18 May 2017 – Malaysia rugby fan was on alert after the first match of Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 in Ipoh on Sunday when last year hero, Mohd Azmir stretchered off due to injury. As the saying, One’s man lost is another man’s gain, Wan Mohammad Asyraf received his chance to be in the first 15 for Malaysia second match against Philippines.
One his first cap for the national squad, the 23 years old from Jerantut slotted into his favourite position, as a winger by Lee Nyuk Fah. Asyraf day could turn from great to exceptional as everyone thought he scored Malaysia first try in the first 10 minutes of the game before the referee, Taku Otsuki from Japan dragged the match back due to earlier fault in the build up.
The product of Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Kuantan (INTEK), Pahang scored 8 points from 2 penalties and a conversion. He played the full 80 minutes in the match against Philippines. His good kick as well as well time run from the backline caught the attention of Malaysia rugby fan.
Asyraf started playing rugby at INTEK before he continue playing for Jerantut Rainforest RC. He further his study at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai and used that chance to play for UTM Pirates. Asyraf played an important role in Mersing Eagles outstanding run up until the semi final of AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League where they finish third.
With Dan Carter as his idol, Asyraf certainly hope to continue his carrier and contribute to Malaysia. He has a very high hope on be part of Malaysia team and want to be part of history making Malaysia to qualify to Japan Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Asyraf could not believe when he received the news about his call-up to the national team. Another great player who played well in the second match, Muhd Nur Ikhwan Nordin, Syarif Nurhidayat Muzhaimey and Mohd Farid Sujari as well as Asyraf himself are among new faces to play for Malaysia.
Asyraf good performance on match day 2 should be enough for him to keep his place in the first 15 for the 3rd and last match. Malaysia will take on Sri Lanka in the last and ‘final’ match which will decide the tittle winner.
That match is schedule to start at 4.00pm Malaysia time, right after the United Arab Emirates vs Philippines match. All the match will be broadcast live on Astro Arena. Fans can also watch the match on streaming via rugbypass.com while those outside Asia can also watch the match live on Asia Rugby Facebook page (Japan excluded).
Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline