PETALING JAYA: Sabah’s Sandakan RC Borneo Eagles and hosts Cobra kept the Malaysian flag flying at the HSBC Cobra 10s rugby tournament when they qualified for the knockout stage at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
Grouped with defending champions Penguins in Group A, Borneo Eagles started off with a 33-7 win over New Zealand’s Oriental Rangotai. They then booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 21-20 win over South Africa’s Northlink.
Getting a-head: Samson Nonu of Oriental Rongotai (right) grabsPenguins’ James Annabell during their Group A match yesterday.Penguins won 45-0. – KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN/The Star
In the match to decide the group winners, the Sabah team could not match the power and pace of the Penguins. They lost 5-24 and will now play Mendoza of Argentina in the last eight while the Penguins will meet South Africa’s Natal Duikers.
Two other local teams – NS Wanderers and the Malaysian Armed Forces – failed to make the cut. They were badly thrashed in their group matches.
In Group D, Cobra failed to get off to a flying start. They went down 5-7 to New Zealand's Canterbury. But they recovered in the next two matches to beat the Belgium Barbarians 36-12 and Korea Power Company 61-0 to finish second behind Canterbury.
Penguins, as expected, marched into the quarter-finals with an unbeaten record in the preliminary round. Besides the win over Borneo Eagles, they beat Northlink 17-12 and Oriental Rangotai 45-0.
Borneo Eagles team manager K.H. Tan was pleased with his team's performance, saying they were aiming for the knockout stage after missing out narrowly in their debut last year.
“We won the plate final last year. Our group was quite tough this time and we are glad to reach the last eight. We have eight national players in the team and we are confident of getting a good result this year,” said Tan.
He attributed the team's good run to the hiring of Fijian coach Tomasi Camaneisenirosi.
“He is a rugby Sevens legend and is now with Sabah on a long term contract to do development work. He started work in March and in August took Sabah to the Agong’s Cup title after a lapse of 25 years,” added Tan.
In Group B, Natal Duikers and Mendoza were the qualifiers. They both run riot over the Malaysian Armed Forces and Aotearoa Maoris in the group to make the cut. Mendoza topped the group after beating Natal Duikers 10-0.
In Group C, two-time champions Marist St Joseph and Ponsonby Ponies qualified for the last eight.
Group A: Penguins bt Northlink 17-12, SRC Borneo Eagles bt Oriental Rangotai 33-7, Penguins bt Oriental Rangotai 45-0, SRC Borneo Eagles bt Northlink 21-20, Northlink bt Oriental Rangotai 26-0, Penguins bt SRC Borneo Eagles 24-5.
Group B: Natal Duikers bt Armed Forces 46-0, Mendoza bt Aoteoroa Maoris 31-0, Natal Duikers bt Aoteoroa Maoris 17-12, Mendoza bt Armed Forces 50-0, AOTEOROA Maoris bt Armed Forces 57-0, Mendoza bt Natal Duikers 10-0.
Group C: Marist St Joseph bt NS Wanderers 24-5, Ponsonby Ponies bt Brothers RFC 22-7, Marist St Josrph bt Ponsonby Ponies 35-0, Brothers RFC bt NS Wanderers 21-5, Ponsonby Ponies bt NS Wanderers 27-0, Marist St Joseph bt Brothers RFC 35-5.
Group D: Canterbury bt Cobra 7-5, Belgium Barbarians bt Korea Power Company 17-14, Canterbury bt Korea Power Company 50-0, Cobra bt Belgium Barbarians 36-12, Cobra bt Korea Power Company 61-0, Cantebury bt Belgium Barbarians 58-0
Quarter-finals: Northlink vs MAF (8.30am); NS Wanderers vs Belgium Barbarians (8.55am); Brothers RFC vs Kepco (9.20am); Oriental Rongotai vs Aotearoa Maori (9.45am).
Semi-finals: 1.30pm and 1.55pm.
Penguins vs Natal Duikers (10.10am); Marist St Joseph vs Cobra (10.35am); Ponsonby Ponies vs Canterbury (11.00am); SRC Borneo Eagles vs Mendoza (11.25am).
Semi-finals: 3.10pm and 3.35pm