Tag: MRL

What 2018 have in store

2 January 2018 – 2 days into 2018 and most of the rugby fans in Malaysia are eager to watch their favorite sport. 2018 will a be a busy year for local clubs, school as well as for Malaysia national team. With the number of the big tournament, Malaysia will be eager to continue their fine run on the international level.

JANUARY

– National Rugby Development Program (NRDP) will have their biggest rugby carnival. It will take place at the University Putra Malaysia (UPM) on 20 – 21 January 2018. 172 teams have confirmed their participation so far in 13 categories.

– 8 teams will participate in the first-ever Veteran Alumni Rugby League. They will be having a match for a month with the final match is expected to take place right after the ARC. Teams like ASAS and STJ are expected to do well.

FEBRUARY

– The Premier 7s is back as MCKK Premier 7s will be having their tournament. It is expected to be bigger than ever with the tournament able to attract the top team from all over Malaysia and even from Hong Kong. The tournament will be on 24 – 25 February.

– Top IPT team will be playing against one another in the SUKIPT 7s. The 3 days tournament will be on 6 – 8th February.

MARCH

– Malaysia will be having the first ever 3 National 7s Series. Melaka, Johor, and Perak will be the three host for the first ever series. Both Men and Women category will be available for all series with another two extra categories are on the card for the final series in Ipoh, Perak.

– Borneo 7s will surely attract top teams from all over the world with their top class tournament. Fans will travel to Sandakan as the tournament will take place from 16, 17 and 18 March 2017.

APRIL

– Malaysia 7s team will take part in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The team is expected to gain valuable experience from the outing as they will take on numbers of the big team such as Australia, England, Fiji and New Zealand.

– Malaysia 15s team will face South Korea in the first match of Asia Rugby Championship Premier at the end of the month. The match is scheduled to take place at the National Stadium Bukit Jalil.

MEI

– Malaysia 15s is set to face 3 more Asia Rugby Championship Premier matches in May. They will face Hong Kong in National Stadium Bukit Jalil before the return leg in South Korea and Hong Kong within the weeks time.

JUNE

– Ramadhan Kareem. Malaysia will have another game against the winner of Oceania should they top the ARC Premier.

JULY

– The brand new season for Malaysia Rugby League. It is set to be bigger than ever with only 8 teams expected to compete in the top league. The league is scheduled to start on 7th July with the 8th week ok the league will be in the first week of September.

AUGUST

– Malaysia 7s team will be having their second biggest tournament of the year. They will compete in the Asia Games 2018. The 2018 Asia Games will take place in Palembang, Indonesia from 28 to 31 August.

– Asia Rugby U20 is set to take place in Hong Kong. Both men and women team will be expected to improve on 2017 performance since both teams did not fulfill their expectation.

SEPTEMBER

– Rugby is also part of the 2018 SUKMA Perak. The Under 21 state team will compete against one another to bag gold medal.

– Langkawi 7s and NS Royal will also take place in the September with the first will take place in the first week while NS Royal will be on 22 and 23rd September.

– Johor will start the campaign to defend their Agong Cup title in the very last week of September.

– The first and second round of Asia Rugby Sevens Series. The first will take place in Hong Kong while the second will be in South Korea.

OCTOBER

– Agong Cup continues and will enter the knockout round by the end of the month.

– The third series for Asia Rugby Sevens Series. Sri Lanka will host the last round of the tournament.

NOVEMBER

– The final of Agong Cup will take place in the first week of November. There is no news on where will be the location for the final match just yet. The had it at Sandakan (2016) and Terengganu (2017) and could set to travel south for 2018.

– The 48th COBRA 10s. COBRA set to continue this year successful tournament on 10 and 11 November. However, it is expected that they will have another mini-tournament for junior and women before the date.

DECEMBER

– Asia Rugby Under 19. Malaysia finished 3rd in Manila and they are set to take part in the Asia Rugby Under 19 once more for 2018.

Malaysia Rugby League to start late 2018

27 October 2017 – Malaysia Rugby fans will have to wait longer next year to watch their favorite club in action next year. They will have to wait up until the second half of 2018 for the beginning of the league. Numbers of reasons with the super pack and busy schedule expected in 2018 which lead to this decision.

