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The KERA (Korean Expatriate Rugby Association) League 2019 season kicked off in Ulsan, Gyeonsang Province with the Busan Bandits squad sporting a number of new faces and a nervous start.

On April 6th, the Ulsan Goblins RFC hosted a successful 1st tournament of the 2019 season and the matches were played at the 선암호수공원축구장. The first match started at 2pm with the hosts playing Stars and Stripes Korea.

As expected, the Bandits had a shaky start to the season. The team, who lost a couple of star players in the off-season, is in the process of re-building and a number of new players made their debut for the Bandits.

Considering the amount of handling errors and missed tackles on display, the lack of game time as a team was glaringly obvious on the day. Coach Adriaan definitely has his work cut out for him.

It’s not all doom and gloom however. The lads were all committed and a few set plays showed that this team, given a bit of time and practice, can develop in to an effective unit.

Although a there were a number of standout players for the Bandits, only one player could be selected as ‘Player of the Day’ and that player was Michael Comer. Michael received the award on debut for the Bandits and deservedly so. He was outstanding in the line outs and on defense and is an asset to the squad.

KERA 19-1 Bandits Player of the Day - Michael Comer

Other notable mentions are stalwarts Justin Haynes who fought a lone battle in the backline, Gary Dupreez and Michael Lujan in his comeback match.

The Seoul Survivors, on the other hand, made a solid start to their season and their participation in off-season tournaments abroad was evident. They certainly look like the team to beat in 2019.

Here are some of the tournament results:

  • Stars and Stripes 21-0 Ulsan Goblins
  • Seoul Survivors 14-7 Stars and Stripes
  • Busan Bandits 14-14 Stars and Stripes
  • Seoul Survivors RFC 24-7 Busan Bandits
  • Ulsan Goblins 0-70 Seoul Survivors

The prize-giving ceremony and social was held at, longtime Goblins supporter, JJ’s Bar in Ulsan and the teams made sure that the establishment had to urgently replenish their stock the following morning.

Albeit not the kind of results the Busan Bandits were hoping for, the day was a huge success and rugby the ultimate winner.

Next, the KERA Show moves on  to Pyeongtaek, Gyeongi Province for KERA 19-2.

Busan Bandits Rugby congratulates club members Ian Nisley and Kevin Seiff for being part of a 20 man squad selected to try out for the US All Navy Rugby Select Sevens team. The team will compete in the Rugbytown 7’s tournament.

The All Navy Team will compete in pool consisting of the All Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Air Force teams. The end of the pool play will see an Armed Forces Champion proceed to play in the Shield, Cup and Bowl play-offs.

Both players participated in a two-sessions-a-day week long training camp in Denver, Colorado.  After the first week 6 players were cut from the squad with 2 asked to stay on as injury reserves.

More About Kevin

A California native, Kevin only started playing rugby after moving to Busan about year and a few months ago. Originally a soccer and water polo player he has found a new passion for rugby and has quickly become an integral part of the Busan Bandits Rugby team.

Unfortunately he did not make the 12 man squad to play in the Rugbytown 7’s tournament, but he was asked to stay on and train with the squad in their final preparations. That in itself is a huge compliment and should act as motivation for Kevin to try out again in 2019. Well done Kevin!

Busan Bandits rugby player, Kevin Seiff was invited to the US All Navy training camp for the 2018 Rugbytown 7

More About Ian

Ian is from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He started playing rugby at the age of 18 at the US Merchant Marine Academy. In 2016 he played with Wales First Division Club, Ammanford RFC. During the summer of 2017, he competed in the USA National 7’S circuit with New Haven CT Bulldogs and played All Navy Rugby.

This year saw Ian being selected to represent the US All Navy Rugby Select Sevens team at the Rugbytown 7’s tournament. Well done Ian!

Busan Bandits rugby player, Ian Nisley was invited to the US All Navy training camp for the 2018 Rugbytown 7

The US All Navy Rugby Select Sevens Squad

The US All Navy team to compete in the 2018 Rugbytown 7

The 2018 Rugbytown 7’s tournament kicks-off on Friday 24 August at 11am.

The Busan Bandits Rugby Football Club is ready tackle the 2017 season head-on, both in style and commitment. The 2017 training and match schedule (KERA) has been set, and the team will also play in a new-look kit.

Busan Bandits RFC Members

Sadly, a number of valued Busan Bandits RFC members are leaving the peninsula and their absence will be sorely felt. That being said, old faces are returning and a lot of interest has been shown by new faces. We look forward to seeing them at the training sessions and joining the membership ranks.

2016 was a year of expansion, and 2017 will be no different. The Bandits have made it its mission to firmly establish and grow the club for rugby enthusiasts in Busan and Gyeongsangnamdo. The club is reaching out to expatriate and Korean players alike, in order to create a team that will continuously be a force to be reckoned with on the Korean peninsula.

Love For Rugby

Driven by a love for rugby …

The Busan Bandits Rugby Football Club was established in 2011 by a few passionate rugby enthusiasts who wanted to introduce the sport to the city of Busan. The club was initially formed by recruiting local expatriates to join a ten-a-side-rugby team, and since then has grown to include fifty registered expatriate and Korean players.

This growth, predominantly in the beginning of 2015, is due to the word of mouth of our passionate players, and the ongoing support of local Busan businesses the Wolfhound Irish Pub and Restaurant, Sharky’s Bar & Grill, HQ Bar, Bulldog CrossFit and Advanced Insulation.

Read the original article here

Busan Local Business Support

In addition to loyal and ongoing support from the Wolfhound Irish Pub and Restaurant, Advanced Insulation, and Park Hyatt Busan, the Bandits also welcome new support from Hard Rock Cafe Busan  , Cocky Pub & Grill Busan and Garage (Seomyeon) for the 2017 season.

Being ready and set for the 2017 KERA season, the Busan Bandits Rugby Football club would further like to extend an invitation to everyone who is interested in playing rugby and joining the club, to contact us for more information and join our Facebook page.

The Busan Bandits Rugby Football Club ended 2016 in style (amongst other things). An awards dinner was held at HQ Bar (Gwangan) and was well supported by the Bandit members and their better halves. A number of awards were presented and all were well deserved.

Busan Bandits 2016 Award Winners

The award winners were …

  • Nick – Most improved player of the year
  • Paddy – Rookie of the year
  • James (Jimmy) – Players Player of the year
  • Jonny – Most Valuable Player of the year

Busan Bandits 2016

Also on display, was an excellent 2016 compilation video that is a fair reflection of the Busan Bandits team spirit and passion for rugby.

Party Time

With all the speeches and award presentations said and done, the food platters cleaned out, the festivities kicked off in full force. Needless to say, the club partied the night away in true Bandit style!

Bring on 2017! 

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