On Saturday the 30th of April, an injury ravaged Survivors lined up low on numbers, but high on caffeine, saturated fat, and high fructose corn syrup departed from Itaewon McDonald’s bound for Pyeongtaek for the 3rd KERA league tournament of 2016. As a first, almost all of the side arrived at the 10:30AM rendezvous point on time, the almost being Scott King who cemented his spot at the bottom of the Scott rankings by being 45 minutes late. When asked for comment his namesake and team disciplinarian, Scott Clark aka Sargent Hartman, compared Scotty 3’s actions to that of a discourteous homosexual lover.
Even with the delayed departure the bus made good progress. The lads quickly settled into their routines; some played cards, others Tindered, while the Back Seat Kaumatua engaged in a lively discussion on the best method for poaching eggs. However the tranquility was soon shattered by an animalistic growl quickly followed by the unmistakable stench of puke. It transpired that English debutant, Matteo, suffering from a severe case of pre-match nerves had chundered up his yet to be digested Macca’s. Despite this setback the bus arrived at the Anjung Leports Stadium an ‘un’Survivorly’ full hour prior to kick off. An unintended consequence of this unprecedented feat was that Tournament Director Joe Day’s pacemaker was temporarily put out of kilter due to shock.
The tournament opener pitted the Survivors against the hosts Stars and Stripes. Playing with a stiff breeze at their backs the Survivors led at halftime 14-0, and were able to run in three converted try’s in the second half to secure a bonus point win, with a fourth being squandered when South African outside back Dieter Harms ran through the dead ball line after being distracted by his own reflection in a pitch-side mirror. The Star and Stripes for their part worked hard and used their powerful ball runners to good effect - punching holes in the Survivors defence around the rucks. They were rewarded for their efforts when scrum pressure resulted in a turnover and the Survivors conceded their first try of the 2016 KERA season. The match concluded with a score of 35-5 in favor of the Survivors.
The most memorable/infamous moment of the match came courtesy of Survivors Front Rower Jimin Son. Son, who put in a solid shift in the set piece and worked industriously in the loose making some good tackles, carrying well and securing a couple of turnovers, had what could only be described as a brain fart towards the end of the first half. With the Survivors hot on attack inside the opposition 22 the ball was moved out to Son, his team mates set up in readiness for the prop to take contact. The motivation for what happened next will only ever be known by the man himself, however it should be noted that Son’s mobile phone background is a picture of former England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson. Rather than setting up a ruck 15 meters out from the tryline Son opted to punt the ball over the dead-ball line halfway up a wire mesh fence. With his team mates looking on in a state of bemusement Son stood mid-pitch arms raised seeming to indicate disappointment that nobody else had the vision, Usain Bolt like speed, or Spiderman climbing skills to convert his ‘creative genius’ into points.
The Survivors second match of the day was against a seriously understrength and undermanned Daejeon Knights side, their efforts to even get a side on the park is to be commended, and the Survivors were grateful to get a second match. This match also resulted in a bonus point win for the Survivors (71-0) with forwards and backs combining well in a disciplined effort to put together some good tries. The chief beneficiary being midfielder Willie Ryan who grabbed a hat-trick to go with the brace he scored in the first match. His prolific try scoring efforts had team mates drawing comparisons between Ryan and his recently departed Irish compatriot Jaidan Thong. When asked for comment, Ryan the Survivors Player of the Day, stated, “Anything that Munster knacker can do, a Leinster lad like myself can do better …and with more class.” *
*disclaimer the above quote ‘may’ be a total fabrication
The Survivors also contributed players to the Barbarians side that had a 1 – 1 record on the day. Malaysian wing Fakhrul Amhad, in his first year of rugby, played an integral role in securing the victory with a couple of excellent try saving cover tackles. He was named Barbarians Player of the Day and chopped a can of Red Bull at the aftermatch function.
So on to the all-important third half. Survivors Club Vice President, Roddy Bancroft kindly offered to host the post-match festivities at his bar, Braai Republic in Pyeongtaek, and then shrewdly manipulated the schedule so he wasn’t present. This left Bancroft’s former Survivor midfield and current business and life partner Chris Trutter to deal with roughly fifty ravenous rugby players, as well as a group of thirty middle-aged women rumored to be a fan club of Ted Gray’s new T.V. talk show, “Bantz wit da Bitches”. As always the food was first class, and Trutter put in a herculean effort that left him sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage, to ensure that everyone was well fed and hydrated.