The Union’s decision to push the league back to July clearly show the intention of providing enough time for the national 15s team for prepare for 4 very important matches. Those matches are the home and away leg in 3 sides battle between Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea which is scheduled for April to June. If we finish top in that Asia Rugby Championship Premier, Malaysia will face Oceania Winner at the end of June and July, in the quest to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

The National 15s team already started their first phase of training this week. Malaysian are hoping for the team to do well after the recent success in the ARC Division 1 as well as the 7s team who win the Gold and Bronze during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

The 2018 schedule also means that the league will avoid playing during the Ramadhan. The first week of Malaysia Rugby League will start on 7 July 2017 and it is expected to end on 19 August 2017. Keris Conlay who dominate and win their 3rd league title in 6 years will be hoping the retain the title comes August 19th.

Fairuz flair wins it for Kedah

29 July 2017 – Kedah needed to thanks to their star captain, Mohd Fairuz Abd Rahman as they beat ATM in the opening match. The expectation is high on Kedah to go all the way this season considering their great player line-up.

Playing right in front of the home crowd, that certainly lift ATM as they kept Kedah at bay through out the match. Both teams canceling out one another and show great sportsmanship as the match was played with good spirit and discipline.

ATM broke the dead lock only on the verge of the end for the first half. Shafee Burhanalis kept his composer and complete the penalty to give ATM 3 – 0 lead at the end of the half. Fairuz helped his team to level 3 minutes in the second half. Udt then added another 10 minutes later to give Kedah lead.

Yellow card for Kedah import, Etonia Vaqa Saukuru clearly changed the game landscape and open the space. ATM capitalized as Lailatul Norazlee finished great team move for the first try of the match. Mohd Azwar added 2 more points as ATM firmly in the lead, 10 – 6.

Mohd Nassrin bin Nassir yellow carded with 2 more minutes to go and that provide the besr chance for Kedah to make comeback. Fairuz keeps cool to score his third penalty for the 1 points match.

With Kedah staring at the defeat, Fairuz matched his heroic status as he completed another penalty in the dying second, and win the match for Kedah. Match ended with 12 – 10 win for Kedah.

Both teams will have to play at their best in the next group match. They will face last year champion, Perak, in their next match.

ATM will travel to Taiping next week as they will face Perak while Kedah will welcome Perak for their last group match.

Photos by : Masuti/ragbionline

Awesome Asyraf, distinguished debut

18 May 2017 – Malaysia rugby fan was on alert after the first match of Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 in Ipoh on Sunday when last year hero, Mohd Azmir stretchered off due to injury. As the saying, One’s man lost is another man’s gain, Wan Mohammad Asyraf received his chance to be in the first 15 for Malaysia second match against Philippines.

One his first cap for the national squad, the 23 years old from Jerantut slotted into his favourite position, as a winger by Lee Nyuk Fah. Asyraf day could turn from great to exceptional as everyone thought he scored Malaysia first try in the first 10 minutes of the game before the referee, Taku Otsuki from Japan dragged the match back due to earlier fault in the build up.

The product of Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Kuantan (INTEK), Pahang scored 8 points from 2 penalties and a conversion. He played the full 80 minutes in the match against Philippines. His good kick as well as well time run from the backline caught the attention of Malaysia rugby fan.

Asyraf started playing rugby at INTEK before he continue playing for Jerantut Rainforest RC. He further his study at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai and used that chance to play for UTM Pirates. Asyraf played an important role in Mersing Eagles outstanding run up until the semi final of AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League where they finish third.

With Dan Carter as his idol, Asyraf certainly hope to continue his carrier and contribute to Malaysia. He has a very high hope on be part of Malaysia team and want to be part of history making Malaysia to qualify to Japan Rugby World Cup in 2019.

Asyraf could not believe when he received the news about his call-up to the national team. Another great player who played well in the second match, Muhd Nur Ikhwan Nordin, Syarif Nurhidayat Muzhaimey and Mohd Farid Sujari as well as Asyraf himself are among new faces to play for Malaysia.

Asyraf good performance on match day 2 should be enough for him to keep his place in the first 15 for the 3rd and last match. Malaysia will take on Sri Lanka in the last and ‘final’ match which will decide the tittle winner.

That match is schedule to start at 4.00pm Malaysia time, right after the United Arab Emirates vs Philippines match. All the match will be broadcast live on Astro Arena. Fans can also watch the match on streaming via rugbypass.com while those outside Asia can also watch the match live on Asia Rugby Facebook page (Japan excluded).

Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

King Conlay!

