Malaysia v Korea, It’s been 22 years since these two sides last met and whilst the result hasn’t changed, the score certainly has. In 1996 Malaysia only scored a solitary try to Korea’s mammoth 115 points, today it was a different story.
A hot day at the Bukit Jilal Nation Stadium saw both sides share possession in the opening quarter but, as the match progressed, Korea’s experience at the top level of Asian Rugby shone through as they were clinical under the posts and in set pieces.
Korea’s right winger Jeong Min Jang’s pace caused Malaysia’s backline all sorts of problems and soon the host side found themselves under pressure. Two tries in quick succession from the visitors saw them take hold of the game, and despite some good attacks from Malaysia, they were unable to capitalise. The visitors took a 21 to nothing lead into the second half.
The second half started much as the first ended, with Korea flying out the block and scoring a converted try in the 48th minute, with speedster Jeong Min Jang carving his way around the outside of the Malaysian defence to claim his second try of the match.
Malaysia rallied on conceding a further try and 10 minutes later it was the host side who would be getting over the whitewash.
A smart line-out in the opposition 22 saw Malaysia’s Number 8 Timoci Vunimoku plough through the Korean defence to score Malaysia’s first try in top tier rugby and also the first ever at Bukit Jilal Nation Stadium.
Following their try, Malaysia continued to hold on to possession with some good counter-rucks and hard-earned turnovers, but they weren’t able to put more pressure on Korea other than a penalty to take their score up to 10.
As Malaysia tired towards the end of the match, Korea took advantage, scoring a converted try right at the death taking their tally to 35, just missing out on a bonus point.
Malaysia Coach Nyuk Fah Lee was disappointed in the result but felt there were positives to take forward into the rest of the Championship “We’re very proud to be part of Asia Rugby Championship, especially as it’s the first time playing at this level. The boys came back for me in the second half. It’s a good experience, especially looking forward to the next three matches”
Looking forward to their next match against Hong Kong, Korea skipper felt they need to focus on the positives “We need to keep our standards high and work hard on keeping our structure organised”
Malaysia v Korea
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