Article by Craig Brown
With the kind support of Penguin Hon. Vice President Eduard Krutzner an introduction was made to the President of the Slovakian Rugby Union. Keeping things in the family, it turns out the President of the Slovakian Rugby Union was Eduardís son, Eduard Jr.
A match was arranged for the Saturday against the Slovak Legends XVs and also in the morning the King Penguins would run a coaching session for local children. Also added to the program was a session with local coaches covering topics of interest to them.
Unfortunately, the match did not take place as the hosts had trouble securing the players they needed, and due to a busy local weekend the coaching did not go ahead either.
Not to be denied of some local rugby content, Tour Manager Neil Young took to Social Media to find what was happening in the local rugby community. He found a local 7s tournament in the city of Trnava which was about an hourís drive from Bratislava. So off we headed to the Trnava 7s to participate in any way we could. Our contact at the Sparta Trnava Rugby Club was Lukas and he was a fine host.
The tournament was in full flow on arrival with 6 teams competing. Those King Penguins that wanted to play divided themselves up amongst some of the local teams and got on with a day of 7s. The remainder of the tour party provided useful support to the players and enjoyed the hospitality of the local F&B merchant. His offering consisted of a cut down 44 gallon drum with a fire underneath, gently simmering wild boar stew and he had a keg of local ale. Not a bad option for lunch!
Well done to Sparta Trnava who ran out victors.
Four King Penguin took to the field. Ritchie played for Sparta Trnava, Youngey and Gary joined the Bears and Cookie played for another Bratislava team coached by Kiwi Reggie.
Post tournament our hosts showed us around Trnava and we had an enjoyable evening getting to know our new rugby friends. About 11PM it was in the taxis again and back to Bratislava to bed following a long but enjoyable day.
King Penguin Squad
Adam Buchanan-Smith, Donald McNab, David Harris, Gary Coultard, Mike Cordell, John Kerr, Jay Nicholas, John Zimnock, Keith Wallace, Liam Turner, Neil Cook, Neil Young, Paul Raeburn, Richie Young, Tony Penn, Craig Brown, Derek Young and Yuill Irvine