15 April 2017 – Keris Conlay have won the 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League Championship after they beat Eagles Rugby Club 15 – 12. The match that took place at Padang A, Univeristi Putra Malaysia, Serdang saw a bumper of crowd made their way to watch the season ending match.

Eagles Rugby Club dominated the opening encounter. This lead to their first try in the 8th minutes by Mohd Fikri Sawi. Conlay managed to come back in to the game as they score 2 tries and complete a conversion. Mohd Fairuz Abdul Rahman also completed a penalty from the half way line as Keris Conlay lead 15 – 5 in the first half.

Eagles scored their second try of the match 20 minutes into the second half with William Douglas Jordan Juinor Talaitana-Mu completed the conversion to close the gap to 15 – 12. Both team have their chances to add points later in the game but the score remained until the final whistle.

The championship match was officiated by Stephen Copeman from Hong Kong. He was assisted by Mohd Hafis Abdullah, Fazly Mohd Salleh, Sharizal Abdul Manaf and Supyan Md Yasin.

The match was live on RTM1. It was streamed live and watched via www.mru.org and www.ragbionline.com for those who view it online from all over the world

Keris Conlay received RM 12000 cash, championship trophy and medals as the champion while the runner up, Eagles Rugby Club brought home RM6000 and medals. The prizes were presented by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Pandikar Amin bin Haji Mulia, the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

AirAsia is proud to be the main sponsor of the AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League in a partnership with the Malaysia Rugby Union. The collaboration marks the airline’s first foray into the world of rugby in an effort to further grow the sport locally while nurturing young talents.

The great match ended the season on a high. It will be interesting to see what will happen in 2018 as the League will move up to another level with the introduction of Semi-Professional league.

Photo by Kamarul Azam/ragbionline/csn

Meet Fairuz Rahman – 2017 AirAsia MRL Final best player!

4 April 2017 – It was not a surprise when the emcee announced Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Rahman as the winner for the best player for 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League – Premier final last Saturday. The Keris Conlay captain who played as the flyhalf as well as acting as the kicker for the team has been instrumental for Conlay who went unbeaten through out the season.

In the final itself, Fairuz contributed 14 points to Keris Conlay as he converted one conversion and completed 4 penalty kicks. He used all his experience to keep calm and punished every opponents mistake by scoring from the penalty. He even amazed almost 1000 crowds when he score the penalty from a very difficult angle, which hit the post before going in.

Fairuz contributed in every single match this season. He had an average of 10 points per game for Conlay with his biggest contribution came in Conlay first game where he completed 6 conversions as well a penalty against Panthers Blowpipes. He is also the only player who scored a drop goal this season. He did that in the quarter final match against last year champion, Serdang Angels

Fairuz 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League stats.

Fairuz first joined Konlay back in 2015 and this is the first time he won both the championship as well as won the best player. He looked delighted to win it as he admit with his senior status at 32 years old, Fairuz realised that this win is the fortune for his wife and family.

However, only a few realised Fairuz tears right after the referee blowed the final whistle. Fairuz was struggling with numbers of personal problem since the beginning of 2017. The 32 years old focus was certainly not just on rugby during the first two matches as his dad was warded for two weeks. Mr Abdul Rahman was diagnosed with liver cancer. Mohd Fairuz then needed to take care of his wife who needed immediate operation as she was diagnosed with infection on her breast. She was breastfeeding their 5 months second son at that moment.

This Kodiang, Kedah born player had played at numbers of level. He started represent Malaysia in 2001 as he played for the Under 20 teams at the ARFU Under 20 in Hong Kong. Fairuz sweetest moment could be the time when he as the team captain guided the 2015 SEA Games team to win silver medal in Singapore. The list of tournaments where he represented Malaysia are as follow :

1. Commanwealth Games – 2010 New Delhi
2. Hongkong 7s – 2010
3. Asia Games – 2014 Incheon, South Korea
4. ARFU Under 20 – 2001 Hong Kong, 2002 Malaysia
5. Asia 5 Nations – 2007 Bangkok, 2009 Malaysia, 2012 Malaysia
6. IRB ranking – 2014 Bangkok
7. Sea games – 2007 Korat, Thailand dan 2015 Singapore (captain)
8. Asia 7s Series – 2008-2014

Malaysia rugby fan will be hoping to see him donning the national jersey for the upcoming Asia Rugby Championship in Ipoh this May. His great influence, calmness and discipline in the game will be vital for Malaysia.

