King Kulai conquer
18 December 2017 – Kulai meet the pre-tournament prediction as they win the Sukan Johor Rugby Gold medal. Kulai had a bumpy ride en route to the final but their persistence and experience gave them the edge over other 9 teams. The tournament took place at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School, Bandar Penawar.
Kulai managed to win all 4 group matches. Their biggest test in the group came from Muar in their third match. Kulai opened the tournament with 24 – 0 win over Pontian before they overcame Batu Pahat 19 – 0. Muar gave them scared in the third match as they produced 2 tries in the second half of the match. Kulai who had 3 early tries stood firm to maintain their perfect winning record. Kulai beat Muar 21 – 12.
The champion maintains their fine form right after Jumaat Sola break as they demolished Tangkak in their final group game, 27 – 0. They cemented the first place in the group with the win.
Kulai dominance was helped by 4 national players in the team. Two of them played for Malaysia Under 20 during the Asia Rugby Sevens Under 20 in Hong Kong while another 2 was in Malaysia Under 17 NRDP team who finished second in the Cockburn 7s.
Mersing became the first victim for Kulai in the quarter-final match. They trashed Mersing 31 – 0 to book semi-final spot. The surprise package of the tournament, Kota Tinggi, gave their everything in the semi-final. They went toe to toe with Kulai but that was not good enough as Kulai advance to the final with 19 – 12 victory.
Johor Bahru who had a bumpy ride before they reach final unable to replicate their good performance in the final. Muhammad Abdul Karim and Sufi Hafizuddin’s experience gave Kulai edge over their opponent with Eddy Firdaus also showed outstanding performance as Kulai ran out comfortable 31 – 05 in the final.
Kulai received Gold with Johor Bahru have to settle for Silver. Kota Tinggi claimed Bronze as they beat Kluang in the Bronze medal match.
2020 SUKMA CEO who is also the president of Johor Rugby Union, Tuan Haji Noorazam Osman attended the tournament. Mr. Lee Nyuk Fah, the head coach of Malaysia 15s team who is also JRU Vice President also spend his evening and presented the medal to the winner.
Final standing :
2. Johor Bahru
3. Kota Tinggi
7. Batu Pahat