A game for the "flat bellies"??
Your Discover Borneo correspondent reports from the field of play at the annual Kaamatan rugby 7's tournament
I love 15-a-side rugby. Why? Because it's a game for all "shapes and sizes"... And, after a few years of enjoying the fantastic Malaysian gastronomical lifestyle, and the sedentary life of the office jockey, I have also become all kinds of shapes (mainly round) and sizes (mainly extra-large).
Despite my lack of fitness, earlier this year my passion for rugby was re-ignited, as it is every year, by the start of the RBS 6 Nations tournament. And every year, around about the same time, I think about playing rugby again (I haven't played since a one-off game in 2001). And every year I never do. Except this year, following a chance encounter with some members of the KK Sharks on a speed boat trip between Menumbok and Labuan.
So I joined the club side in Kota Kinabalu - Sharks Rugby Football Club. And I'm back playing rugby again. Since my first game in February, until now, my fitness has slowly been improving. So when our lovely rugby club secretary, Lena, asked me if I could make up the numbers and join in the upcoming Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) 7's tournament I thought "yeah sure, why not?".
Big mistake y'all !!!
7-a-side rugby and 15-a-side rugby are 2 different beasts.
Your resident DiscoverBorneo blogger, several decades after having last played the 7-a-side version of the game, was pulp within just minutes of the first kick off.
With only less than half of the number of team mates, on the same size pitch, 7-a-side rugby is meant for the fast and the fit. And as one of my friends warned me beforehand: "the flat-bellies are going to get you". And get me they did.
Luckily my team has some exceptional players who proceeded to play some excellent 7's rugby and go on to win the tournament in style.
So anyway, I would like to say congratulations to all my team. It was really a lot of fun being there and just taking part in the games.
My next ambition in life: to become a "flat-belly".
Here are some photos from the Kaamatan 7's tournament (held at La Salle school, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia!)
After the rugby a little tapai to celebrate the Kaamatan. Tapai is Kadazandusun rice wine - which is stored in a Chinese-style clay Jar which is called a "Tajau".