24 April 2019 – Malaysia might have won their first test match against the Singapore Select team in Queenstown last Saturday and there are few notable things that can be improved and strengthen base on that match.
Forward need major weight
Malaysia need to have major improvement in forward pack. They lost all the scrum to a much heavier Singapore Select forward line, notably in the first and the third halves of the match. South Korea and Hong Kong will be way heavier and they can certainly punish the Hibiscus.
Notable handling errors
Fans will expect the national team to cut down the number of handling error especially when it comes to the real ARC Premier match soon. The match against Singapore Select saw that problem occurs multiple time. 2018 saw South Korea took that advantage in Bukit Jalil and punished us and we need to cut it down if we want to have a chance to win the match This could also be due to the next point.
Adaptation to the tournament ball
Asia Rugby Championship will use the Rhino ball as their official tournament ball. The used the same brand as the match ball as Malaysia take on Singapore. However, we can see that Malaysia team was still training using a different type of brand before the match. The same problem happened back in 2018 as the national team was only introduced to the Rhino ball on the match day. We need to use the ball earlier to make sure they can adapt to the flight of the ball, cutting down the error in the process.
Do the Brad Mika’s way
It is understandable that the newly formed team is still trying to get use to Brad Mika’s tactical. The team showed that they are capable of doing that numbers of time and it will be wonderful if they manage to work their way in completing Brad’s instruction. Less than 50% of the 2018 squad retained in this year squad and Brad is certainly selecting players that he think can play according to his game plan.
Senior players need to step up
The 2019 squad consist of players from various age group. The likes of Syahir
Return of key players
Fairuz Rahman, Dinesvaran and Marc Le missed the 2018 squad due to various reason. The trio played a very vital role in 2017 Division 1 winning squad and their return this season could prove to be vital for the team.
Modern day rugby saw the heavy dependence on kicking ability. Malaysia has a number of players capable in completing the kick, even from a very difficult angle. Amirul Aqil has a 100% record in the game, completing 3 out 3 conversions, while 2019 Super League most valuable player, Fairuz Abdul Rahman, completed one. Former Malaysia 7s player, Zharif Affandi, also has the capability while youngster, Faris Pead is always up to the challenge. Malaysia needs to fully utilise every kicking chance as every point will be very important and can be decisive in the match.
Sri Lanka test match
Malaysia will face Sri Lanka in the second and last test match on 4th May 2019. Brad Mika is expected to make the announcement of his last 28 players squad once the team return to Kuala Lumpur from Sandakan. Sri Lanka game is so important where players will need to show their tactical understanding, their teamwork as well as their readiness to play for the squad. A win against Sri Lanka will boost the morale in the Hibiscus, will increase the confidence level and prepare the team before they travel to Incheon to face South Korea.
Tickets for Asia Rugby Championship Premier matches are already on sale. You can get them during the Sri Lanka test match at the stadium on 4th
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