Brunei's U-20 team pose for a
photo prior to competing in
Johor for the Asian Rugby
Football Union Asia
Junior 7's Under-20
Brunei's Under-20 rugby team finished in 8th place for the ARFU (Asian Rugby Football Union) Asia Junior 7's Under-20 Tournament in Johor yesterday.
They started off the day against Singapore where they lost 42-0 followed by a 10-7 loss against Laos to finish fourth for the Plate Cup.
The Under-20's lost their chance at sealing 7th place after a last minute try from Laos.
Captain for Brunei, Muhammad Azizan Hj Zainal Ariffin told The Brunei Times, "This was my first time playing a role as a captain but in the previos two years I was the vice-captain."
"As a captain I didn't feel like I commited to the role very well in the games because I'm used to listening than giving motivation to the other players.
"We played as a team, captain or no captain all the players knew their roles and performed well.
"Despite our losses our motivation levels were still stable," said the captain.
Competing in Group B, Brunei fell to last year's runner up Hong Kong 38-0, 42-5 against China and 14-5 in their final group match against Uzbekistan.
"Even though our size and skills didn't match up, we still kept on believing and gave our best in every game," said Azizan.
"Thanks to our coach, Ben Bourne, we were pumped up through his motivational words and ideas.
"Also the team bonding was tight as most of the players have great communication with each other to keep up the motivation.
"We were hoping to get a win against Laos to get third place in the Plate Cup but unfortunately we lost in the last minute.
"So far it has been a great experience for the new lads and they've learnt a lot and it was definitely a culture shock of rugby for them.
"Of course most of our players were nervous but it didn't stop them from trying.
"Overall we did better this year than the previous years.
"The first timers played a lot better than I expected as well.
"We learnt a lot, mostly smarter play in rugby, from watching other national teams.
"Most of us feel like Brunei Rugby has a lot to learn in order to catch up on the level played by the other countries," added Azizan.
Hong Kong finished the tournament at top spot and broke Malaysia's undefeated run after defeating them 33-7.
Hong Kong have finally taken the top spot after coming in runner up in the last two editions behind Malaysia.