NEGRI Sembilan Wanderers (NS Wanderers) became the champions of the Negri Sembilan Royal Sevens International Rugby competition when they defeated Sibu Rugby Club (Sibu RC) 21-19 in the finals of the Club competition at the Seremban Municipal Council (MPS) ground recently.
This is the seventh championship title for NS Wanderers since the tournament started in 1999 while inaugural and last year’s champion Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (Cobra) powered by five Fijian players were crowned Plate champions when they whitewashed the Malaysian University Sports Council (Masum) 19-0. Both NS Wanderers and Sibu RC had eleven Fijian players between them playing in the finals.
In the school category, defending champions Trafalgar High School from Cape Town, South Africa had to play second fiddle when they went down to Bandar Penawar Sports School (SSTMI Bandar Penawar) 33-17.
The score was kept level 17-17 at half time but SSTMI Bandar Penawar fared better in the second half and collected another 16 points to seal the match.
Meanwhile, it was sweet revenge for NS Wanderers as rugby enthusiasts who had expected a home team to feature in the club finals were not left disappointed.
The teams were also featured in the Plate category last year with NS Wanderers overwhelming Sibu RC 19-12 in the finals.
The home team qualified for the finals by outclassing Aass RC 24-0 while it was a 17-0 thrashing for Keris Conlay from Sibu RC in the semi-finals.
Niumaia Rokobuli of NS Wanderers and Mohd Faris Che Salim of SSTMI Bandar Penawar were adjudged best players in the club and school category respectively.
The sponsors of the two-day competition, held for the 14th year, were Power, Milo, 100 Plus, Orix, AJ, Antah HealthCare Group, Jimah Energy Ventures and Bina Terbit.
Negri Sembilan Rugby Union (NSRU) royal patron Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar, NSRU president Abd Jalil Borhanuddin and Bata senior manager Datuk James Selvaraj gave away the prizes to the winners.