Barbarians' Owen Martin (R) found
a gap through the Brunei National
Rugby team to score their first
try of the game. The Barbarians
won the showcase match 38-29.
Picture: BT/ Syarif Rasani
The National rugby team lost their showcase match 38-29 to the Barbarians yesterday.
The national side looked like they still have a lot of polishing up to do ahead of their trip to Cambodia for the Asian 5 Nations Division 5 tournament next month.
Their loss came from simple mistakes during the four 20-minute quarters at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Field C, and though the national team showed a strong start when they picked up the first try of the game, as the match progressed, the team started to crumble to the Barbarians a side made up of players from local rugby sides.
It was clear that the national team who were lacing up together for the first time were still getting used to playing with one another as they had yet to sync when it came to communicating.
The Barbarians did not hold back, and their continuous pressure saw the national team commit unnecessary knock-ons, which led to many scrums that slowly tire out the players.
Unfortunately, the national squad also had many missed tackles which gave the Barbarians ground and space to run through to advance.
"This was the very first time we have played as a team together and we didn't have much of a game plan from the start," admitted national team captain Md Azahar Awg Timbang.
"All of the players who came from different teams played how they did with their clubs (and) our communication wasn't as good (as the Barbarians).
"It was a really tough game because they had a lot of experienced players, but we still played hard and with our hearts," said Md Azahar.
"It was a good starting game for us because national rugby coach Ben Bourne saw our flaws, and now he can work on our negatives.
"Although we lost, we still managed to score our tries when the Barbarians made mistakes," he added.
"Right now we all have an off-field bond, but we will have to work for it on the field.
"All of us kept motivating each other during the game and though our fitness levels aren't there yet, we will come back a lot fitter next week," promised the captain.
The national team will get another chance to play the Barbarians again this Saturday.
Brunei are set to go up against Cambodia on July 5 and July 7 at the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Stadium.
They will be going through a tough five times a week training schedule over the next four weeks to get ready for the tournament.
Last year's outing saw Brunei picked up a confidence-boosting comeback 19-15 win over hosts Cambodia in their first match, but fell 70-7 to Laos in their next game of the three-country series.
The Laotians went on to beat Cambodia 58-7 to win the title for the fourth straight time and gain promotion into Division 4.