King Kelantan conquered Ipoh
17 September 2017 – Kelantan re-claimed the Ung Khek Chaow trophy as they overcame the host, Perak in the final. Kelantan beat the host 19 – 14. Kelantan was the pre-tournament favourite as they was represented by 5 players who claimed gold medal in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Kelantan cruised through out the tournament. They were untouchable from the group stage. Kelantan opened the campaign with scintillating 34 – 0 win over Melaka. They continue their fine display as they comfortably dispatch Pulau Pinang in the second game. They beat Penang 29 – 0. Kelantan ended the group stage on high. Negeri Sembilan who finished the group match in the second place was no match. Kelantan well drill and experienced team beat them 40 – 0.
In the quarter final, Kalantan did not have much problem as they overcame Selangor 38 – 0. Mohamad Nasharudin of Kedah was the only player who manage to score try against Kelantan defence after 4 match. However, that did not stop Kelantan as they cruised into the final with 26 – 5 win.
Perak who finished as the runner-up in the group stage as they lost to Kedah, shocked another tournament favourite, Johor in the quarter final. With the support from the home crowd, Perak moved into the second gear and beat Sabah 26 – 0 to reach the final.
Kelantan was certainly in their own class. Lead by Malaysia 7s captain, Zulkiflee Azmi, they started the match with great intensity. Their effort was rewarded as Zukhisham bin Rasli scored the first try. Mohamad Khairul Abdillah then added Kelantan second try 2 minutes later after Muhammad Ameer Nasrun split the defence into two from the resulting turn over. 2 more points contributed by Nazreen Fitri as he converted the conversion.
Kelantan ended the first half on high as they scored their third try in the match. Veteran Muhammad Faris Che Salim who personally lifted Ung Khek Chaow trophy four time before the final, scored Kelantan third try at the end of the match. Ameer Nasrun completed his second conversions as Kelantan comfortably 19 – 0 in the lead at the end of the half.
Perak performed much better in the second half. They kept on trying and had their chance but Kelantan defences stood still. Perak finally got their rewarded as the referee Zainuddin Mahsuri awarded penalty try as Kelantan players blatantly stopped Faizal Mat Tahir from completing the conversion.
Perak had another try a minute later as Muhammad Amirudin who came on in the second half scored his first try of the match. Two more points were added by Faizal Mat Tahir’s conversion. Kelantan beat Perak 19 – 14 to become the champion of 2017 National 7s champion at Padang Ipoh, Perak.
Kelantan lifted the Ung Khek Chaow trophy for the sixth time in their proud history. They last won it in 2015.
Kelantan and Malaysia captain, Zulkiflee Azmi received award as the tournament best player.
Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline