9 February 2018 – International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) produced one of their finest display and produced the comeback of the tournament in the final match. They overcame hot favourite, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in the gold medal match of the 2018 SUKIPT Rugby 7s.
IIUM, better known as Mustang, was the underdog with everyone expected star-studded UPM Angels to take the gold. Things started so well for Angels with total domination in the first 5 minutes of the match. They scored 2 tries as well as a conversion to comfortably lead 12 – 0. Two yellow cards for Angels opened up space for Mustang as they scored their first try through Muhammad Hakimie Badrul Hisham at the end of the first half. Mustang captain, Jahangir Khan Majith Khan added 2 more points as they close the gap.
Angels managed to put the team together back and scored their third try at the start of the second half. National player, Siddiq Jalil used all his experience as he powered through Mustang defensive line. Angels lead Mustang 17 – 7 after Siddiq failed to complete the conversion.
Mustang who lost one of their key player, Muhammad Mirza as early as in the first match because of the ankle strain, did not back down. Another quick attacking display lead by the player of the tournament, Muhammad Mohamed Nilam saw Muhammad Khairi scored Mustang second try. Mustang closed the gap to the 3 points game as Jahangir completed his second conversion.
Khairul Azhar Saarani boys kept going and were rewarded with the third try. From deep inside their own half, right after the final siren, Mustang produced the last try of the match. Muhammad Khairi became Mustang hero as he scored the try which reward IIUM first ever gold in rugby. Mustang defeated Angels 19 – 17.
The win for IIUM over UPM is certainly a good sign for Malaysia rugby as that shows other IPT started a good rugby program to compete with UPM who was in total domination before this. IIUM started their preparation since December 2017 at their main campus in Gombak. They faced problem in having a complete squad since two of their team members are still studying at the IIUM Kuantan and IIUM Gambang. They also took their training session to Batu Caves, FRIM as well as Lake Garden in order to create strong bonding among members.
27 teams took part in the men rugby 7s which took place at the Padang A, Universiti Putra Malaysia
The three days tournament was broadcast live on RagbionlineTV youtube channel.
Full match result : http://ragbionline.com/tournament/sukipt-women/
Photos by : Zainuddin Mamat