By Eric Wight
The Jakarta Banteng have opened the new year strong with two decisive wins in pre-season friendly matches against Jakarta Japanese Rugby Gila, and Universitas Negeri Jakarta.
Playing JJRG in a farewell-friendly, Banteng jumped up early in the ten-aside match with several tries from the back line and a quick defense, and wouldn’t relinquish the lead thereafter. Capped by a hat-trick from Banteng prop-forward Bobby Orlando, the Banteng played a loose game predicated on back line finesse and quickness. JJRG, however, managed a furious comeback in the third quarter decreasing the lead to a try, before ultimately submitting to a quicker, more tactical Banteng side.
In a preparation for the upcoming 15s series, the Banteng were hosted in their second pre-season friendly on the 31st of January, by UNJ in a four twenty-minute-quarter showdown on a beautiful, early Saturday morning. Banteng again took the lead early and wouldn’t relent. Though numbers were low for Banteng, morale was not, and Banteng battered UNJ with a brutal forward-led assault and bruising defensive sets—Banteng would go on to win by a score of 49-12.
Banteng have looked strong in the start of 2015, and seem to craft their game in the image of fitness and defense. Creating constant turnovers, blitzing the line and wide runs have formed a team that, though smaller than most, is decisively quick around the corners and prides itself on fundamentally sound rugby.
It will be an exciting season for the Banteng, and if the pre-season friendly matches are any indicator, quite a successful one as well.