Singapore beat hosts Chinese Taipei 18-13 in a pulsating second semi-final of the Asia Rugby Championship Division I.
The first Division I semi-final was won by the defending champions the Philippines and the two sides will now meet in Saturday’s final.
Ta-Cheng Liu had given the hosts a 5-0 lead but two Ishraf Marah’s two penalties kept Singapore in the match. Chih-Hsiang Pan added a penalty of his own as Chinese Taipei took an 8-6 lead into the break.
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Ting-Hui Lin scored early in the second half as the hosts ran out to a 13-6 lead, with the home crowd sensing something special.
With Singapore ranked six places above them in the World Rugby rankings and Chinese Taipei having been promoted from Division II, a victory looked likely.
However, a quick break from Marah from a penalty allowed space for Mike Oliver to score Singapore’s first try of the match and leave the tiring Chinese Taipei holding on.
Nashrul Hanafi added a second try with a well-worked wrap-around try as Singapore took the lead for the first time since the end of the first half.
Despite a lot of possession and numerous phases from Chinese Taipei, Singapore were able to hold on with an accidental offside late on proving decisive.
Sri Lanka now await Chinese Taipei in the third place play-off before Singapore meet the Philippines in the final on Saturday. Both matches will be streamed live on Asia Rugby’s Facebook page.
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