3 December 2017 – Malaysia Under 19 team had the perfect preparation for the upcoming Asia Rugby Championship Under 19 Division 1. Singapore Under 19 team proved to be the perfect team to test the national team. Both teams met in a friendly match in a trench condition yesterday in Johor.
Singapore Under 19 produced comeback as they beat Malaysia Under 19. The match which took place at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Bandar Penawar saw the visitor won the match 15 – 12.
Singapore took an early 3 – 0 lead through penalty but it was Malaysia who leads at the end of the first half with 8 – 3 scoreline through Haris Izzudin try and Mohd Hari the Iqbal Anhar conversion. Malaysia second try came from Shah Azril but Malaysia was undone by 2 tries by Kieran Wong as well as Luca Mignot successful conversion and penalty.
Malaysia which was still in the process of selecting the best 25 players prior to this game with more than 40 players at the disposal. They used the match to the max with as they made a number of changes to make sure each player has the chance to prove their worth to the team. Despite the loss, that gave the guideline and indication to the coaching team as they will announce the 27 players for the last training phase.
With less than 2 weeks before the championship, Malaysia needs to make sure they improve their fitness as well as on their mental strength. They also need to work on their cooperation as well as ball handling especially in a trench condition just like what they had during this game.
It is not much different in term of weather in Manila and Malaysia with rain expected to pour during the tournament. So it is good that they had the friendly match on that kind of weather before the game.
The team will now move from SSTMI to Politeknik Merlimau in Melaka for their last training phase. They will likely to announce the 25 players on the plane to Manila on the 5th December.
Malaysia will take on the United Arab Emirates in the semifinal with the winner of the match will face either South Korea of the host, Philippines in the final.
The team will depart to Manila on the 12th December 2017.
Photos by Fauzi Saim