Terengganu hope to be third-time lucky in Agong’s Cup final

  • Rugby
  • Saturday, 23 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: They have reached the final twice before, only to lose both times. They have nine national players and yet are not favourites to win. But Terengganu are out to prove the pundits wrong and get third time lucky by winning their first Agong’s Cup rugby tournament.

For that, they have to beat fancied Sabah in the final at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang today.

Terengganu coach Izaimi Zainuddin believes they have the depth and strength this time to overcome Sabah who are coached by two New Zealand coaches, including national coach Bradley Moni Mika, a former All Blacks player.

“Besides Mika, they also have the services of coach Edwin (Cocker) but we’re all ready for them as we have very committed players, who want to avenge our defeat to Sabah in the final in 2015,” said Izaimi, who led Terengganu to the final in 2017.

“We have nine experienced national players, who played in the Asian Series with Hong Kong and South Korea this year. Our national captain Mohd Syahir (Asfar Rosli) has been in top form and he is expected to play a key role in the team.

“We also have the services of four Fijians and believe they will combine well to get the better of Sabah in the final.

“It will be a dream come true if we can lift the Cup,” said Izaimi, who was the national Under-19 coach last year.

Five-time champions Sabah are still the favourites to win a sixth title today.

The tournament was inaugurated in 1983 and Sabah have won the title in 2007, 2009, 2014, 2015 and last year.

Sabah humiliated hapless Kelantan 100-0 in the semi-finals while Terengganu faced a strong challenge from Johor before winning 34-31 to reach the final.

Terengganu also reached the final in 2015 and in 2017 and but lost to Sabah and Johor respectively.

Mika, who guided Sabah to the title in 2015, said that credit must be given to Terengganu for reaching the final.

“It is going to be an evenly contested match as both teams have well-balanced and experienced players. The outcome of the match will be based on who plays well to get the points.

“I want to see my players give Terengganu a real fight in the final,” said Mika.

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