Defending Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Darussalam Cup champions Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Sharks will start their title defence against the Belait Pythons in their semi-final clash tomorrow.
Despite being the defending champions, Sharks coach Mogamat Shafeek Kamalie doesn't think his team will have the upper hand when they meet the Pythons at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex at 7pm. "This is a new competition and last year's results are history," Mogamat told The Brunei Times.
"Pythons are a good team and we will have to play to our strengths if we want to end up on the right side of the scoreboard on Saturday evening," added Mogamat, who led the Sharks to a 23-5 win over the Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB in last year's final.
The Sharks finished their league campaign with two wins and two losses, taking out the Miri Rhinos 26-14 and the Bandar Blacks 67-0 while falling to the Knights Rugby Football Club 30-22 and the Pythons 25-15. Pythons coach John Beart shared that his men are prepared to battle the Sharks after having a two-week break to recoup.
"Our players will be ready this weekend," promised Beart. "We have had a two week break so it has allowed some of those with minor injuries to rest a bit. "I don't feel we will have any added advantage by resting an extra week as it always boils down to what happens on the day.
"The way we see it, they have the psychological advantage. "The pressure will be firmly on us to ensure we not only win but improve on our previous performance against them. "They will surely be out to beat us and so we will need to ensure we are focused come kick off," added Beart.
The Pythons defeated the Miri Rhinos 26-5 and the Bandar Blacks 24-12 for their other two wins in the league, and their only loss came when the Knights secured a 35-12 victory over them.
The other semi-final will see the Knights take on the Rhinos at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex at 4pm tomorrow.