Kuching the undis­puted king­pins of MSSS rugby

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Ting Tieng Hee re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

KUCHING: Host team Kuching are the undis­puted king­pins of Sarawak schools Rugby ( Ma­jlis Sukan Seko­lah or MSSS) Cham­pi­onship when they white­washed Mukah 41- 0 in the Boys’ Un­der-18 fi­nal at Song Kheng Hai recre­ational ground on Wed­nes­day.

They were clearly singing in the rain as they mowed down their Mukah ri­val on a soggy pitch af­ter two days of mon­soonal down­pour.

En route to the fi­nal, the Kuching side that com­prised play­ers from SMK Agama Sheikh Haji Oth­man Ab­dul Wa­hab ( SHOAW), MRSM Kuching and SMK Sun­gai Maong topped Group A by win­ning all their matches, beat­ing Be­tong 64-7 in the opener and fol­lowed up with a 67- 0 win over Bin­tulu.

Kuching then pro­duced su­perb play to beat Samarahan in the last four by the big­gest score line in the tour­na­ment 117- 0 to en­ter the fi­nal.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to Mukah and coach Khairul Azhar for a backto-back fi­nal ap­pear­ance in 2015 and 2017. I be­lieve they have tried their best to give Kuching a good run for their money but it was also to no avail.

“I’m very happy for the Kuching boys for be­ing cham­pi­ons again af­ter last year’s U18 cat­e­gory wasn’t com­peted at the MSS Sarawak in Se­rian,” said Kuching head coach Zulka­ranain­hisham Sarbini af­ter the match.

“I’m also very proud of Kuching’s record in this in­ter- di­vi­sion tour­na­ment since 2000 where we were cham­pi­ons all the way ex­cept in 2007 when Sibu took it away from us that year win­ning 7- 5.”

He said Kuching has proven it again on the field this year that they are the pow­er­house for Sarawak’s age-group com­pe­ti­tions.

We need to do some­thing about this big gap in qual­ity per­for­mances be­tween Kuching and the rest of the other di­vi­sional teams.

Judg­ing from the vi­cious scor­ing ma­chine of Kuching, it is ob­vi­ous that they are at least a notch above if not more as com­pared to other di­vi­sional teams.

“Ac­tual ly, we need to do some­thing about this big gap in qual­ity per­for­mances be­tween Kuching and the rest of the other di­vi­sional teams. The scor­ing tells (it) all,” Zul added.

“The Kuching boys have once again done their talk­ing on the field. The were gelling re­ally well and showed they are a class above the rest. I be­lieve this is very much pos­si­ble since we kept the gelling core of play­ers from SHOAW’s in­ter- school squad who were cham­pi­ons at the Kuching in­ter­school tour­na­ment held be­fore the Chi­nese New Year hol­i­days.

“I would like to thank all par­ties in­volved in the prepa­ra­tion of the Kuching team and con­grat­u­la­tions to all,” added Zul.

On a more im­por­tant point, he wished that Sarawak would be send­ing a team to the na­tional level MSS Malaysia U18/ U12 which will be held in Ipoh, Perak from March 18-25.

He said Sarawak had not sent a team to MSSM for two years in a row ( 2015-16) due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.

Never t hele s s , tech­nica l chair­man Nafri Abd Rahman and Zulka­ranain­hisham re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to meet the new Sarawak Rugby Union pres­i­dent Richard Song and he seemed very pos­i­tive in help­ing out and en­sure that grass­roots de­vel­op­ment is looked into and sup­ported well since they are the fu­ture of Sarawak rugby.

“The de­ci­sion to send a team to Perak funded by the SRU is still in dis­cus­sion and we hope to reach a ver­dict soon­est pos­si­ble since time is catch­ing up. I wish all the teach­ers in­volved in Sarawak rugby to keep it up in grass­roots de­vel­op­ment and keep the spirit and pas­sion burn­ing high,” said Zulka­ranain­hisham.

Be­tong fin­ished in third place af­ter beat­ing Samarahan 32-7 in the play- off.

Mean­whi le, S amar ahan claimed the Boys’ Un­der-12 title af­ter top­ping the round- robin league held at SMK Seri Se­tia field with 12 points while Se­rian and Kuching were se­cond and third re­spec­tively.

Kuching District Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer Ka­mariah Said closed the event and gave away the prizes.

Zulka­ranain­hisham Sarbini, Kuching head coach

Zulka­ranain­hisham (se­cond right) and Kuching team cel­e­brate their achieve­ment with Kuching District Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fice as­sis­tant sports co­or­di­na­tor Mohd Rashid Ibrahim (left) af­ter the prize pre­sen­ta­tion.

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