Kuala Kangsar: Hong Kong Sports School dethroned defending champions Scots College with a 31-12 victory in the final of the MCKK Premier Sevens 2015 Rugby Tournament at the hallowed MCKK grounds in Kuala Kangsar today.
In a show of strength and valour, it was Hong Kong Sports School that scored high marks and were deserving winners of the coveted N.J. Ryan Trophy which was presented to them by the Raja Muda of Perak, DYTM Raja Jaafar ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa.
A dominant force ever since making their debut last year, Scots College went 7-0 ahead through a try and conversion from Connor Garden-Bachop, their prolific try-specialist leading the attack but Hong Kong Sports School equalised a minute later. Mark Coebergh bursting run down the left flank was simply superb for a touchdown and Paul Altier shot it over from the conversion.
Samoan Malo Manuo, however, kept his side on track with a sixth minute try as the Kiwis went 12-7 ahead but that was the last of the New Zealand boys commanding show as Hong Kong Sports School took control of the match and even surprised the defending champions to win their first ever Cup title after bowing out of the quarterfinals stage last year.
“We have been improving after every match in this tournament and I am delighted that my boys have made a winning exit. It was a marvellous final and we deserve this trophy,” said Hong Kong Sports School head coach Fan Shun Kei. “It is indeed a wonderful experience for my boys who are just 16 years of age and I believe this wonderful moment will only make them better players.”
Coebergh, who scored a try and a goal while assisting in another, was adjudged the Best Player in the Final while Garden- Bachop was named TM Best Player of the Tournament.
The Kiwis had in the quarterfinals stopped SM Sains Pokok Sena 24-7 and slammed the brakes on Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman’s (STAR) advancement with a 26-12 win in the semi-finals. It was the second time STAR failed to get past Scots College following the 36-14 defeat in last year’s Cup final.
Hong Kong Sports School also broke the hearts of hundreds of former MCKK All Blacks rugby enthusiasts and folks here in the semi-finals with a clinical performance as they romped home to a 22-0 victory over the 2013 champions.
Aiden Trent opened accounts with a second minute try to put HKSS 5-0 up and soon followed up with another try and goal from Paul Altier which gave his side a comfortable 17-0 lead. Sam Walsh dashed down the line with a late touchdown that ended all hopes of a MCKK fight back.
Earlier in the quarterfinals, MCKK All Blacks, ranked third behind Scots College and Hong Kong Sports School at the end of the preliminary round, trailed 7-10 before overcoming a potentially difficult opponent in Sekolah Alam Shah Putrajaya 19-10.
Local powerhouse Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School’s love affair in this fifth edition of the MCKK Premier Sevens also ended prematurely in the quarterfinals stage. The 2011 and 2012 champions went down 17-14 against a well-oiled attacking machinery of STAR.
This is the second time SSTMI failed to advance beyond the second round after back to back victories in earlier editions. In 2014 SSTMI were humbled 43-0 by Scots College in the semi-finals.
Jointly organised by the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and All Blacks Revival (ABR) Committee of The Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA), the MCKK Premier 7’s 2015 has the support of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Rugby has been a major game for MCKK since it was first introduced by then principal N.J. Ryan (later Dato’) back in 1956. Naming the team the MCKK All-Blacks, taking after the legendary New Zealand national team, their fortunes have both waxed and waned over the years, yet they remain one of the most formidable teams in the country.
The MCKK Premier 7s is the brainchild of the All Blacks Revival Committee (ABR), a group of the school rugby playing alumni who came together to revive and infuse new life into the proud tradition of rugby excellence at MCKK.
RESULTS – Cup Qtr-finals: Scots College bt SM Sains Pokok Sena (Saina) 24-7; STAR bt SSTMI 17-14; Hong Kong Sports School bt Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak (Integom) 31-19; MCKK bt SAS 19-10.
S-finals: Scots College v STAR 26-12; Hong Kong Sports School bt MCKK 22-0.
Final: Hong Kong Sports School bt Scots College 31-12.
Plate S-finals: STTMI bt SM Sains Pokok Sena (Saina) 21-5; Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak (Integom) bt SAS 31-12; Final: Integom bt SSTMI 38-24.
Bowl Q-finals: Vajiravudh College bt Victoria Institution 26-5; SM Sains Hulu Selangor (Semashur) bt SDAR 21-12; SM Sains Selangor (SMSS) bt SM Sultan Abdul Hamid 22-17; KGV bt Kolej Yayasan Saad 19-12.
S-finals: SM Sains Hulu Selangor bt Vajiravudh College 29-12; SM Sains Selangor bt KGV 15-14
Final: SM Sains Hulu Selangor bt SM Sains Selangor 29-24.
Shield Q-finals: SM Sultan Yahya Petra 1 (SSYP1) bt Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Kuantan (Intek) 21-10; RMC bt SM Haji Othman Abdul Wahab 12-7; SMK King Edward VII bt SM Sains Sultan Mahmud (Sesma) 22-17; SMK Taman Kosas (Kosas) bt Kolej Vokasional Arau 14-12.
S-finals: SM Sultan Yahya Petra 1 bt RMC 19-12; SM Taman Kosas bt King Edward VII 36-5.
Final: SM Taman Kosas Ampang bt SM Sultan Yahya Petra 1 Kota Baru 35-26.
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA)
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