| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s men’s rugby team provided a good fight against Uzbekistan despite a 19-15 defeat in the playoff round of the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy 2019 at the Gelora Bung Karno Rugby Field in Senayan, Jakarta yesterday.
The Brunei side were down 19-0 with more than four minutes of the second half remaining but they showed a spirited fight and character with three successive tries.
Brunei completed their playoff round campaign in the latest edition of the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy in a 35-0 loss to Bangladesh in the second match.
The playoffs featured teams that ended in third place in their respective groups during the earlier stage of the competition.
Brunei had finished in third place in Group ‘C’ after defeats to Singapore and India.
As Uzbekistan tried to inject some pace into the match, Vlad Artigaliev, who had been a prominent figure all tournament, found a gap and raced to score the first try of the game.
Artigaliev had shown his capabilities as a direct runner especially in an earlier game against Bangladesh whom they lost to 19-15.
Uzbekistan were patient moving the ball across the park and bringing it back in the middle and finding space.
Vladimir Pavlenko showed great dummy and drove forward in a 90-metre dash to extend his side’s lead to 12-0 but he missed a conversion kick after the ball bounced off the post.
Uzbekistan’s scrum half applied good pressure as they ended up with the ball. They moved the ball to the right as Artur Glukhovkin took the players on out wide before securing his team’s third try of the game.
Brunei swung the ball wide and used a good length of the field before Muhd Amirul Salihin Jufri charged on the outside to deliver his team their first try of the game.
Brunei’s try lifted their spirits and won the scrum battle before a penalty boosted their chances to spearhead another attack.
Uzbekistan was down to six players and there was a quick tap from Syazwan Masri from a close distance before providing another try for Brunei.
Brunei missed a conversion after the ball hit the post which would have provided them a chance to draw the game if they launched another successful try in their next attack.
The final buzzer had been sounded but Brunei won possession of the ball and had the chance to score the final try of the game.
Brunei showed good energy at the end of the game as Shen Quan Lim broke through unopposed and provided his side’s last try of the game.
However, there was not enough time and points to win the game and a missed conversion at the end marked the end of the game.
Meanwhile, Malaysia emerged the winners of the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy 2019 after they defeated Singapore 17-14 in the final.