Category: Malaysia

Malaysia 7s U17 women ready for Dubai test

16 November 2017 – Malaysia 7s Under 17 Women will compete in Asia Rugby U17 Girls Rugby 7s. The tournament will also be the Pre-Youth Olympic qualification round. They will be competing in the regional association qualification tournament as they fight for the sole spot in the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 in Argentina.

12 teams have confirmed the participation. They are being divided into 4 groups of three. Malaysia is in Pool D as they will have two tough matches against neighbour, Thailand and China. Top-seeded team, Japan is in Pool A while the host, United Arab Emirates will face Iran and Kazakhstan in Pool B.

The tournament will take place on 29th and 30th November 2017. It will be held at the Dubai Sports City, United Arab Emirates.

There is no official release on the continent to Dubai but we expect to see Bradley Mika, the ex-New Zealand player to lead the team as the Technical Advisor.

Only the champion of this tournament will qualify for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics which will take place at Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires in Palermo, Argentina.

Malaysia boys finish fourth in the boys’ qualifier which took place in Chinese Taipei last September. Japan qualified to Argentina as the tournament champion.

Dato’ Shahrul Zaman in London for WRGA 2017

14 November 2017 – Dato’ Shahrul Zaman Yahya, The President of Malaysia Rugby Union (MRU) is in London, England at the moment. He is representing Malaysia to attend the 13th World Rugby General Assembly 2017.

The two days assembly is taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, London. 5 main issues discussed during the assembly are :

1. Player Welfare
2. Sustaining the growth of Rugby
3. High Performance
4. Women in Rugby
5. Fan Engagement

Dato’ Shahrul Zaman with Agustín Pichot is a retired Argentine rugby union player who is now Vice-Chairman of World Rugby.

All those five certainly related to the current situation on Malaysia Rugby scene. With the overall performances are on the rise, in which include local tournament as well as the national team, there’s tons of input that Dato’ can bring back and share with the rest of rugby community in Malaysia.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont has opened the 13th World Rugby General Assembly in London, praising the membership for global participation growth and calling on the game to work together to continue to evolve and attract a new generation of players and fans.

Malaysia 15s team who sit 47th in the world ranking could benefit from this assembly as to make sure the progress in the sport is heading in the right direction.

Photo from Instagram Dato’ Shahrul Zaman

Mustangs punished host to take Poli 10s crown

12 November 2017 – International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Mustangs won the Poli 10s International 2017 as they came out top over the host in the final. IIUM defeated Politeknik Merlimau by a fine margin in the final.

The Mustangs dominated their group matches win two wins out of two. They demolished both UNIKL MICET (29 – 0) in the first match. They completed the second group match with 5 tries and 5 conversions as they trashed POLI UNGKU OMAR 35 – 0.

POLI Merlimau also had a fine run in their group matches. Represented by numbers of players who are well-experienced playing in Malaysia Rugby League, they defeated POLI Ibrahim Sultan in the first match of the tournament 12 – 0. They improved in their second game to defeated Universiti Teknikal Melaka 34 – 0.

Both teams ended day 1 on high with POLI Merlimau overcame POLISAS 31 – 0. Mustangs also flourished as they defeated UTHM Black Owl 24 – 5 in the match number 27. Both teams qualified for the cup/plate semi-final with another 6 teams joining them on the day two.

It was all went to Mustangs way on the second day. They started brightly with 17 – 0 win over POLI Engku Omar in the Cup quarter-final before the marched to the final with 24 – 0 win over POLI Shah Alam in the semifinal. The POLI Merlimau matched IIUM as they got better of UPSI Eagles in the quarter-final. POLI Merlimau book the final match spot with commanding win over POLI Syed Sirajuddin in the semi-final.

