Craig Senger Cup – Tournament Report

by Tournament Committee
photos by Agung Sukmono

The Craig Senger cup was held at GOR Soemantri Kuningan on Saturday 29th June in memory of Craig, who played with the Jakarta Banteng’s 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.

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The memorial tournament featured the Jakarta Banteng’s equally divided among four teams to play 2×7 minute half Rugby 7’s games. The teams were the Red Bulls, Yellow Bumblebees, Pink Panthers and the Orange Bengals.

The first game featured the Bulls vs. the Panthers in what proved to be a very evenly fought opening match. Veteran halfback Fikri stepped in as the Bulls captain due to a MIA Leo, and the game was a see-saw battle with two tries a piece coming into the last few minutes.  The game went down to the wire until Panthers fly half Sam spotted a gap and scored for the match winning try 1 min out from full time. The Panthers forwards and backs demonstrated strength at standing in the tackle and offloading, which proved to be an effective strategy featured throughout the day. The Bulls with a mix of veterans such as Denny and Matt that were accompanied by the youth of the ‘up and coming’ Bantengs were solid across the field and unlucky not to get some points.

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The second game was the Bumblebees vs. the Bengals. Captain for the day – Model Steve was a ‘no-show’ for the Bumblebees as he was away on modeling duties and regular Banteng’s captain Marco filled in the missing vacancy. Bengals forward Alton did a barnstorming run through the field fending of three defenders before being tackled a couple of meters short of the line for the ‘so close’ effort of the day, nevertheless the Bengals, which were a rock-solid outfit across the field were dominating the game and came away victor’s thanks to three breakaways tries to speedster Musi.

Next, the Mama Sayang / JBRC girls stepped up for their exhibition match in what became a hard-hitting contest with some excellent ball handling and tackles displayed across the field. The girls have come leaps and bounds to exhibit significantly improved accuracy, courage and teamwork in ‘wowing’ the crowd with quality rugby.

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After some well-earned rest time, the Panthers came up next against the Bengals. This was once again, a very closely fought match that had the scores 1-1 down to the final minute. Pete showed he has Aussie grit in him being involved in all the action, and fly half Fendy showed his class leading the back line. Bengals forward Fajar exhibited he had been drinking a lot of protein shakes and looked a much bulkier and improved player at the breakdown. The Panthers forwards showed good fitness for some big lads and Prop Azroi nearly had the match-winning try, however, was controversially deemed to be already tackled before his second attempt, and the match ended as a draw. The Panthers backs were beginning to fire and looked dangerous ahead of their last match.

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The next match saw the Bulls take on the Bumblebees and with the late addition of Pretty boy Scott, the Bumblebees came away winners thanks to a solid pack featuring Marco, Tito and Fadmo overpowering the Bulls at the breakdown. Young Bumblebees forward Kevin put in the ‘hit of the day’ taking out Matt, which left the poor lad grasping for air on the pitch. Matt, however, bounced back and led on the tackle count and breakdowns across the park.

Game five saw the Bulls and the Bengals play their final matches against each other. The Panthers looked on as they know they needed at least one point from the Bulls to give them a chance for the title. The late arrival of star Fijian Leo gave the bulls just the boost they needed, some good darts from broken play saw Fikri turn back the clock, but it was the youngster Pangya  that dashed away down the sideline to bring the scores level at full time.

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The final game of the day turned into an effective winner takes all. The Panthers took on the Bumblebees in what resulted in a first-half demolition by the Panthers, who raced out to a 4 try to nil lead at half time. Dave and Sam showed slick hands and skill interchanging effectively in the back line to break the line in set play, one penalty try given for an early tackle and one sneaky dash from the ruck by Yucil had more or less sealed the result at the break. To their credit, the Bumblebees fought back well with Akmal and Phil combining in the back line and some fancy foot work by Scott in the second half they began to look threatening. However, the Panthers cunningly slowed the play down with multiple kicks turning the Bumblebees around and eating up the clock through line outs as they hung on to win 4-2. Unfortunately, in the final minute of the game, Sam went down with a serious shoulder injury but not to dampen the spirits of the boys hung around for the award ceremony and trophy presentation.

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The highlights of the day were the rising young players who showed great potential in matching and often outclassing or outpacing the more experienced Banteng’s and the terrific efforts by the girls in their exhibition match. Thank you Mike Hillard and Mama Sayang girls!

For more info on Mama Sayang orphanage, please log on to their website.

We are all sure that Craig would have been proud looking down on us all with a smile on his face.

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Final Result

1st Pink Panthers   – 5 Points (2 Wins 1 Draw)

2nd Orange Bengals – 4 Points (1 Win 2 Draws)

3rd Yellow Bumblebees – 2 Points (1 Win 2 Losses)

4th Red Bulls – 1 Point (1 Draw 2 Losses)

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