13 March 2018 – There was no stopping Perak as they recorded their 12th straight win in the NAZA National 7s Series 2018. They went unbeaten during the first series in Hang Tuah Stadium, Melaka a week ago before they reproduced the same performance in the second series at the Educity Stadium, Johor.
Perak defeated the same team, Kedah in the final match. Both teams had a fine run during the matchday one, as they recorded 3 wins out of 3 in the group match. Perak defeated Kelantan in the first match 17 – 5 before they dismantled Kuala Lumpur 22 – 5. Perak secured the top spot with an impressive 33 – 7 win over ATM in the last group match.
Kedah with their aim to go one better than the first series, need to work hard before they overcame Negeri Sembilan 21 – 17 in their first match. They played much better as they crushed Selangor 31 – 0 before they confirmed the top spot with the win over the host, Johor 22 – 7 in their last group matches.
Kedah cruised in the quarter-final as they were certainly a few levels above Kuala Lumpur. Kedah wins it with 26 – 0 scoreline. Perak, on the other hand, was shocked by a quick start by Selangor. They produced a comeback from 2 tries down as they book the semi-final spot with 26 – 10 win over Selangor.
Experienced was different between Kedah and Kelantan. Lead by the mastermind, Fairuz Abdul Rahman, 2 quick tries put the game to bed as Kedah win it with 17 – 5 scoreline. Perak did not have much problem to book the spot in the final. The well-balanced team outdo the ATM line-up as they beat them 40 – 10.
Kedah drew the first blood in the final as 20 years old Hafizuddin Amin finished a fine move by Luqman Nur Hakim to scored the first try in the first minute. Perak level the scored through Faizal Mat Tahir try a minute later. Kedah took full advantage as Perak was reduced to 6 players when Mohd Amir Hadafi yellow carded because of a high tackle. Luqman Nur Hakim showed his wonderful pace to scored Kedah second try with Fairuz Abdul Rahman used all his experienced to complete the conversion. Kedah leads 12 – 5. Kedah wishes to lead in the half was undone by Amirul Aiman Ihsan as he scored the second try for Perak late in the half. Faizal Mat Tahir kept his composure to score an outstanding conversion as both teams level with 12 points each.
Perak had a better start in the second half. Mohd Nur Azri scored the third try for Perak 3 minutes into the second half before Faizal Mat Tahir added two more points through another outstanding conversion. A collision between two Kedah players in their try line gave Harith Iqbal the easiest chance to score the 4try. Faizal Mat Tahir made sure the title in their hand with another outstanding kick. Perak comfortably lead 26 – 12 with minutes to go. Kedah closed the gap with the last try of the series via Fairuz Abdul Rahman. 2 more points from Fairuz was not enough.
Perak celebrates their second successive series title as they beat Kedah 26 – 19 in the final.
Perak comfortably lead the overall standing for the Men Core category with 24 points, 4 points better than Kedah in the second place.
Check the match info on Men Core category via this link.
Photos by Fauzi Saim