Photo by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

3 tittles in 6 finals for Conlay

1 April 2017 – Keris Conlay managed to overcome last year disappointment as they win their third tittles in six years. Conlay overcame ASAS RC in the final, 24 – 17.

The match kick off at 4.00pm at the Padang A, Universiti Putra Malaysia right after the 3/4 place match. The match was as closed as they could be as both team try to out do one another. Keris Conlay first break the deadlock in the 5th minutes Mohd Fared Yahya try. Flyhalf, Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Rahman completed the conversion to give Conlay 7 – 0 lead. ASAS captain, Syarif Nurhidayat bin Muzhaimey reduced the gap as he scored ASAS first try 15 minutes in the match.

Keris Conlay made sure that they took every opportunity presented to them. Conlay benefit from ASAS mistake as they added 3 more points from Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Rahman penalty in the 24th minutes to extend the 10 – 5 lead. Fairuz then complete his second penalty at the half hour mark to make it 13 – 5.

ASAS RC made sure they stay in the contention few minutes later as Kelevi Rokuva Ketereomo scored ASAS second try. Luqman Hakim added 2 more points to close the gap to one point as the first half ended 13 – 12 in favour of Keris Conlay.

Both team made changes at the beginning of the second half. Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Rahman continued his wonderful display as he took and completed the third penalty for Keris Conlay 5 minutes into the second half. Keris Conlay produced a wonderful and well discipline performance to stop ASAS RC attack.

Etonia Vaqa Saukura extend Conlay lead with 15 minutes to go. His try made sure Conlay extend the lead ASAS RC 21 – 12 and firmly in control of the match. Winger, Muhamad Farid Abdul Rahman closed the gap with his try at the 70th minutes as they made sure they kept their chance alive.

Fourth personal penalty from Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Rahman in the 76th minutes killed any last minute comeback from ASAS RC. Keris Conlay won the 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League as they beat ASAS RC 24 – 17.

This is Keris Conlay third tittle in six years. Keris Conlay first won back in 2013. Their second tittle came in 2015 while this 2017 came after sixth successive final. Keris Conlay received trophy, medals and RM 10000 while ASAS RC who reached the final for the first time since they was founded back in 2001 received RM 5000 and medals. Mersing Eagles who finished third after they beat UiTM Lions 25 – 24 received RM 3000 and medals. Lions received RM 1500 in fourth place.

Dato’ Seri Zulkeples Embong, CEO for the upcoming SEA Games presented the prize for all the winner.

Keris Conlay will face Eagles Rugby Club from Sandakan who win East Division on 15th April 2017 in the grand final.

Photos by Zainuddin Mamat and Ali Mufti/CSN/ragbionline

Mersing Eagles reached new high as they finish third

1 April 2017 – Mersing Eagles finished as the third best in the 2017 AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League when they beat UiTM Lions by 1 point in the 3/4 place match. This is their best performance since their first involvement.

Mersing Eagles was completely in control in the first half as they strolled to 19 – 0 lead. It was the great dominance performance, similar to what they showed when they went unbeaten in the group match. Eagles first draw the blood when Timoci Vunimuko scored the first try in the 8th minutes. Prop, Mohd Farid bin Sujari scored the second try 10 minutes later. Import, Sani Nakaira scored Eagles third at the half hour mark. Jahanghir Khan completed the second and third conversions to make sure Eagles cruised to 19 – 0 lead.

UiTM Lions made one change early in the second half as Mohd Syahimi replaced Muhammad Firzuan. That change proved to be vital as Lions took control of the match and Syahimi scored Lions first try 5 minutes into the second half. Mohamad Sofian completed the conversion to make it 19 – 7. Eagles managed to extend their lead as Wan Ahmad Asyraf completed the penalty. Syahimi continue his fine display as he scored the second try in the eleventh minutes to ignite Lions comeback.

Mersing Eagles made sure that they remained in control. They took full advantage from Lions mistake as they added 3 more points as Wan Ahmad Asyraf scored their second penalty to make it 25 – 12 in 26th minutes. Lions ignite their hope through substitute Luqman Nurhakim try with 10 minutes to go but they unable to convert the conversion to put more pressure on Eagles. Muhammad Hariz Izzat try late in the game and conversions from Muhammad Al-Hafiz Affendi proved to be consolation as the Referee, Mr. Raimee blowed the final match.

Mersing Eagles who started the season without any high expectation from the rugby fan certainly put their mark for the upcoming Semi-pro league next year. UiTM Lions also managed to meet the expectation when they reached the semi final. Congratulation for both teams.

