Wednesday April 7, 2010
Local rugby lads go down in friendly match
By NG WEI LOON
Photos by AZHAR MAHFOF
THE combined Bintang Rugby Club (BRC) and SM Sains Selangor (SMSS) found the visiting junior team from Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRFU) too hot to handle in a friendly match in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, recently.
Despite the muddy and wet pitch conditions, the visitors turned on the heat and tamed the hosts in both the Under-14 and Under-16 age groups.
In the Under-14 category, the locals struggled to match their peers from HKRFU in the first half.
The combined side’s coach, Abdul Hamid Sauh, said his players were frightened to engage in the physical challenges and missed the crucial tackles.
“We allowed the opponents to go on a scoring spree in the first half. We did not get a chance to execute our tactical positioning. But, we bounced back with a tighter performance and only conceded a try in the second half. Our forward pack also put up a strong display in the scrum,” he added.
Despite a resurgent second half performance, BRC-SMSS failed to break the duck and went down 0-32.
In contrast, the Under-16 side offered the HKRFU trainees better resistance in the first half with Mark Lawrence giving his team a three-point lead from an easy penalty kick.
However, HKRFU bounced back to punish the local lads for their mistakes in their own half. The visitors went into the interval with a four-point (7-3) advantage from Patrick Cook’s try and conversion.
HKRFU got off to an explosive second half with two tries through Ashley Frith and Martin Field to extend their lead to 17-3.
Even with Faris Haziq touching down to reduce the deficit (8-17), it was an uphill task for the locals to stay in contention with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Winger Field added another converted try for HKRFU to wrap up the encounter 24-8.
BRC-SMSS Under-16 coach Chris Landry praised their opponents for displaying the stronger drive to score the victory.
“We performed better in the first half with the forward pack stamping their mark and forcing the turnovers. But, we were way off the mark in the second half. We committed several costly ball handling errors which gave HKRFU the opportunity to take it away from us.
The strong runners from our backline did not get a chance to inject the speedy pace because of the slippery condition. We gained something positive from the experience featuring against a more prepared and superior national junior side,” Landry added.