Sport

Published: Friday July 18, 2014 MYT 9:12:00 PM
Updated: Friday July 18, 2014 MYT 9:41:05 PM

Rugby boys must band together for C’wealth challenge

The Malaysia rugby sevens team posing for a picture after the sponsorship signing ceremony in KL on Friday.

The Malaysia rugby sevens team posing for a picture after the sponsorship signing ceremony in KL on Friday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia rugby sevens team will have to operate like a band of brothers if they are to equal their best finish at the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Malaysia secured their best finish – 12th – out of 24 teams at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

Malaysia have not been able to equal that success in recent years. They turned in a forgettable outing in Manchester 2002 and did not figure at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

At the 2010 New Delhi Games, Malaysia failed to collect any points as they finished bottom in the 16-team competition. And this time around they face two familiar nemesis in Pool C – Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Samoa. Wales complete the four-team group.

Sevens coach Yusli Ramli, who has been at the helm of the national side between 2000-2005 and from 2012 till now, said the team have managed to come together pretty quickly despite only having spent the last few months together.

“There is no doubt we face a tough task against traditionally strong teams like Wales, PNG and Samoa. But the boys are eager and more so we would like to equal our KL Games performance,” said Yusli on Friday.

“The ’98 team had two full years to prepare, they ate and trained together – they were like brothers,

“In comparison, we’ve only had the last four to five months together. But I’m really proud at how the boys have banded together to build that camaraderie in such a short time,” he added.

“The boys have had some very good warm-up matches this year in Perth and Cape Town. I hope they give it their all come match day.”

The team will depart on Monday and are scheduled to play friendlies against South Africa and Cook Islands before their group matches begin at Ibrox on July 26.

Tags / Keywords: rugby sevens, Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Malaysia, Samoa, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea

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