Korea began the 2019 Asia Rugby Championship with a 52-14 win over Malaysia in Incheon.
With Hong Kong the defending champions, Korea got off to the perfect start scoring eight tries in the bonus point win.
Malaysia took an early lead in the match through Lawrence Petrus showing the hosts they were in for a tough battle.
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But Jihoon You, Seong Min Jang and Myung Jun Lee all crossed the whitewash to make the scores 19-7 at half-time.
Korea began the second half as they ended the first, scoring tries through Jinseok Lee and captain Kwanyoung Na, but again Malaysia hit back with a well-worked try from winger Wong Wye Wye.
With the end coming to a close Malaysia looked to play some free flowing rugby, playing more phases than Korea in the match, but Korea capitalised on a few handling errors with three more tries.
Yeonsik Jeong, Jeongmin Jang and Jae Bok Lee added tries for Korea to leave the final score at 52-14.
Afterwards Korea captain Na spoke to Asia Rugby about his side’s performance.
“In our preparations we focused a great deal on our structure.
“It was a very tough game for us. We had a difficult start, but we made a good recovery and are now ready for the next challenge.
“We want more stability and structure within our play and more phases with the ball as we move forward to the match in Malaysia.”
With Brad Mika taking charge of his first ARC match as Malaysia head coach, his side were much improved from the same match 12 months ago having suffered a 67-12 defeat last year.
Both sides now travel to Malaysia for the return leg in a week’s time.
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