Singapore Beats Malaysia to Win HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division I Promotion

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Sunday, 9 June 2013

Singapore scrumhalf Suhaimi Amran slotted a pressure penalty kick in the 80th minute of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations (HSBC A5N) Division II final on Saturday night to beat Malaysia 20-17 and return the Rugby Lions to next years Division I tournament.

The win sees Singapore promoted to Division I after being relegated from the same competition in 2012. Singapore will be the fourth seeds in next years tournament alongside UAE (1), Kazakhstan (2) and Chinese Taipei (3).

Saturdays game was a close run affair throughout with the two teams separated by just two points at halftime and level at 17-all entering the games final five minutes.

The two sides jousted for most of the first half with Malaysias flyhalf Nazreen Fitri Nasaruddin slotting two penalties in the opening 30 minutes to give his side a 6-0 lead.

Singapore was the first to cross the try line with captain and lock Daniel Marc Chow pushing over from a rolling maul off a lineout at the Malaysian 5-metre line to put his side on the board. Amrans successful conversion put Singapore ahead by one point at 7-6 before Nasruddin kicked his final penalty of the first half to help Malaysia re-take the lead 9-7 at the break.

An early sin-bin in the second half to Malaysia hooker Mohd Khuzaidi Abdullah gave Singapore the man-advantage which they capitalized on almost immediately as centre Blandon Tan scored Singapores second try of the match beneath the posts. Amrans conversion saw Singapore lead 14-9 in the 46th minute.

Malaysia converted another long penalty attempt in the 55th minute, this time through winger Anwarful Hafiz Ahmad, to claw within two points at 12-14. In the 69th minute, Amran converted another penalty to push Singapore ahead by five points (17-12).

Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Malaysia captain Mohammad Syahir Asyraf Rosli capped off a nice flowing move with an impressive solo effort to level the scores at 17-all with six minutes remaining.

The last moments of the game were a tense affair as both sides traded opportunities and were on tenterhooks to not give away penalties with both sides kickers on-song. In the 79th minute, Malaysias no 8 Timoci Nacokula was sin-binned giving Amran an opportunity to win the match for Singapore.

Despite the 1,200-strong crowd making a raucous attempt to put him off his kick, Amran calmly converted the penalty from 30 metres out and to the right of the posts to put Singapore clear 20-17 as the final whistle sounded.

Singapore captain Daniel Marc Chow commented on the win after the match, saying, Full credit to Malaysia they threw everything they had at us and pushed us to the limit. But fortunately we defended well. We didnt really execute our offense like we wanted to but we kept our nerve and full credit to Suhaimi [Amran] for keeping his nerve with that last kick.

Its massive for us to return to Division I. We are targeting returning to the Top 5 in the next two years and I think we can achieve that. This year we had a new coaching team in place, which took a while to get used to, but I think that this win proves that it is working and we can build on this to return to the elite level in Asian rugby.

HSBC A5N Division III Final

In the HSBC A5N Division III final, Qatar continued their march up the Asian rugby ladder after beating Guam 13-7 to gain promotion to next years Division II competition where they will face Thailand (relegated from Division I), Malaysia and Iran.

Qatar, twice winners of Division IV in Dubai (2011 and 2012) made short work of their stay in Division III after advancing from another hard-fought contest versus Guam (in their third appearance in the Division III final).

Qatar posted the only points of the first half with a penalty from fly half Paul Beard in the 13th minute as both sides bulky forward packs fought it out early on. Guam looked a bit more dangerous in the backs but lost advantage when captain Paul Claros was sin-binned in the 15th minute.

Qatar couldnt take advantage of their opportunities and then lost their own open-side Jamie Frost to the bin in the 32nd minute. Neither side could break through after the first forty as Qatar entered the break with a 3-0 lead.

The second half saw Guam leap out to a try in the first minute after the resumption of play through a nice 20 metre scamper from hooker Brandon OMallon. Centre Gerard Aguon converted the try to put Guam in the lead 7-3 after 41 minutes.

In the 56th minute Frost redeemed himself by scoring Qatars only try of the match to put them ahead 10-7 after Beards conversion. The game remained in the balance for the final 20 minutes when Qatar No 8 Mark Hibbs was sin-binned for infringing at the tackle. The Qatari defence held strong as Guam threw everything at them in their attempt to re-take the lead but lost reserve forward Matthew Borja to the sin-bin in the 76th minute. The resulting penalty was neatly finished off by Beard to give Qatar the lead at 13-7 and the HSBC A5N Division III silverware.

Qatar captain Gavin Piek said, We knew Guam was going to be tough. They are big, physical boys and we knew they would come at us. But we were surprised and I think a bit put off our game by how hard they were hitting us. It was a bit scrappy and we didnt play to our patterns like we wanted to. It really was a very tough game. Fair play to Guam for playing as hard as they did today. But we came through in the end ... We know we are going to have to improve to compete in Division II. But this win is going to do heaps for rugby in Qatar. Its going to put us back on the map again. I think many of the teams here this week didnt even know where Qatar was at the start of the tournament and hopefully now weve made everyone aware that Qatar is a nation that can play rugby.

Rugby, HSBC, Five Nations, A5N, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.

Copyright © 1997-2024