30 July 2018 – The draw for the rugby in the 2018 SUKMA Perak has been made today and it raised lots of eyebrows. 14 teams will participate in the Men while only 9 teams will play in the women category.
There will be four groups in the men as Pool A and B will consist of 4 teams while C and D will only have 4. As for women, all 9 teams will be divided into 3 group of 3. The draw for Rugby 7s took place at the Auditorium 1, Majlis Sukan Negara.
We can expect a firework from the Pool A of men category. They consist of 2017 National 7s Under 21 champion, Kelantan, Johor (Royal Perlis 7s champion), Terengganu whose team won the Open category of 2018 NAZA National 7s Series Qualifiers and Melaka (Champion of Series 1, NAZA National 7s Series Invitational Category). It will be really hard to choose the top 2 who will advance to the next round.
NAZA National 7s Series Under 21 winner, Negeri Sembilan needs to be extra careful with the challenge from Sabah and Kedah in Pool C. This is especially Sabah who did well in their last prep, went all the way to the Semi Final of Song Kheng Hai 7s in Sarawak before they went down to Sabah OSCA Warriors.
In group B, Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor, Sarawak and Pahang could have an equal chance to make it to the next round. The host, Perak is expected to cruise and topped Pool D with Pulau Pinang and Perlis alongside them.
As for Women, Sabah has been brilliant so far with numbers of quality players who even play for the national team. They did well during the KRS Ladies 7s, only to lose to the much experience Front Row Dingoes in the final. Base on the current form, Sabah is expected to go all the way to the final. They are in Pool A, together with Pulau Pinang and Kedah.
Balik Pulau 10s women champion, Selangor is in Pool B. They will be facing Wilayah Persekutuan and the host Perak. Pool C is well balanced as Sarawak, Johor and Terengganu will try to outperform one another.
Rugby 7s will be played at the new Rugby Mini Stadium, MBI Sports Complex in Ipoh. The two days event will take place on 15th – 16th September 2018.
Photos by Zainuddin Mamat and Fauzi Saim