King Penguin’s visit to Trelleborg to celebrate the Pingvins 50th Anniversary
Your correspondent for King Penguin tour to Trelleborg for the 50th anniversary of the Pingvin Rugby Club knew it was going to be an eventful trip as he packed his bag in Toronto and when checking his flight time, discovered his plane had left 12 hours earlier. Undaunted, like Shackleton looking at the ice, the journey began, 3 strong at Heathrow, 14 in Copenhagen and finally 18 in Trelleborg. Each reunion of players from half a dozen countries involved many smiles and much laughter; the Penguins were on the march! Look out the opposition!
The success of any tour depends on the organization and leadership. Well with David Harris, John Kerr, and the minister of fun Keith Wallace at the helm nothing could go wrong, we owe them our many thanks. JK even press ganged his 16 year old son Jake in to action when some players sadly had to back out. Our team, ably skippered by Brian Cusack, (good to see an Irish contingent in action, both on and off the field) ranged in age from 16 -66.
Our liaison man in Trelleborg was Brian Mansell, who was an excellent host and tour guide and led us straight to the ground for our Friday evening kick off. The home team was up for a win and, for old boys, a fast and entertaining game of rugby took place. The gigantic and enthusiastic locals looked to route one to secure their victory but the cunning and skillful King Penguins were on top form and could not be denied. All Oldies games are recorded as a draw, scores being irrelevant in such friendly games, our draw was 29-12, with father and son tries (how nice is that?) plus tries from Pierre Azzopardi , Antonio Da Cunha, and our esteemed tour leader David Harris.
Penguins are polite people so it would be churlish to comment on any poor refereeing but the score would have been higher except the ref was blinded by the Northern Lights - or JZ's new white boots - even disallowing a try by the home side which was thought to be a bit miserable considering the KPs were well ahead. The best comment on the game is a spectator who was later overheard to say it was as entertaining as the main game. It was also good to see the very youthful Penguin team getting on so well with their elderly counterparts and joining in all the fun and games in the clubhouse after the games.
Socially it was more than a success, our Swedish hosts were incredibly friendly and the hospitality was second to none and most pleasing of all was their obvious delight at our teams joining them for their 50th celebrations.
In charge of King Penguin entertainment for the trip was Keith Wallace who spent many hours in preparation producing a number of fine events for the entertainment of our hosts and the large crowd which had gathered to watch the “main match “ on Saturday. These events included the “Penguins on Parade” and the “Beer Olympics”. Court sessions were held on both Saturday and Sunday mornings and were entertaining events with several confessions extracted under the duress of hangovers along with some other startling revelations offered up by the court officials. In all cases appropriate punishment and forfeits were handed down by Judge Wallace with particular attention paid to Team Manager and Penguin Chief Exec Craig Brown who arrived late on Saturday morning from Johannesburg! The excuse of only being in town for 24 hours did not influence Judge Wallace to any form of clemency!
With any Penguin tour we all look for Alan Wright, who was unfortunately unable to tour, but he was there in spirit and in Wolfgang Osterling, founder of the Pingvins we had a like spirit of a rugby man. Wolfgang was an absolute delight to meet and talk to and it was a pleasure to see him and so many others so very happy all weekend.
Every King Penguin played their part in the success of the trip and other tourists were Enda Bohan, Gordon Dickson, Neil Young (eats Penguins for breakfast), Ian Warbrick, Ben Breeze, Neil Renton, Pedro Pissaro(team doctor), Paul Raeburn( a dab hand with kebabs), Yuill Irvine and Ross Ferry.
On departure all the happy faces were talking about the next trip, which will be to Australia, during the Lions tour, where we shall seek revenge in fixtures against the Australian Parliament. In addition John Kerr and David Harris are also looking to take a team to the Kowloon 10s again.
|2||Gordon Dickson||Haddington RFC, Watsonian FC|
|3||Keith Wallace||Haddington RFC|
|4||Brian Cusack||Bath, Richmond, Lansdowne, Leinster and Ireland A|
|5||Neil Young||Redcar, Middlesborough and Darlington Mowden Park|
|7||Jake Kerr||George Watson’s College|
|8||Antonio Da Cunha||Belenenses, Portugal|
|9||Ian Warbrick||London Scottish, Wasps, Cambridge Uni and Scotland 7’s|
|10||Ben Breeze||Bristol, Wales A, Wales 7’s and England 7’s|
|11||David Harris||Watsonians and Tasmania|
|12||Neil Renton||Kirkcaldy RFC and Caledonian Reds|
|13||John Kerr||Watsonians, Scotland A and Scotland 7’s|
|14||Ross Ferry||Metropolitan Police|
|15||Paul Raeburn||London Scottish, Watsonian FC|
|16||Yuill Irvine||The Royal High School of Edinburgh|
|17||John Zimnoch||York RUFC, Toronto Nomads, numerous others!|
|18||Pedro Pissarro||Belenenses, Kings College London|
Team Manager – Craig Brown