9 September 2017 – Malaysia Under 17 team off to an outstanding start in the first day of Asia Rugby 7s Under 17. The tournament which took place in Chinese Taipei saw Malaysia produced the scintillating display to win two out of three matches. To make it sweeter, Malaysia overcame top-seeded in the third match.
As expected, Malaysia did not have much problem to beat India in the first match. Malaysia in complete cruise control through out the match; recorded 9 tries and 5 conversions in the process. Shah Izwan Nordin provided the most point for Malaysia with 15 as he scored 3 tries. Amir Ibrahim was not far behind with 14 points as he scored 2 tries as well as 2 conversions. Malaysia trashed India 55 – 0 to earn the first win.
The tournament host, Chinese Taipei produced the comeback of the tournament so far. Malaysia and Chinese Taipei in the match of two halves. Malaysia shocked the host with the first try in less than a minute after the first whistle through Shah Izwan Nordin. Amir Ibrahim calmly added 2 more points with the successful conversion. Amir then added 5 more points with his third tries in the tournament on the 4th minutes as Malaysia comfortably lead 12 – 0 in the first half. Chinese Taipei certainly did not want to let their home crowds down. They close the gap via Chang Cheng-Kang try in the first minute of the second half before they draw level with Pan Bo-Han’s try and Liu Yu-Hung successful conversion with 3 minutes to go. Both teams unable to add points to the scoreline remained until the end.
Malaysia’s best performance of the day came in the last match. They met Hong Kong who is the top seeded team of the team of the tournament. However, everything was about Malaysia as they came out on the top with 33 – 0 scoreline. Eddy Mohammad Firdaus drew the first blood as he used his speed and beat the Hong Kong defensive line from Malaysia own half to score the first try. Hafizie Sudin who won the Salbros 7s best player in April hit top form in this match as he contributed 19 points from 3 tries and 2 conversions. Shah Izwan also grabbed his fifth try in this match. He is in the second place on the number of try with 5 tries.
Malaysia ended the day in the second spot in the Pool A, trailed the host on the points different with just one as they tied with 8 points each after 3 matches. Hong Kong not far behind with 7. Malaysia will finish the pool match as they will take on the United Arab Emirates in the first match of the second day. That match will is scheduled to start at 10.00am.
Top two teams will advance to the Cup Semi Final. Malaysia will be hoping to do well against the United Arab Emirates and finish top of Pool A. That will avoid Malaysia from meeting Japan who is expected to finish first in Pool B.
The winner of the tournament will represent Asia in the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 in Argentina.
Photos from NRDP