In the second match of the Asia Rugby Championship Division II in Taipei, Thailand proved party spoilers as they ground out a tough 27-21 win over hosts, Chinese Taipei at the National Stadium.
Both teams recognised the importance of a good start and played a lot of territory rugby and trying to force errors in kickable positions – Thailand converting the early pressure with a drop goal to Jamkrajang and a further two penalties to Khamkoet to give Thailand a 9-0 lead for most of the first half.
However, a sustained period of continuity and offloads and field position saw Chinese Taipei steal back momentum and score a pushover try to Chuang with 1-minute left in the half to claw their way back into the match as they trailed 7-9 going into the break.
And the second half continued in similar vein for the hosts as Thailand’s Chumjai was sent to the sin bin in the third minute for a high tackle allowing Chinese Taipei to capitalise with another pushover try to Chuang, his second, and a 14-9 lead.
The scores tipped back and forth with Thailand, despite a man down, playing smartly employing a kick and chase game and forcing the hosts into errors, which lead to a try for Ngoentong. But this was quickly followed by a try to Huang as Chinese Taipei wrestled the lead back 21-14.
However, this was to be last scoring opportunity for the hosts as Thailand dominated the last 20 minutes of the match converting their opportunities with Peerapol scoring Thailand’s second try and Khamkoet converting all of his kicks as the visitors claimed a tough 27-21 victory.
Thailand will take on Singapore in the final on Saturday whilst Chinese Taipei will play India in the 3rd/4th playoff.
ARC DIV II Fixtures and Results