Kuala Lumpur (28 Feb, 2016): Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) produced a stunning performance to wrest the N.J. Ryan Trophy following a 28-22 victory over defending champions Hong Kong Sports School in the final of the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby Tournament in Kuala Kangsar today.
In one of the most exciting and thrilling final, SSTMI players, head coach Saizul Hafifi and his assistant Syed Shazril celebrated at the final whistle and were close to tears when they received the trophy from the Raja Muda of Perak, DYTM Raja Jaafar ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa.
“Mission accomplished. We have been waiting for this moment since 2012,” said head coach Saizul. “I salute my players for their hard work, determination and above all their commitment in seeing SSTMI return home with the trophy. It was a great match. We took two months to prepare for the MCKK Premier 7s.”
SSTMI last won the NJ Ryan trophy in 2011 and 2012 but back paddled in the early part of the final today after Oliver Werman’s well-orchestrated touchdown gave them a 5-0 lead but Paul Altier failed to convert.
Unruffled by the setback, SSTMI roared back in style by scoring four goals against Hong Kong Sports School’s one goal and three tries. Muhammad Afdlishah Norbasharuddin, Muhammad Suhaili Rohaizam, Muhamad Helmi Iezwan Azmi and Mohamad Rahmad Abu Seman scored the tries while Muhammad Khalil Azman was spot on in all four conversions.
Hong Kong Sports School, however, rallied back in the late stage of the match through Henry Poon’s try and Jack Abbott’s conversion but it was too late to change their fortunes around as SSTMI went home winners.
Khalil was aptly awarded Best Player of the Final and The Malay College Kuala Kangsar All Black’s Zulhaziq Immerus was adjudged TM Best Player of the Tournament.
Earlier in the semi-finals, the Hong Kong boys, ranked fourth going into quarterfinals stage, defeated No 1 ranked and 2014 champions Scots College New Zealand 22-14 to setup a final showdown with SSTMI.
It was the second time Hong Kong Sports School pushed Scots College off the cliff following the 31-12 victory in the final last year.
The second semi-finals between SSTMI and 2013 champions MCKK All Blacks, however, had all the ingredients of a nervy but exciting start before ending in a heart-breaking finish for the hosts.
Home hero Zulhaziq broke away from the pack on the left flank and raced towards the line to give MCKK All Blacks a 5-0 lead with a minute to go before the interval much to the loud cheers of all.
But SSTMI were back on trail minutes later through Mohd Helmi’s try and Khalil converted to go 7-5 up and as the clock ticked away it was Khalil who struck the final blow with a superb try and successfully converted to take his side into the final for the third time since 2011.
It was indeed a disappointing ending for MCKK All Blacks who failed to reach the final against a far cannier and stronger SSTMI in the first ever meeting between the two sides. The Johor sports school and MCKK All Blacks have shown tremendous form throughout the week.
If losing the semi-finals was not heart wrenching enough for the hosts, they suffered a second blow in the playoff for third-fourth placing as Scots College went home 20-7 victors.
MCKK All Blacks head coach, Khusainy Ishak, said: “We were unfortunate in the semi-finals against SSTMI. It was a good game against a strong side and we also gave a good fight against Scots College. The experience was worth it for the boys.”
The MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby Tournament under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah is co-organised by Malay College Kuala Kangsar and All Blacks Revival (ABR) Committee of The Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA).
Telekom Malaysia Berhad is the Title Sponsor of the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby Tournament while the major sponsors are Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Ranhill Bhd, Cyberview Sdn Bhd, Scomi, Ernst & Young, Casuarina Hotels, RF Empire Resources, Proton, Modenas, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Aimar Resources (Carisbrook), Supreme Landmobile & Wireless Corporation, SA Cargo Sdn Bhd, Disitu Holdings, Milo, New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd.
Results – Cup Quarterfinals: Scots College NZ 25 Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah Putrajaya 0; Hong Kong Sports School 19 Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman 17; Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 36 Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Intergrasi Gombak 5; MCKK 32 English College 0.
Semi-finals: Hong Kong Sports School 22 Scots College NZ 14; Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 14 The Malay College Kuala Kangsar 5.
Final: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 28 Hong Kong Sports School 22.
Plate Final: Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR) 31 Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Intergrasi Gombak 7.
Bowl Final: Victoria Institution Blues 17 Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor (SMSS) 14.
Shield Final: Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR) 26 Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR) 5.
MCKK Premier 7s Rugby Tournament Roll of Honour:
Champions: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)
Runners-up: Hong Kong Sports School (HKSS)
Third Place: Scots College of New Zealand (SCNZ)
Fourth place: The Malay College of Kuala Kangsar (MCKK)
Champions: Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR)
Runners-up: Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Intergrasi Gombak (INTERGOM)
Champions: Victoria Institution Blues (VI)
Runners-up: Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor (SMSS)
Champions: Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (Semashur)
Runners-up: Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR)
Best Player of the Final
Muhammad Khalil Azman (SSTMI)
TM Best Player of the Tournament
Zulhaziq Immerus (The Malay College of Kuala Kangsar)
Issued by: Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA)
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