IIUM Mustangs got their tactical spot on in the final under the guidance of Mr. Khairul Azhar bin Saarani. Azri Mahanif got Mustang in the commanding with the first try. Mustangs extend the lead with their second try from Muhammad bin Nilam. Tournament best player, Hakimi Badrul Hisham sealed the deal as he scored Mustangs final and third try. The ever-reliable Jahangir Khan bin Majith Khan was also on song as he completed 2 out of 3 conversions in the final match.

IIUM crowned POLI 10s International 2017 as they crushed tournament host, POLI Merlimau 19 – 7 in the final. Dr. Mohd Rashahidi bin Mohamood, Pengarah Bahagian Dasar, Jabatan Pendidikan Politeknik who represented Head Director of JPP presented the trophy and medals to the winner.

Daveta dumped Eagles for COBRA 10s title.

12 November 2017 – 2012 winner, Daveta of Fiji crowned as the COBRA 10s 2017 champion. They got better of the last year champion, Borneo Eagles Rugby Club from Malaysia in the final.

Daveta who finished runner-up a week before at the SCC 7s in Singapore finally got the crowned they wanted. Both Daveta and Borneo Eagles were the pre-tournament favourite and they matched that status with outstanding performance en route to the final.

Borneo Eagles recorded 100% win on the first day as they crushed KL Tigers 50 – 0 in the first match. They had to fend off Singapore Barbarians early surge in the second match as the beat Barbarians 29 – 12. Eagles had a strong first-day finish with 31 – 0 win over DUKA Old Boys.

Daveta had a fine first day as they beat Sabah Eagles 48 – 0 in the first match. Global Lions unable to match Daveta strength and speed in the second match as they lost 5 – 47 to Daveta. Western Province stoped Daveta from the 100% win in the group match as both teams tied 7 – 7 after the final whistle.

Global Lions unable to replicate the same performance in the Cup/Plate quarter-final 1. Borneo Eagles proved to be too strong for them as Eagles took the match with 17 – 5 scoreline. Daveta, on the other hand, strolled past Singapore Barbarians as they won it 26 – 0.

Both Eagles and Daveta dominated their semifinal match. ERC Borneo Eagles crushed Auckland Varsity Vipers 20 – 7 to book their place in the final. Daveta scored 2 tries as they beat North Harbour 14 – 5 in the second semifinal.

It was all square in the first 5 minutes with both team cautiously plan their tactics. Borneo Eagles got the breakthrough in the 6th minutes, worked their way to the try line with the mould to score the first try of the match. That lead lasted less than a minute as a cheeky kick forward put Daveta player through to tie the game at 5 – 5. Daveta took the lead with a successful conversion.

Daveta shifted into another gear after the try as they continue to dominate the next minute. One long pass out wide to the winger put Eagles in trouble as Daveta scored their second try to extend the lead at 12 – 5. That did not put Eagles down as they got their second try of the match in the very last minute of the first half. Daveta lead Eagles 12 – 10 at half-time.

Daveta lead by Saki Gavidi got their third try early in the second half. They added 2 more points with another successful conversion to lead 19 – 10. Daveta kept on pressing but found no way through. With Eagles eager to find a way back in the match, Daveta got an interception that set Daveta free and scored their fourth try of the match.

Eagles gave their everything but Daveta stood tall to win the final match with 26 – 10 scoreline.

Daveta brought home USD 10 000, championship trophy and medals while Eagles Rugby Club had to settle with USD 6000 and medals. NNK Northlink beat Panthers Blowpipes 24 – 5 to win the Plate final while Charis Wolfpack got better of Western Province to secure Bowl. The host, COBRA, unable to replicate last year performance as their journey ended in Bowl semifinal.

Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

Meet Abbygale – Malaysia women referee on the raise

11 November 2017 – Rugby fans who came to the COBRA 10s Ladies last week will certainly notice a rare sight of a girl as the referee for rugby matches. Abbygale Rayone Michael Lojinggu is a qualified woman referee in Malaysia.

This 21 years old came all the way from Panampang, Sabah. She herself is still actively playing for Sabah Angel Warrior Rugby Club. She started playing when she was 16 years old as she was in form 4 of Sekolah Menengah St. Joseph, Penampang under the guidance of coach Josephine Joseph.