Photo by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

COBRA maintained Premier status

1 April 2017 – COBRA maintained their Premier status after they won their play-off match against Panthers Blowpipes. COBRA comfortably cruised to beat Blowpipes 28 – 10. The 10.30am kick-off saw COBRA completely in control through out the match.

Both team tried their best in the opening encounter to control the game. The only try and conversion in the first half belong to COBRA. However, there was some controversy when the Blowpipes bench claimed that there was a knock on just before COBRA scored the try. Japanese, Ryoma Kudo completed the 7 points after he completed the conversion in the 7th minutes. COBRA and Blowpipes contested the match well for the rest of the half but unable to add any points.

COBRA managed to improve early in the second half as they worked pass COBRA to score two tries and completed both conversion in the first 10 minutes. Winger, Mohammad Isyraf Mohd Razif scored the first one in the fourth minutes while the second try was scored by Sae-Falupaga 5 minutes later. Ryoma Kudo completed both conversions as COBRA comfortably lead 21 – 0.

Panthers Blowpipes took the advantage to score their first 3 points in the match as COBRA was playing with 14 players after their captain, Mohd Syahir Asyraf received yellow card. Fullback, Muhammad Afiq Izzat scored the penalty. Mohd Syahir Asyraf then repaid his team effort in keeping Blowpipes at bay as he score COBRA fourth try in the 32nd minutes. Ryoma Kudo made it 4 out of 4 conversions as he added 2 more points.

Panthers Blowpipes try came in the last minute of the match. They end their Premier Division adventure on high as Muhd Zarul Aizat scored the try. Muhammad Afiq Izzat added 2 more points from the conversion.

The match ended with 28 – 10 score line for COBRA to retain the Premier status. Most of COBRA player looked relief as the referee blow the final whistle as they stay in the elite group for another year. Panthers Blowpipes on the other hand will be playing in Division 1 for 2018 campaign, the Division they suppose to compete before they took Eagles Rugby Club spot who compete in the East Division.

Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline

Imports made the different as Eagels ease passed Tsunami

11 March 2017 – Import players made the decisive different in quarter final match between SSTMI Tsunami and Mersing Eagles. Apolosi Tuiloma Tanda needed less than a minute to score the match first try. Wan Mohd Asyraf made it 7 – 0 as he completed the conversion.

Syed Syazril boys’ hit back immediately as Center, Muhammad Aziem bin Zulkarnain scored Tsunami first try to close the gap. Mersing Eagles worked their plan well and controlled the match to score 3 more tries in the first 20 minutes of the match. John Vukukula scored two tries while Apolosi Tuiloma Tanda added his second personal try in the match in the 18th minutes. Wan Mohd Asyraf completed one of the conversions to give Eagles a very comfortable 24 – 5 lead.

Tsunami who was lead by ex-national player, Mohd Saizul Hafiz bin Mohd Noor did not gave up easily. Their first half come back started by Saizul Hafiz well taken penalty in the 21st minutes. Tsunami certainly took the extra man advantage as Mohd Atheff bin Sharee was yellow carded in 21st minutes.

Tunami closed the gap to 22 – 24 with two tries and two completed conversions. Rozaihan bin Roslee and Adib Mustaqqim scored a try each while Muhammad Safiy completed both conversions. The first half ended with 24 – 22 scoreline for the Mersing Eagles.

Mersing Eagles got back to their game as they punished unsettled Tsunami in the first minute of the second half through Wan Mohd Asyraf try. Mohd Saizul Hafiz bin Mohd Noor completed his second penalty in the match to make it 29 – 25. The match could go either way but experience within Eagles player play their part as they remained calm to stop Tsunami’s surged.

Timochi Vunimoku scored two tries in the last 10 minutes of the match and completed a conversion in the 39th minutes to stop any comeback from Syed Shazril’s boys. Wan Mohd Asyraf scored his third conversions in the match in the process.

Mersing Eagles comfortable win could be much better celebrate before one of their import, Ulaisi Sakvocia was red carded in the last minute of the match due to dangerous play.

Mersing Eagles created their history as they make it to the semi final. They did not even make it to knock out round in 2016. SSTMI Tsunami will certainly learned from this match as all the young local players unable to compete with imports’ power and speed that decide the match. Tsunami who finish third last year will certainly come back stronger in 2018.

Photo by Masuti/ragbionline/CSN