BY DAMIAN CLOWES — After three weeks of round robin games, the Outrigger Touch Rugby Tournament finals were played at the Alan Cooke Ground Saturday, June 18. Notwithstanding the emphasis on family participation, (each team had to field at least two female or junior players at all times), some spirited touch rugby had been played leading up to the finals, and the finals did not disappoint!
Grand Final day started with a junior scratch match. Bearing in mind that many of the participants had not played a game of touch rugby before the start of the tournament, onlookers could not help but be impressed by how the Phuket children had taken to the game. Special thanks to Keith Massey (Hyatt Kamala) and Donna Toon (Phuket Live radio) for taking on the coaching roles for the two junior teams.
Next up was the 3rd versus 4th playoff. After a slow start to the tournament, AsiaLife Radio had gone from strength to strength, defeating Outrigger 7-2 in the final round game. They took that form into the playoff defeating the Baa Baas 7-3. Onlookers noted that the skills on display would have made both teams worthy grand finalists.
And so to the Grand Final where Outrigger and the Hash Tags squared off with two wins each. With a previous victory over Hash Tags, there was an air of confidence in the Outrigger team but, alas, an inaugural tournament victory was not to be, with the Hash Tags running out deserving winners 4-3.
Outrigger’s own Danny Pedroni (16-year-old son of Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort GM, Tony) narrowly defeated his brother, Callum, in being voted Most Valuable Male Player of the tournament.
Very generous proceeds from the tournament went to the Outrigger Share4Change Program.