1 April 2017 – Mersing Eagles finished as the third best in the 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League when they beat UiTM Lions by 1 point in the 3/4 place match. This is their best performance since their first involvement.
Mersing Eagles was completely in control in the first half as they strolled to 19 – 0 lead. It was the great dominance performance, similar to what they showed when they went unbeaten in the group match. Eagles first draw the blood when Timoci Vunimuko scored the first try in the 8th minutes. Prop, Mohd Farid bin Sujari scored the second try 10 minutes later. Import, Sani Nakaira scored Eagles third at the half hour mark. Jahanghir Khan completed the second and third conversions to make sure Eagles cruised to 19 – 0 lead.
UiTM Lions made one change early in the second half as Mohd Syahimi replaced Muhammad Firzuan. That change proved to be vital as Lions took control of the match and Syahimi scored Lions first try 5 minutes into the second half. Mohamad Sofian completed the conversion to make it 19 – 7. Eagles managed to extend their lead as Wan Ahmad Asyraf completed the penalty. Syahimi continue his fine display as he scored the second try in the eleventh minutes to ignite Lions comeback.
Mersing Eagles made sure that they remained in control. They took full advantage from Lions mistake as they added 3 more points as Wan Ahmad Asyraf scored their second penalty to make it 25 – 12 in 26th minutes. Lions ignite their hope through substitute Luqman Nurhakim try with 10 minutes to go but they unable to convert the conversion to put more pressure on Eagles. Muhammad Hariz Izzat try late in the game and conversions from Muhammad Al-Hafiz Affendi proved to be consolation as the Referee, Mr. Raimee blowed the final match.
Mersing Eagles who started the season without any high expectation from the rugby fan certainly put their mark for the upcoming Semi-pro league next year. UiTM Lions also managed to meet the expectation when they reached the semi final. Congratulation for both teams.
Photo by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline