11 March 2017 – Import players made the decisive different in quarter final match between SSTMI Tsunami and Mersing Eagles. Apolosi Tuiloma Tanda needed less than a minute to score the match first try. Wan Mohd Asyraf made it 7 – 0 as he completed the conversion.
Syed Syazril boys’ hit back immediately as Center, Muhammad Aziem bin Zulkarnain scored Tsunami first try to close the gap. Mersing Eagles worked their plan well and controlled the match to score 3 more tries in the first 20 minutes of the match. John Vukukula scored two tries while Apolosi Tuiloma Tanda added his second personal try in the match in the 18th minutes. Wan Mohd Asyraf completed one of the conversions to give Eagles a very comfortable 24 – 5 lead.
Tsunami who was lead by ex-national player, Mohd Saizul Hafiz bin Mohd Noor did not gave up easily. Their first half come back started by Saizul Hafiz well taken penalty in the 21st minutes. Tsunami certainly took the extra man advantage as Mohd Atheff bin Sharee was yellow carded in 21st minutes.
Tunami closed the gap to 22 – 24 with two tries and two completed conversions. Rozaihan bin Roslee and Adib Mustaqqim scored a try each while Muhammad Safiy completed both conversions. The first half ended with 24 – 22 scoreline for the Mersing Eagles.
Mersing Eagles got back to their game as they punished unsettled Tsunami in the first minute of the second half through Wan Mohd Asyraf try. Mohd Saizul Hafiz bin Mohd Noor completed his second penalty in the match to make it 29 – 25. The match could go either way but experience within Eagles player play their part as they remained calm to stop Tsunami’s surged.
Timochi Vunimoku scored two tries in the last 10 minutes of the match and completed a conversion in the 39th minutes to stop any comeback from Syed Shazril’s boys. Wan Mohd Asyraf scored his third conversions in the match in the process.
Mersing Eagles comfortable win could be much better celebrate before one of their import, Ulaisi Sakvocia was red carded in the last minute of the match due to dangerous play.
Mersing Eagles created their history as they make it to the semi final. They did not even make it to knock out round in 2016. SSTMI Tsunami will certainly learned from this match as all the young local players unable to compete with imports’ power and speed that decide the match. Tsunami who finish third last year will certainly come back stronger in 2018.
Photo by Masuti/ragbionline/CSN