Malaysia overcame early jitters to beat the visitors, UAE, 36 – 22, in the 2nd match of the opening day of the Asia Rugby Championship Division I in Ipoh, Malaysia.
The hosts began the game very much in control, exerting pressure from the word go, as Jone Mawara Nasalo, the outside center, broke free from his opposites’ tackle to score the first try of the match. Mohd Fairuz duly converted to give the host a 7-point lead in the 16th minute.
UAE, not to be upstaged, used their physical strength to good effect, especially in the forwards and through continued pressure, bulldozed the Malaysian defensive line for a try to Ryno Fourie and tie the game at 7 – 7.
A second try to Nasalo and a penalty to Fairuz followed by a penalty to UAE’s Andrew Stevenson saw Malaysia lead UAE, 17 – 10 at half-time.
Nasalo grabbed his third try early in the second half as Malaysia looked to assert some dominance, but a yellow card for Malaysia captain, Mohd Syahir Asraf created an opportunity for UAE to come back into the game. And through lock, Daniel Perry, UAE closed the gap to 24 – 15.
Malaysia regained control when Syahir returned from the sinbin and his calming presence boosted the team as winger, Wong Wye Wye stormed past the UAE defensive backline to grab Malaysia’s 4th try.
UAE were not to be outdone however and when Kristopher Greene scored in the corner and Andrew Stevenson amazed the crowd with his side line conversion to close the score at 29 – 22, the game was set for a thrilling end.
And 5 minutes from the final whistle, Sakiusa Terence Gavidi made sure that the home crowd would not be disappointed as he scored Malaysia’s fifth try.
Malaysia’s head coach, Lee Nyuk Fah was pleased with his team’s first outing commenting
“The boys played to the game plan. We were expecting a tough game from the UAE, but overall, our boys played a lot of running and open play style and in terms of speed, we were always on the mark, so that is what you can see when we scored a try from the breakdown”
Malaysia Vs UAE
Final score: Malaysia 36 – UAE 22,
Next Games will be on 17 May at Ipoh Padang – Ipoh Malaysia
Game 3 2 Pm Sri Lanka Vs UAE
Game 4 4 pm Malaysia Vs Philippines
(local time +8GMT)
All matches can be viewed live on:
Asia: www.rugbypass.com in Asia
Malaysia: Astro TV and Astro HD In Malaysia; rugby pass in available for Free in Malaysia
New Zealand: SKY Rugby TV 64
Rest of the world: Our Asia Rugby Live Facebook Page across the rest of world
Photo credit: Tigers Super Sports Media