Silver from Paris
9 July 2018 – Malaysia dream to bring home the gold cut short in the final match. The Malaysia Under 18 team went down to Chartes Metropole in the final match.
Malaysia Under 18 team who is under the National Rugby Development Program topped Pool A after collecting maximum 8 points from 4 matches. The 100% record came as they won without playing the first match. Malaysia supposed to meet Bagneux in the first match but the opponent unable to be on the field on time. With that, Malaysia was announced as the winner with 15 – 0 scoreline.
The team finally have the chance to show their ability as they face Anthony Metro 92 in the second game. One tries each from Eddy Arrif, Helmi Azlan and Shafiq Ikmal, as well as two additional points from Ilham Zakhwan, gave the 17 – 5 win over AM92.
Malaysia grabbed the top spot in Pool A with another fine display as they dismantled Titans from South Africa 28 – 0. Hazim, Arif Hakimi, Eddy Arrif and Helmi Azlan grabbed a try each. It was the second try in 2 matches for the duo, the product of Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School. 8 more points came from Firdaus Zahed who completed all the four conversions.
Malaysia was awarded another walk-over win as Paris Universite Club did not show up at all for the tournament.
The semi-final match between Malaysia and Club de Sucy put the mental test for each player to the max. Malaysia was comfortably in the lead in the first half with 14 – 0 scoreline thanks to Arif Hakimi and Shah Izwan Nordin try. Both Faris Daniel and Firdaus Zahed completed a conversion each. Things get tough for Malaysia after Firdaus Zahed forced to leave the field when received red card due to the high tackle.
Club the Sucy took full advantage to lead the game 19 – 14 before the team captain, Faiq Aslah save the team in the last play of the match. They failed to complete the conversion which resulting extra time as both teams tied at 19 – 19. With a player less, Malaysia found the breakthrough as Arif Hakimi catch the ball and score the decisive try from Faris Daniel’s kick and win the game.
Malaysia met the Chartres Metropole in the final after the team from Chartres overcame Titans 19 – 14 in the other semi-final. Malaysia only had 10 players with Shafiq Ikmal out due to groin problem as well as Firdaus Zahed (suspension)for the final. They had a much better start and lead the French club 12 – 7 in the first half. Eddy Arrif used his speed well to grab his third try in the tournament before Shah Izwan Nordin added the second try in the match.
Chartres Metropole brought their best game in the second half to score another 2 tries. Chartres broke Malaysia Under 18 heart to win the gold with 17 – 12 scoreline after the final whistle.
This is the second time the team won the silver as they also came up short in 2017 Cockburn 7s.
Photos credited to Dr Norashikin Shamsuddin and Dr Mohd Nazil Salleh
Full Paris World Cup result