Tuesday July 6, 2010
Favourites live up to billing
By NG WEI LOON
HOSTS SM Sains Selangor lived up to their billing in the Under-17 contest of the 18th edition of the SMSS 10s tournament at their home ground in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, recently,
At the end of the two-day tournament, the defending champions romped home with a commanding 22-0 victory over Bintang Rugby Club (BRC) to emerge as the winners.
SMSS coach Raja Idris Raja Ali said they were delighted with their charges’ effort in retaining the championship in the age-group for four years in a row.
“It was a tough call to run the annual tournament a week after the mid-year school holidays. Although other players were struggling to get back into the rhythm after the short break, the players in our Under-17 team were in good shape because they featured and finished as the runners-up in the Under-18 category at the national schools meet (MSSM),” he added.
After failing to go beyond the semi-finals, the SMSS Under-15 side also improved on the previous outing and earned a place in the championship encounter against the tournament favourites BRC.
Despite producing a surprise 14-5 win over BRC in the group stage, SMSS failed to extend their winning momentum and settled for the second spot with a 5-10 defeat in the closely contested encounter.
“We had a slow start in both matches and were not competing for possession. BRC took control of the first half. In the preliminary stage, we took the opportunities to run the ball and bounced back with two converted tries in the second half. But, we could not overcome BRC’s resistance and failed to pull off a win in the second match-up of the tournament,” Raja Idris said.
Following an early defeat in the elimination round, both SMSS second line-up competing in the Under-15 and Under-17 sections were also in action in the plate finals.
SMSS B flexed their domination with another convincing 19-0 win over SM Agama Persekutuan Kajang in the Under-15 category.
In contrast, their seniors went down on a toss of the coin against the same challengers when the score was levelled at 0-0 after the end of seven minutes each way period.
“Although we fielded a scratch team in both age-groups, our players performed better than expected.
“From the build up to the tournament, the friendly defeat against St Andrew’s from Singapore was an eye opener for us to identify the players comprising Form One and Form Two rookies in the Under-15 team. They will be forming the core of the Under-15 team for our campaign in the state meet next year,” said Raja Idris, adding that they have retained the same side going in as the Under-14 defending champions of Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Kuantan 10s tournament.
Meanwhile, Sultan Abdul Hamid College Old Collegians Association (SAHOCA) from Kedah continued to stamp their mark in the open category.
The speedy national 7s winger Fairuz Abdul Rahman led the superior SAHOCA pack in producing a 17-5 win over SM Taman Kosas Old Boys (KOBOYS) in the cup final.
“They (SAHOCA) were definitely too strong with the services of former and current national players in the team. They were a better combination because they are still active and competing regularly in tournaments,” Raja Idris said.
Plate: SMSS B bt SM Agama Persekutuan Kajang 19-0
Cup: BRC bt SMSS A 10-5
Plate: SM Agama Persekutuan Kajang bt SMSS B 0-0 (toss of coin)
Cup: SMSS A bt BRC 22-0
Plate: Muar High School bt King Edward Tigers 15-0
Cup: SAHOCA bt KOBOYS 17-5