Korea got their Asia Rugby Championship 2018 campaign off to a 35-10 winning start against Malaysia.
With a place at Rugby World Cup 2019 still on offer for the winner of this year’s ARC, there is extra motivation for all three teams still involved.
In a pulsating match at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium Korea’s experience proved the difference in the championship opener, giving Korea the perfect start.
“The biggest challenge for us today was the hot weather and the ground was quite slippery,” said Korea captain Lee Yong Seung.
“In our preparations we worked a lot on ball retention, and I believe that focus paid off today in our win against Malaysia.
“Now we have to prepare hard for the next match. We have to keep our good standards, we need to move forward with an organised structure and our best practice.”
Korea’s next match is on 12 May when they host Hong Kong, before Malaysia travel to Korea for their third match.
Hong Kong V Malaysia
Next weekend Malaysia play host to Hong Kong.
“For this Asia Rugby Championship, we feel really proud,” said Malaysia’s head coach Lee Nyuk Fah
“The boys came back strongly, especially in the second half. I hope it’s a good experience for the boys and they’re looking forward to the next three games in the Championship.
“We have to cut down the unforced errors. In the first half they lost a lot of balls. We needed to come back with more procession instead of losing the ball unnecessarily.
The match was the first to be played at the National Stadium in Malaysia and Nyuk Fah was proud to have been part of this historic moment.
“It’s a very new stadium and it’s very good for Rugby in Malaysia as well as Rugby in Asia.
“We felt that this was an opportunity and a recognition from the Ministry of Sport for us to use this stadium and we’re looking very positive for rugby going forward in Asia.”