Belait Pythons' Petrus Anak Tuan (L) making a run during their Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Premiership match against the Bandar Blacks at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex yesterday. Picture: BT/ Syarif Rasani
The Belait Pythons slithered away with a win after edging the Bandar Blacks 24-12 in their final league match of the Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Premiership yesterday.
The Pythons started the game strongly, constantly keeping the Blacks in their own half at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex.
Their constant pressure eventually broke through their opponents' defence when Pythons' Christian Daniel Wong picked up the loose ball from their scrum before making a short sprint to the try line to go ahead 5-0 in the 7th minute.
Petrus Anak Tuan stepped up to take the conversion and furthered their score to 7-0.
The Pythons kept pushing forward but couldn't seem to find a hole in the Blacks' wall until Augustine Gabriel Wong sucked the defence towards him before offloading the ball to Lawrence Anak Enggu to help his team open up a 12-0 lead in the 29th minute.
Petrus bumped up the score to 14-0 following another successful conversion.
The Pythons kept their momentum going, Md Ziyad Hj Ramlee's kicked ball was chased down by Md Hariri Housman who outpaced the Blacks' last man to put them in front 19-0 in the 32nd minute.
Petrus made it three out of three from the conversion line to give his team the 21-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The Bandar Blacks were a completely different team in the second.
They finally got on the scoreboard when a tap and go ended up in the hands of Ben Bourne, who pummeled his way through the Pythons defence in the 50th minute.
Mohd Hasmelizan Hassem converted the try to put the score at 21-7.
The Blacks continued to test the Pythons but also faced the same difficulty of struggling to find an open gap.
Petrus' quick thinking added another three points through a drop goal after Ziyad picked up the loose ball from the scrum to boost their lead to 24-7 in the 78th minute.
The Blacks responded and after a few good waves at the edge of the Pythons try line, Iqbal tapped down the final try of the match.
Pythons coach John Beart admitted the game was physically tough for his team.
"We carried some injuries into the game and now we've picked up some more," Beart told The Brunei Times.
"I don't think they (Bandar Blacks) were looking to necessary get a win, they were looking out to spoil gains, which is what we do in competitions like this," said the coach.
"In the second half, it nearly looked like that but we gained composure again and I think we had them out wide but well played to them.
"They are a strong side, they've not had a great season this year but they're a tough side," added Beart.
The Blacks are scheduled to face the Miri Rhinos in the playoffs for the Darussalam Cup on Saturday at 7pm.
The Knights Rugby Football Club sealed the top spot on the table after a 35-12 win over the Pythons on Sunday to claim the Dr Hj Kamaruddin Cup.