KUALA LUMPUR: Despite a shortage of regular players, the Phuket Gazettes rugby team made it through to the semi-finals of the bowl competition at the 36th Guinness-Jonah Jones Rugby Sevens tournament. In the preliminary round, the Gazettes found themselves in the toughest group. The first game was against Cobra RFC, last year’s champions, who fielded a team jammed with Fijians, Samoans and South Africans. The Gazettes, topped up with a few Aussie Army lads recruited locally and in haste, were thrashed 67-0. After ironing out the kinks in their game, the Phuket team bounced back with a 24-12 victory over JLJ Diraja. In the third game, veteran forward Steve Wainwright put in a brilliant performance against the US Cyclones to lead Phuket’s finest to a 22-14 victory. In the first round of the Bowl competition on the second day, the Gazettes managed to sneak a try and a conversion in the final minutes of the game to beat the Black Hawks 17-15. But that was as far as the winning streak went. In the semi-finals, the Gazettes came up against their old foes Panaga RFC, who put them out of the competition with a 14-5 scoreline. The cup competition was won by the SMS Old Boys who beat a gallant 25-49ers (Australian Army) in the final, 21-14.
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