Saturday, June 4, 2011

ASIA NATIONS TEST RUGBY: Division 1 Playoff. Malaysia Meets Newcomers Philippines

Philippines v Malaysia in Ansun (Asia Nations Division 1, Playoff 3rd-4th)

Venue: Ansum-Wa Stadium


Philippines real test in this tournament comes with this rugby test match. They lost 20-34 to Korea mid week with a resounding and spirited second half revival. Korea scored a final try at the end of the game to finally pull away but all credit to the Philippines.

The started their test rugby history fairly recently, compared to Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, who are old hands in Asian test rugby. Starting in 2006 they were in division 5, losing 3-24 to Pakistan in the final. In 2007 they again lost the Division 5 final, this time to India. By 2008 they were only playing in regional tournaments but with the restructuring of Asian test rugby tournaments in 2009 they found themselves in Division 3.

It was in 2009 that their big break come. The won Division 3 with a 25-0 win over Guam. In 2010, now in Division 2, they defeated India 34-12 to gain promotion to Division 1. They won’t gain promotion this year but their aim will be to hold their division 1 place. To do that they have to defeat Malaysia today.

Malaysia has played test rugby, as far as I’m aware, since 1955. They entered the second Asia Championship in 1970 and has been a constant presence in Asia rugby ever since.

More recently, in 2007, they were in Asia Nations Division 3. The revamp of 2007 saw them play in Division 2 in 2008, losing 7-30 to Thailand in the final. In 2009 they defeated China 43-15 to finally gain promotion to Division 1. In 2010 they lost to Singapore in the semi-final but held their position with a 35-8 win over Chinese Taipei to stay in Division 1.

They lost heavily mid-week to Singapore  and now must defeat Philippines to hold their Division 1 status.

Malaysia and Philippines have never played a rugby test match against each other before.

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Malaysia 8th, Philippines 14th

IRB Ranking points do not apply

Prediction: Philippines by 7 points



Malaysia Squad
Mohd Khuzaidi bin Abdullah (Blackhawk)
Mohd Adzhar bin Adnan (Blackhawk)
Mohd Nazri bin Ahmad (NSW, Australia)
Mohd Hafeez Faesal bin a Aziz (SSBP)
Mohd Farid Syazwan bin Abu Bakar (COBRA)
Khairul Nizar bin Camsudin (ORCA)
Mohd Khairul bin Fakri (ASAS) New cap
James Imran Miller bin Hamidon (NSW, Australia)
Mohamad Amin bin Jamaluddin (Keris Conlay)
Mohd Ezwan bin Jamil (NSW, Australia) New cap
Dineshvaran Krishnan (COBRA)
Nik Safuan Ismade bin Nik Man (DBKL) Captain
Sheikh Emir Omar bin Nasir (COBRA) New Cap
Mohamad Nazeer bin Mohamed Nesharah (COBRA)
Ras Suhael Nur Rahim bin Razbi (SSBP)
Mohd Syahir Asraf bin Rosli (COBRA)
Mohd Razmi bin Rozan (NSW, Australia) New cap
Mohd Rozaini bin Rozan (NSW, Australia) New cap
Najib bin Ruzlan (Keris Conlay) New cap
Mohammad Salmi bin Shaari, New cap
Mohammad Faiz bin Samsukhidir (COBRA)
Isoa Vuluma Turuva (COBRA)
Sarizan bin Yasir (ATM)
Mohd Hafiizh bin Zainal (COBRA)
Head Coach: Ishak bin Abidin

Adapted from

SSBP- Bandar Penawar Sports School
COBRA- Combined Old Boys Rugby Association
ORCA-Navy Orca Rugby Club
ASAS- Kelab Ragbi Alumni Sekolah Alam Shah
ATM- Malaysian Armed Forces
DBKL-Kualur Lumpur team


Philippines Squad


Front row L to R: Luke Matthews, Patrice Olivier, Jaime Urquijo, Nick Perry, Michael Letts (Captain), Tyler Perez, Rupert Zappia, Nick Pineda
Middle row: Matt Cullen (Manager), Raf Zappia, Austin Dacanay, Michael de Guzman, Justin Coveney, Gaz Holgate, Chris Hitch (Vice Captain), Josh Sutcliffe, Damian Raper (Physiotherapist)
Top row: Jarred Hodges (Asst. Coach), Richard Taylor, Joven Clarke, James Price, Oliver Saunders, Kit Guerra, Matt Saunders, Michael Duhig, Phil Abraham, Jake Letts, Expo Mejia (Head Coach)

Image thanks to

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