Captain Andrew Kelman's Official Record

Bali Travel Blog

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Okay, so on this particular trip I was a real slacker and didn't take any photos. Now I'm just waiting for people to send me photos so I can put them on here...

Indonesian based Beca AMEC engineers Andrew Kelman, Matt Stephens and David Campbell were part of the Matano Miners rugby team that recently took part in a hard fought game against the might of the Bali Rugby Club (Bali Chills) over the Easter weekend. Below is a true account of the weekend proceedings:

Being based at PT Inco operations in Sulawesi, meant that the team had to leave on Wednesday if they were going to stand any chance of getting to Bali in time for the Saturday game. So at 10pm the chartered team bus arrived at the Wet Monkey Bar to pick up the motley crew of New Zealanders, Australians, and Indonesians. The bus ride was fairly uneventful except for the flat tyre encountered at 2am in the morning in a local kampung (village). The team got a much needed pre-match workout by helping change the tyre on the side of the road, and after 14 hours of traveling, the bus finally arrived at the bright lights of Makassar.

Team tactics where discussed on Thursday night at the legendary Liquid Bar, and it seemed as if the whole island of Sulawesi were getting behind the Matano Miners as the crowd of well-wishers swelled around us. Even the taxi-van driver the next morning was so excited about the team traveling in his van that he forgot his way to the airport and had to ask for directions twice.

The team flew out Friday morning to Bali where they quickly took to pounding the streets in search for additional players. A number of high profile player injuries and pullouts in recent weeks saw team numbers reduced to 10. Considering we were playing a 10 a-side game we were in dire need of some reserves. Having sacrificed a goat last Idul Adha we were hoping for some good fortune. This came in the form of Hiro; a 5 foot tall scrum–half from Japan. Hiro, who had been playing rugby for 18 years, was on a romantic holiday in Bali with his girlfriend. What better way to enhance this holiday than to play for the Matano Miners? After a bit of arm twisting Hiro agreed to play.

Game day itself seemed to come around pretty quick and it was a relief to turn up to the ground on Saturday and find the Bali Chills waiting for us. The ground itself was in immaculate condition and air temperature was a barmy 28 degrees. After some pre-match negotiations it was agreed to play 15 a-side rugby and we were loaned 4 school boy rugby players from Bali. The game kicked off at 4pm and was played in 4 x 15 minute quarters.

Right from the opening whistle it was a tough physical affair with both forward packs testing each other out. Sporadic ball that was given to the Matano backs was used well as centre Jeff Hughes and veteran winger Richard “Jonah” Jones made some powerful runs. At the end of the first quarter the scores were deadlocked at 0 – 0.

The second quarter did not get off to a good start. Miss communication from the kick-off resulted in a brain explosion from one of our loan players, the ball was allowed to roll over the try line were a Bali Chills player literally tripped over and fell on the ball. The wheels then seemed to fall off at this stage, as two additional tries were conceded in this quarter. One of them in controversial circumstances as the Bali Chills player was clearly held up over the line; the video ref was unfortunately having a beer at the time so he could not comment.

After some stern words at half time from team stalwart Bill King, going into the 3rd quarter the Matano Miners were a refocused unit. Early on in the quarter, freight train like runs by Matt Stephens and Glen Ladewig brought the ball painstakingly close to the line. This was followed by a quick blindside drive, resulting in a well earned try by David Campbell. This closed the gap to 15 – 5 and put the Matano Miners up another gear. The Bail Chills on the other hand were showing signs of frustration and this showed when powerhouse Matano lock Robert Rhodes came up fists flying as the opposition resulted in some dirty tactics at the bottom of the ruck.

The final quarter was not to be Matano’s swansong performance. By now the rising temperatures had sapped the energy levels from both teams. However the home side managed to dig a little deeper and scored two consolation tries. Final score was 27 – 5.

Interviewed after the game on Indonesian television, team captain Andrew Kelman explained “even though the final score had not gone Matano’s way we are still happy with the teams first time performance, rugby isn’t all about scoring on the field”.

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photo by: mr_shanet