On Sunday the 24th of April a KERA Barbarians XV, with 11 Seoul Survivors players in the squad of 27, traveled north to Songchu Stadium to take on World Rugby’s 28th ranked side, South Korea. The match was the arranged at the request of newly appointed Korean Coach, New Zealander John Walters, and facilitated by Survivor Richard Jang who is the K.R.U’s National Team Manager and Translator. The Koreans will take the first step on their journey towards inclusion in the 2019 Japan R.W.C against Japan in Yokohama at 2pm K.S.T. tomorrow.
The KERA side drew on players from all corners of the Korean Peninsula with team members travelling from as far afield as Goeje Island, Mokpo and Busan. As was to be expected the composite side of amateurs, who were only able to train together for a few hours on substandard pitches, were comprehensively outplayed by the professionals in the international side. The Koreans reaped the benefit of being in camp together for a couple of weeks using their superior organization, conditioning and speed to run out victors, 81 -5. Their ability to quickly and efficiently clear out second phase ball and accurately move the ball into space made for good viewing. The KERA side also contributed to the spectacle with their gutsy attitude and tenacity appreciated by a decent sized crowd.
The contrast between the professional and amateur game was clearly evident post-match too where the KERA players cooled down by spinning yarns and rehydrating on cold cans of Kozel Dark kindly supplied by S.A.B. Miller Korea. While the Koreans’ looked on enviously as they were partook in something that resembled a yoga class minus the fit M.I.L.F’s in spandex. The KERA festivities continued during a mobile ‘court session’ on the bus back to Sin Bin Sports Pub.
In addition to their opening match against Japan tomorrow and another away fixture vs. Hong Kong on June 4th, Korea have home matches against Hong Kong on May 14th and Japan on May 21st at Incheon’s Namdong Stadium. The Survivors travel south to Pyeongtaek tomorrow to take on the Stars & Stripes and the Daejeon Knights in the KERA 10’s league.