackling yang menjadi ciri khas olahraga keras ini, para pemain dan ofisial JBRC terlihat sangat gembira. Dalam caranya sendiri, mereka telah memperkenalkan olahraga yang mereka cintai pada masyarakat Jakarta.
JAKARTA SAMPLES TASTE OF OLYMPIC RUGBY
Although many may have forgotten the name of Australian, Craig Senger, to a growing group of Jakarta rugby union players that make up the predominantly Indonesian Jakarta Banteng Rugby Club, the name will always be remembered.
Craig was an avid rugby player and fan who after coming to work in Jakarta for Austrade, opted to play with Jakarta Banteng whose members are mainly Indonesian and have very little experience of the game. Craig Senger played with the Banteng for almost two seasons before tragically losing his life on the morning of the 17th of July 2009, in a suicide bomb attack inside the J. W. Marriott hotel restaurant where he was attending a breakfast meeting….
One year to the day of this tragic event, Jakarta Banteng Rugby Club held an internal Rugby Sevens tournament in which four teams made up of the club’s increasing number of senior and junior players vied for the first ever Craig Senger Cup to honour their departed brother. The event was also showcased as a Jakarta exposè for the fast-paced version of Rugby Union, which will be an Olympic event in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The tournament was held at Lapangan ABC on Saturday and whilst the competition was thrilling and hard-fought, for the club players and supporters along with the many soccer players who sat wide-eyed and watched their first ever games of rugby, the event was an example of a thoroughly enjoyable day; a day of rugby camaraderie.
“Craig wasn’t just a player” said Bobby Orlando, the recognized father-figure of the club who is nick-named ‘Babeh’ by his clubmates. “Craig was an all-round good man who loved the spirit of the game, the club, his friends and especially the people of Indonesia. We remember our brother with love today by playing the game that we loved to play together.”
Seniors and juniors of the club were divided to form four mini-teams that allowed for pool games as well as two finals to be played. An exhibition game by the club’s girls & women’s players was held in between the two finals.
“Rugby is definitely growing in Indonesia and you can see that by the number of players that now belong to the club” says Denny, the club Chairman. “When we first started, there were times that only five or six players turned up to training but now we get sessions where up to 50 people turn up, both male and female” he continues.
The club attempts to be self-funded and raises money through sponsorship from companies such as Laing-O’Rourke, Britmindo and AEL as well as carrying out raffles, selling club apparel, souvenirs and also donations from the players. Several players have been capped in both the national XV’s Rhinos squad as well as the national Sevens team, dubbed the Harimau.
“We love rugby!” says Jounah Christy and Akmal Nasser almost in unison. “We don’t just love the sport but also the social aspects of the rugby culture.” continues Jounah.
“Yes, rugby is a great sport but it also brings people together as friends and family”, Akmal chips in, “I’m a student in Jakarta and my parents and family live in Sumatra but I’ve got my ‘brothers and sisters’ here in Banteng,” he concludes.
“That’s right!” agrees SMA Al-Chasanah student and girl rugby player Saima. “Jakarta Banteng has introduced us to rugby and rugby has introduced us to new friends who have become our brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts. We really are like a big family and more than just the sport, I think that’s what’s so great about rugby.”
Team Debeejeez eventually took the inaugural Craig Senger Cup after beating Team Revos 5-0 in a very tight and fast-paced final, whilst Team Manis-Manja took out the Bowl after beating Team Flying Lilys in the game beforehand.
Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia (PRUI – the Indonesian Rugby Football Union) Chairman Stephen Barber who was also in attendance pledged support from the union for continued and sustainable rugby development. “The sport has grown in significance over the past few years here in Indonesia and PRUI now has in place sponsorship from companies such as Asiarep, Offshore Services International, Coca-Cola and Maxidrill to make sure that rugby continues to be developed at ‘grass-roots’ level, through all age groups. Two thumbs up to Banteng for the tournament which commemorates a fallen comrade… that truly embodies the rugby spirit.”
When asked about the prospect for Indonesian Rugby making the Olympic Games, Mr. Barber responds with enthusiasm. “Nothing is impossible and Rugby Sevens in the Olympics gives Asian countries such as Indonesia a chance to go for Olympic glory despite being a little smaller than their western counterparts. In rugby, what really matters is heart and Indonesian rugby players have plenty of that. But we also believe in growing XV’s rugby in line with the Asian Rugby Football Union and International Rugby Board’s long-term vision. It would be a dream come true to have an Indonesian team in the Rugby World Cup one day!”
For now however, Indonesian rugby must continue to work hard and play hard for rugby to take root in the Indonesian sporting community but rest assured that clubs such as Jakarta Banteng scattered across the archipelago are keeping the dream alive.