The Bandits Blog

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.

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