Started playing for Malaysia at the age of 19

This young girl is an outstanding player in her playing career. She played for Malaysia when she was 19 years old during the 2015 Singapore SEA Games. She also played for Malaysia during the South East Asia 7s as well as for Malaysia Under 20 at Johor last year.

Abby with Malaysia 7s Women team

Abby takes the decision to take the referee course as she wants to understand the game better as a player. She wants to know and understand the rule better. She took the level 1 referee course at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah conducted by Dr. Nizam Nazarudin and Sir Madi Kawi of Singapore.

She had her first experience as a referee back in 2016. She blew in two tournaments, UPM Rugby Rumble Festival 2016 and UPSI 10s.

Abby taming boys during UPSI 10s

Other than level 1 referee, Abbygale also obtained Coaching level 1.

This Kadazan Rungus young girl has a high hope of working his way back into the Malaysia team setup. She is excited to see more women get involved in the rugby as well as proud of the women team achievement during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games where they won Bronze.

Abbygale is also hoping to see more women referee get recognition in the near future. We expect to see more from her. Abbygale excel in both sports and academy as she pursues her study at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam.

Very best of luck to Abby and we are as excited to see her as a referee on our Malaysia Rugby scene.

Photos from Abbygale personal collection

MR Presiden aims Malaysia club participants in IPRC

10 November 2017 – Malaysia Rugby Union president, Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya has a high hope on Malaysia team participation in the upcoming Indo Pacific Rugby Championship (IRPC). There are tons of positive notes about the championship proposal.

Datuk Shahrul shared his thought on the championship “Malaysian Rugby is excited with the plans and introduction of the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship. Its a platform an opportunity for local players and coaches to be exposed to the world-class level of games and preparations. With
#IPRC in 2019 to feature 6 clubs in the championship we hope to have a Malaysian based IPRC team. A great effort to develop and provide opportunities for professional rugby for the Asian region and take the game to the highest level.”

He is having a very high regards to the championship as that clearly can help to develop Malaysia rugby standard to a higher level.

IRPC will start in 2019 and it depends on the organizer to choose 5 teams to join the championship. They will choose it based on the administration, stadium capacity, level of local players as well as the support from the Union.

The Western Union as the tournament host will be automatically included. In other to choose the five-team, IRPC will organize multiple exhibition games in 2018.

Keris Conlay, Eagles Rugby Club, COBRA to name a few have the capacity to meet all the standard set by IRPC. The Malaysia Rugby Union will need to give whatever they got to make sure a club from Malaysia participated in Indo Pacific Rugby Championship in 2019.

46 players call-up for Malaysia 15s Under 19

10 November 2017 – 46 players received the call-up to represent the Malaysia 15s Under 19 team. The team will be playing in the Asia Rugby Championship 15s Under 19 Division 1 this December 2017.

Numbers of familiar faces who represented Malaysia 7s team in the Asia Rugby 7s Under 20 in Hong Kong earlier this year are also in the mix. Mohd Hafizuddin Amin (KV Arau) and Muhammad A’Aziem (SSTMI) will be hoping to end this year within the national team squad after their appearance for Malaysia 7s squad in Hong Kong.

National 7s Under 20 best player, Zulmajdi Kama Razali who plays as the flyhalf receive the call-up as well. He played in the 2016 Edition where Malaysia unlucky to finish fourth on the home soil.

They will be having the centralize training for the championship at the Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail, Johor. That program will start on 24th November until 11 December 2017.

4 teams will take part in the ARC 15s Under 19 Division 1. The championship will start on 13th December while the final match will be played 3 days later. All the matches will be played in Manila, Philippines.

Malaysia will take on either the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Philippines in the semi-final.

Bigger player pool for Malaysia 7s

10 November 2017 – Malaysia 7s team created history this year by winning the maiden Gold medal during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. They will be wishing to improve on that achievement in 2018 as there will be two major tournaments.

