Perak sink Sabah in quest to defend title
23 August 2017 – Perak recovered from their group stage defeat to Kedah as they beat last year semi-finalist, Sabah in the quarter final. The match between Perak and Sabah met the pre-match expectation as both teams played their best rugby from the start until the final whistle. Perak beat Sabah 27 – 20 after the final whistle.
2016 edition champion, Perak certainly showed that they are still the title contender after they produced came back, at the final 20 minutes of the match. Sabah drew the first blood as the flyhalf, Benjamin Francis Mathers completed the penalty in the first 5 minutes. Rusiate Nasove scored the first try in the match for Perak. Amir Aswad added 2 more points as Perak lead the match for the first time. Benjamin reduced the gap to one point as he completed another penalty before Amir Aswad extended it back to 4 points as he scored Perak first penalty.
Perak made sure that they comfortably in the lead with their second try through Timoci Tavuto 2 minutes before the end of the first half. Amir continued his fine form with another conversion. Perak lead Sabah 17 – 6 at half time mark.
Sabah produced a stunning display as the second half started. National player, Badrul Muktee showed his pace as he scored Sabah first try in the match. Benjamin added 2 more points with his conversion.
Sabah captain and national player, Nathaniel Tan Aik Ming scored another try in the 52nd minute. Benjamin calmly converted the conversion as Sabah re-took the lead 20 – 17.
Everything changed after Benjamin yellow carded on 54th minutes. Perak reclaimed the control and their pressure paid off as Amir Aswad completed another penalty to level the score.
Mohammad Harith Iqbal scored the winning try on 70th minutes as Perak retook the lead. Perak lead 27 – 20 after Amir Aswad completed his third conversions.
Both teams kept on going at one another but the scored remained until the final whistle. Perak continues their journey to the semi final. They will repeat 2016 final match as they will take on Johor at the second semi final which will take place at Gong Badak Sports Complex, Kuala Terengganu
Photos by Fauzi Saim/CSN for Ragbionline