Combining with TRC to form the Valkyries, Centaurs Girls gave it their all in the Bali Junior Rugby Tournament. Tour Report from Coach Mark Read.
The Singapore Valkyries U16 Girls squad are a combined team of Centaurs and Tanglin Rugby Club members and with various supporters in tow headed to Bali to compete in their first tournament since the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) sponsored tour to Hong Kong earlier this year. Here’s how things played out.
Saturday saw the girls well rested and getting stuck into breakfast. After a short 20 min bus ride we arrived at Finns Recreation Park in Canggu, the venue for the 2017 Bali Junior Rugby Tournament. It was going to be a long day with four pool games to play in the heat of the day a tough assignment for any team.
The younger age groups were into their final pool games as we found our tent and got everyone organised and warmed up. The pitch was in good condition and the gentle rain in the early morning had cooled everything down a little.
The format was Rugby 7s, utilising the “super try” concept: a try in the area where the posts would be is 7 points, games were 12 minutes long and played straight through with no breaks. To ensure we had the “legs” for the whole day the coaches instigated a rolling subs policy of two substitutions after every score, which proved to be popular amongst the girls as we only toured with nine players.
The first of our four pool games was against Komodo Dragons Red and even though the Valkyries were focussed they were a little rusty and after a couple great defensive tackles the girls got into their stride and by the end of the game had notched up a solid win 14-0.
In our second game we faced the Bali Rugby Development side and after having a good hit out under their belts the Valkyries started to gel as a team and it started to show with some really solid defence and great attacking and support play. In the end the girls ran out easy winners 40-0.
The third pool game saw the Valkyries up against the second Komodo Dragons side “Blue”. Once again the Komodo Dragons girls showed their mettle and push our lot all the way with the girls once again building on the good solid work in their earlier games to come out winners 19-0.
Our final game saw us playing the girls from Bojonegoro Rugby and the Valkyries really turned it on playing some lovely flowing rugby and to many it didn’t look like they had played three games earlier in the day. In the end the girls ran out easy winners 42-0.
At the end of Day 1 all nine girls on the squad had scored at least once each which was a testament of their unselfish play and always getting the ball to someone in a better position plus their defence was excellent and they ended the day without a try scored against them.
After a cool down and chill out session in the Finns waterpark next door, we headed back to the hotel, freshened up and headed out for a well-deserved meal and an early night.
Sunday saw a few bumps and bruises however, luckily no major injuries. Having dealt with breakfast and after checking out we all squeezed into the bus and headed back to Finns for a semi-final against much improved Bojonegoro Rugby side whom played some great solid rugby which tested the Valkyries. The girls were again a bit rusty and slow out of the blocks however, they got into the swing of things and came away winners 26-0.
The second semi between the two Komodo Dragons sides, Red and Blue, was a hard fought affair as you would expect and saw Komodo Dragons Red progress to the final.
The play off for third and fourth place was a “spiteful” affair to say the least. This was finals rugby and the girls from both side left it all out on the pitch. In the end it was Bojonegoro Rugby whom ran out winners by the narrowest margins.
The Valkyries vs. Komodo Dragons Red Cup final was the very last game of the tournament and both sides really turned it on. There was solid defence displayed by all and both sides found it hard to find a way to score. The arm wrestle finally ended when the girls broke away and got over the line for a super try. Not to be out done the Komodo Dragons responded in the best way you can by scoring from the restart. This seemed to be a wakeup call for the Valkyries whom tightened their defence some more and proceeded to play hard and fair as they had all weekend which saw them winning 19-5.
After being awarded the U16 Champions Cup and their medals the Valkyries spent time with the other girls they had played during the weekend. This was appreciated by all as the Bali Junior Rugby Tournament was created to encourage girls and boys of all ages to play. It was especially important as many of the girls that played were from orphanages around Indonesia.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the Valkyries toured Hong Kong and the U16 Girls have been working hard at training and all that work certainly came to the fore in Bali. In the end a great weekend where rugby was the winner and a very happy Valkyries squad, their supports and coaches headed home.