Thailand shocked host to book final spot
15 November 2017 – Thailand who ranked 78th in the world shocked the host nation, Chinese Taipei in the Asia Rugby Championship Division 2. That second semi-final match saw both teams gave their best shot with Thailand celebrated after the final whistle with 27 – 21 win.
Thailand sent the early warning to the host as Thanawatr Jamkrajang contributed the first 3 points with the drop goal in the first minute. They extended the lead to 6 – 0 with Warongkorn Khamkoet penalty on the 10th minutes of the match. Warongkorn Khamkoet put Thailand 9 points clear with his second penalty after the half-hour mark.
Chinese Taipei made sure they stay in contention as they scored the first try of the match on the 38th minutes through Po-Yao Chuang. They added 2 more points as Ching-Hung Shen completed the conversion. The first match ended with Thailand lead with a slim 9 – 7 margin.
Early yellow card for Thailand, Kwan Chumjai 3 minutes after the restart put them on the back foot. Chinese Taipei took the lead for the first time as Po-Yao Chuang scored his second try of the match. Ching-Hung Shen made it two out of two from the kicking spot with a successful conversion.
Chinese Taipei lead last for three minutes only as Pongnatee Ngoetong scored Thailand first try. Both teams drew 14 points each.
Po-Wei Huang scored Chinese Taipei third try as well as Ching-Hung Shen third conversions let them retake the lead 15 minutes in the second half. Thailand closed the margin to 17 – 22 as Warongkorn Khamkoet scored his third penalty of the match.
Thailand maintained their pressure over the host and their effort paid off with 5 minutes to play. Peerapol Chukoun try gave them the lead as Warongkorn Khamkoet completed the conversions. Thailand lead the host 24 – 21.
Chinese Taipei made their best effort late in the match but it was Thailand who add 3 more points. Warongkorn Khamkoet who had an outstanding game scored the last penalty with one minute to go in the match to seal Thailand spot in the Asia Rugby Championship Division 2 final.
Thailand will meet another South East Asia nation, Singapore in the final. Singapore had a great opening match as they thrashed India in the semi-final 1 match. Charlie Lambert had a fine day for Singapore as he contributed 3 tries in the match.
Singapore scored 9 tries and two conversions without reply. Singapore beat India 49 – 0.
India will face the host in the 3rd/4th place match in the early kick-off while Thailand will face Singapore right after the first match. Both matches will take place on 18th November 2107 in Chinese Taipei.
Photos: Ragbionline’s Archive and Thai Rugby Union and Singapore Rugby facebook page