Four jam-packed days, heat exhaustion, intestinal fortitude, disappointment, medals and new friends.
We were at Hong Kong airport at 7:00am on Thursday 19 October and before we knew it we were in Indonesia on Java, the world’s most populated island. It appeared that we met most of the 140 odd million residents on the road, on the way from the airport to our hotel. Jakarta is an extremely busy city matched only by our 2-day sporting schedule at the Australian International School Indonesia at the Jakarta-Pejaten Secondary Campus.
The AISHK representatives stayed 3 nights in the Grand Kemang Hotel which was an excellent base for our Jakarta sojourn.
Our AISHK Touch Rugby boys played 3 pool matches on Friday morning, finishing in prime position after a 5-3 win over Singapore a 6-6 draw against Indonesia and a 13-1 win over Vietnam. Several members of our team then proceeded to compete in other sports which is a testament to their resilience and have-a-go attitude. It must be said that due to the limited number of touring players many sports were assisted by players backing up after their main event.
On Saturday our semi-final ended 10-2 against an improved AIS Vietnam team. 4 outstanding tries to Kenneth Stewart and 3 skilful finishes to Ethan Briscoe demonstrated our fitness and skill training under the guidance of Mrs Walker and Mr Picker.
The much-anticipated final against AIS Singapore was an energy sapping affair. After 2 full days in the sun and high humidity the Touch final was the last event of the outdoor sports, meaning our chargers were running on enthusiasm and adrenaline only. Singapore fielded a side with 12 players, enabling them to use 5 more players than AISHK, keeping their players fresh with a regular rotation off the bench.
Hong Kong with superior skill and stamina outlasted Singapore with a thrilling 6-5 win. It must be said that the sportsmanship displayed by our boys was outstanding, supporting and cheering on the opposition after each match. Matthew Ohlson and Ethan Briscoe were stand out performers throughout the tournament setting up and scoring numerous memorable tries. Cooper Bath’s leadership, sportsmanship, knowledge are calm head are beyond his years. Christian Wu and Nick Spencer made invaluable contributions with tries in the pool matches and have great futures in Touch Rugby. Lachlan Dunne backed up in the final after 4 non-stop performances in goal for the Boys soccer, his right wing try late in the final was instrumental in our victory. Will Burton scored tries in the pool matches and his blinding speed was exciting to see, unless you happened to be his opposite number. Overall an outstanding performance with Hong Kong worthy victors in the most difficult conditions.
Finally, a huge thank you to Mrs Thao Walker whose leadership and organisation ensured the boys skills were ready to display when it counted. Thanks also to our parents who facilitated our adventure to Indonesia.
Andrew Bennett | Touch Rugby Manager