Universiti Brunei Darussalam Shark players in action against Knights Rugby football club during an earlier match at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. Picture: BT file
Will the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Sharks defend their title or will the Knights Rugby Football Club claim a double this year?
The Knights and the Sharks are set for the ultimate clash in the final of the Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Darussalam Cup today at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex. The Knights advanced into the final after disposing the Miri Rhinos 28-20 in the semi-finals a forgnith ago.
The Sharks, meanwhile, were made to work for a 14-7 triumph over the Belait Pythons 14-7 in the other semi-finals. The Knights have the edge over their opponents having won 30-22 in the BRFU Premiership back in March.
The Dr Hj Kamaruddin Cup champions are ready for the encounter and are expecting a difficult outing against the Sharks. "Firstly Alhamdulilah our team made it into the final and congratulations to the UBD Sharks as well," said Knights forward Syaihan Hj Abu Bakar in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"The team have been training for the past two weeks in preparations for the final and several players have recovered from injuries. "Sharks are no strangers to us. We know how strong they are and what they are capable of," he said.
"Yes we did beat them earlier this season but they are a totally different team tomorrow. "InsyaAllah we will try our best for tomorrow's (Sunday's) game. Wish all the best for them and may the best team win," continued Syaihan.
His counterpart Ali Abdul Aziz Dato Seri Pahlawan Brigadier General (Rtd) Hj Jofri feels that whoever brings their A-game will lift the trophy at the end of the match. "I think that the pressure is on them as we were in the same situation last year. We know how to play playoff rugby," said Ali.
"It will be a 50-50 match and it will depend on who plays the game better. It will be down to the basics and which team have better cohesion," added the Sharks captain. "We managed to keep ourselves injury free this year with enough training on our body and fitness is alright as well.
"We train twice a week and all we have to do now is to bring our A-game and hopefully everything goes accordingly," concluded Ali. Kick-off is slated for 4pm.
The Sharks won their first major trophy in their three-year history after defeating the Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) 23-5 in the final last year.