First game of the day saw some very slick rugby moves from Xiamen who dispatched Hangzhou after an intense 40 minutes of 15 a-side rugby. The bigger Xiamen forwards lay the ground work for the backs with clean ball, Xiamen’s danger man Adrian (FRA) and CJ (SAM) connected well on several occasions to score some beautiful tries. Hangzhou came very close a few times also, but in the end, Xiamen ran away with the match 31-0.
Second game was the old grudge match Chengdu Black and Whites vs Chongqing Conquerors. Chengdu has always had the wood on Chongqing ever since the two sides meet way back in December 2008 in the 15s rugby. The closest match was back in May when Chengdu came back with an easy try after poor clearing from Chongqing to draw 15 all. Some solid defence up the middle by the Chongqing forwards made sure Chengdu weren’t going to get anywhere far, however, silly penalties and handling errors allowed Chengdu to creep into Chongqing’s half. From the ensuing phase, quick hands and excellent running from the Chengdu backs saw Chengdu score the first try. Chongqing replied with some individual brilliance from Jair, one of the original Conquerors. After the ball found Jair (CHN) on the wing, he chipped and chased and chipped again to beat the Chengdu defenders to be first on the ball and scored a 30 meter try. However, some porous defence from Chongqing saw some easy tries Chengdu. Final score 20-5.
Third game was between Chengdu ‘Blues’ vs Hangzhou. Chengdu dressed in Xiamen blues were starting to run away with the match with hard running from the forwards, slick footwork and quick pass in the backline. Hangzhou hit back with two beautiful tries of their own to make it 20-12.
Fourth game of the day was Xiamen Typhoons vs Chongqing Conquerors. Both clubs were “officially” founded around the same time (Jan 2009 and Oct 2008) and each had more than 10 nationalities in their first ever matches. This was also the first time the two clubs played each other. Xiamen gain meters with their strong running forwards which was eventually contained by the Conquerors. However, slick hands, strong running from Xiamen combined with lapse in concentration from Chongqing saw Xiamen running away with the match as deserved winners, 31–0.
Fifth game of the way was Hangzhou vs Chongqing. Again, this was the first time both sides played each other. Fatigue had set in for both sides from the two previous games. Little separated the two teams in the first half as both sides cancelled out each other in all facets of the game. The deadlock was finally broken in the 3rd quarter. After continuous phase inside Hangzhou’s half, some quick hands saw the ball passed to the new recruit Fujun (CHN). He managed to beat 2 man to sprint down the sideline and score between the posts. Miles (ENG) converted to add the extras. It didn’t take long for Hangzhou to fight back, however another injury to Chongqing was to follow.
Combination of Pablo Ramirez (COL) who is known for his excellent pronunciation and his tackling, and Jason (CHN) who was known for yellow cards and his footwork had resulted in Pablo using his head into the tackle after Jason sidestepped him. Pablo was soon taken to the ER for medical check-up. The injury toll for Chongqing was sitting at 6 by this stage. Some stiff defence saw Chongqing the deserved winners, final score 7-0.
Final game of the day was also fitting as Chengdu took on Xiamen and both were sitting on 6 points with 2 wins each. Some entertaining rugby pleased the crowd as Chengdu drew first blood. The big boys from both sides ran hard at each other without any care of their well-beings, but Xiamen eventually fought back with a converted try, leading 7-5. The heart of Typhoons were eventually broken when John Fowler (ENG) scored a try few minutes before full time. Black & Whites beating The Typhoons 10 – 7 as deservedly winners.
Dinner and fines were awarded at dinner where THE TING (NZL) was fined several times, luckily he was not present as he was at the hospital with Pablo. One of the more outrageous fines was for Ting having feminine features (bubble butt and all). FYI, I dont take steroids.
Injuries aside, Chengdu hosted a very successful event, everyone of the 80 odd players plus the many more supporters thoroughly enjoyed themselves over the 3 day event. It is fair to say there were some sore heads, battered bodies and even lighter wallets on the trip back on Sunday.
Chongqing Conquerors would like to thank all of their supporters who came along, Chengdu Black & Whites for putting on a great show, Xiamen Typhoons and Hangzhou Harlequins for making the trip over, the referees Reece (NZL) and Albert (HK), our sponsors Alliance Francaise, Maxxelli Real Estate, One Hour Fitness, CQSCENE and everyone else involved!