Malaysia 7s head coach, Mr. Saizul Hafifi shared that there will be a bigger player pool in 2018. “Instead of 16 players we had for the SEA Games, we will have 4 more players as we will have two major tournaments to prepare for”. 20 players should be enough for the team to do the preparation, as they will have enough cover if there’s problem in term of performance as well as because of fitness and injury.

16 players and management in 2017

The 12 players who won the Gold medal are expected to retain their position in the team. The same can be said to the other 4 who was drop prior to the SEA Games but there’s no news on the additional 4 players.

Zulkiflee Azmi is also expected to keep his place as the team captain.

The team captain

Malaysia will be playing in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April while the Jakarta Palembang Asia Games will be in August 2018. Malaysia who finished 7th overall in the 2107 Asia Rugby 7s Series will be hoping to improve on that for 2018.

Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

From Our Lens : SSTMI – Champion in need of support

9 November 2017 – When we talk about Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail, each rugby fans across Malaysia knows how important that school is in producing great players that went on to play for Malaysia.

9 out of 12 national players who bag Gold during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games are the product of SSTMI. That shows the high quality of the players produce by the coaching and management of this school.

SSTMI is the only school listed as the High-Performance School under the National Rugby Development Program (NRDP) in Malaysia. They match that status by dominating tons of tournament in 2017.

Few could stop SSTMI when they are on song

Plate Runner-up – Asia Rugby Under 20 Sevens Series
Quarter Final – AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League
Champion – National 7s
Semi Final – Langkawi International Rugby 7s
Semi Final – NS Royal 7s
Champion – Arau 7’s

Runner Up – National 7s
Plate Runner Up – Langkawi International Rugby 7s
Bowl Champion – NS Royal 7s
Third Place – Arau 7s

Under 17
Champion – MCKK 7s
Champion – Salbros 7s
Semi Final – Langkawi International Rugby 7s
Bowl Champion – NS Royal 7s

Team U16
Runner Up – Johor Rugby Carnival 7s
Runner Up – NS Royal 7s
Third Place – Arau 7s
Champion – Allied Pickfords 15s
Champion – Super KGV International 10s

7 years old broken tackling bag

Few know that despite all the championship, the rugby team is severely lacking in term of fund and equipment. They still able to join multiple tournaments and won them with the help of parents, friends and rugby fans.

The sky is the limit if this school is well equipped and fund. They could have better preparation with proper equipment. The status of the only high-performance school should be matched.

SSTMI is the reference for all the other rugby school in Malaysia. They also received tons of application to come to their place and train with them and they accepted it with open arms despite all their shortage.

They need something way better than these

It is great to see the coaching team fully utilized what they have. It will be much better to see if they can maximize their potential with proper support from those who supposed to be involved.

Very best of luck SSTMI Tsunami in 2018.

As what those rugby coaches say, “ada ada, tak ada tak ada, anggap selasai”

Photos from Mr Syed Shazril and Zainuddin Mamat/Ragbionline

Hibiscus received surprise visit from KJ

8 November 2017 – Malaysia 15s team who is having their second phase of centralizing training received a surprise visit this morning. Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin spend some time from his busy schedule to meet the team.

It took place at the Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) where the team is having their strength and conditioning session lead by the ISN team. The minister himself who has been active in sport spend his time to give the pep talk to the players as to the coaching staff.

The Ministry of Youth and Sport (KBS) lead by YB Khairy Jamaluddin is giving full co-operation with the help of ISN and Malaysia Rugby Union (MRU) to make sure the team has a proper preparation for the qualifying matches.

This could not come at a much better time since rugby is growing rapidly and in need of support from the government.

2017 has been an outstanding year for rugby with the 15s team winning the Asia Rugby Championship – Division 1 for the second time in a row. The 7s team also made the country proud as the men won Gold while women team bag Bronze during the recent 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Photo and video from Mr. Raimi Yusof