Saigon Rugby 10s Tournament


This weekend my friend Bill invited me to go see his rugby team, the Saigon Geckos, play in the Saigon International Rugby 10s Tournament at the RMIT campus in District 7. I hadn’t gone to any sports events yet here in Saigon, so another friend and I made the jaunt over to D7 (350,000 VND in a taxi from D2) to watch. Teams from Hanoi, Cambodia, Australia, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hong Kong were playing in the tournament.

I knew nothing about rugby, so thankfully we were able to find a few other colleagues who could give us the play by play. The games were pretty fast-paced and I found rugby much more interesting to watch than American football especially during the final 3 games of the tournament.

Aside from the game, there were definitely some rather *interesting* things going on which included:

    – A man dressed up as an orange who would jog out pushing a wheelbarrow of cold water bottles during breaks in the game
    – Two Vietnamese girls dressed up in “sexy nurse” outfits who accompanied the orange man at a running clip
    – A huge troupe of “cheerleaders” wearing red booty shorts whose skills included yelling team names, shaking pom poms out of rhythm, and looking very bored
    – Midgets in top hats dancing Gangnam Style, the Macarena, and YMCA during halftime
    – Promo girls for Monster energy drinks dressed in full leather go-go outfits

The cheerleaders were quite difficult to handle, even after just 20 minutes. Never mind a few hours or all day. Each group was assigned a team, and when their team was playing they would stand on the sidelines just yelling the name like “DraGONS! DraGONS!” or “Hong KONG! Hong KONG! Hong KONG!” All of the two-syllable team names sounded exactly the same. It was really hard to tell who they were cheering for, and there was no variation until we finally saw the Buffaloes and the girls had to do a three-syllable cheer of “Buf-fa-LO! Buf-fa-LO! Buf-fa-LO!” The half-time show had no choreography at all unless you count the YMCA (which they found difficult) and a conga line. Why have cheerleaders at all if it’s so distracting from the game and it’s just not done well? I know the answer to that, but still, you can have good-looking women who can actually DO something other than look cute in shorts and wave pom poms.

Aside from the grating sound of the cheerleaders, which eventually I was able to tune out, the tournament was fun. I would definitely go again, and it’s the kooky things like the man in the fuzzy orange suit that are a good reminder this is Saigon.

Photos to prove the above-mentioned things:

Saigon Rugby 10s

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