Universiti Brunei Darussalam Sharks' Ali Abdul Aziz Dato Seri Pahlawan Brigadier General (Rtd) Hj Jofri (2nd L) is tackled by a Miri Rhinos player during their match yesterday. Picture: BT/ Syarif Rasani
The Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Sharks bit back at the Miri Rhinos to seal a 26-14 victory in their final Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Premiership league match yesterday.
The win looked to be in doubt for the local side after they were held to a scoreless first half while the Rhinos took the lead.
The Rhinos scored the opener after they rammed the Sharks' wall before the ball was laid off to Imang Mering, who took advantage of an open gap to tap the first try in the 25th minute.
Clinton Anak Patrick scored the conversion to bring the scoreline to 7-0.
Martin Kudakwashe Rushwaya extended the Rhinos' lead by crashing his way through the Sharks, followed by an open run to the try line in the 35th minute.
Patrick went two for two on his kicks to give his team a 14-0 at the break at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex.
The Sharks came out as a different team in the second half and wrestled back control of the game.
Md Asanuddin Timbang gave the Sharks their first points of the game with a spectacular try - resisting multiple attempts by the Rhinos to bring him down - in the 49th minute.
Asanuddin's younger brother, Mohd Aliuddin, went on to score the conversion to trail 7-14.
The Sharks' second try came after they were brought down inches from the try line where Ali Abdul Aziz Dato Seri Pahlawan Brigadier General (Rtd) Hj Jofri quickly came in to pick up the loose ball before tapping the ball down in the 20th minute.
Aliuddin successfully scored the conversion to draw the game at 14-14.
Julian Penstone assisted the third try after breaking through a gap in the Rhinos' wall before swinging the ball over to unmarked Muhd Ali Nurul Saffuan Muhd Ali in the 64th minute.
Aliuddin boosted the sharks lead to 21-14 with his conversion.
Asanuddin scored his second and final try of the game in similar fashion to his first, the Rhinos unable to take him down in the 80th minute.
Sharks coach Mogamat Shafeek Kamalie said that the win came from a change of game plans heading in to the second half.
"In the first half we played the kind of game that suited the Rhinos more because they were bigger and heavier than us," Mogamat told The Brunei Times.
"So what we needed to do in the second half was to play a more expansive game as opposed to a game where we hit up the middle and that's what turned it around.
"It was basically a matter of speeding up the game and that took it away from them because we knew once we started shifting those big boys around the field, they would get tired and the holes would start opening up.
"Also I think our senior and more experienced players stepped up and they took control of the game at that stage.
"We are the holders of the Darussalam Cup and we would like to keep it but there is still a lot of work for us to do... the Dr Hj Kamaruddin Cup is not on the cards for us this year because we've had two losses," added the coach.
The action continues today with the Knights Rugby Football Club taking on the Bandar Blacks at Sungai Kebun at 4pm.