Bandar Blacks (R) in action against the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Sharks during an earlier BRFU Premiership Rugby match. The Blacks will be limiting their training during the month of Ramadhan. BT file
The Bandar Blacks will be limiting their training to touch sessions twice a week following terawih prayers during the month of Ramadhan.
Blacks manager Pg Mohd Ali Redzuan Pg Hj Damit shared that the team will hopefully get back into solid training next month as they may have other tournaments to prepare for.
"InsyaAllah, training in earnest will start in August to prepare not just for next year but all the remaining tournaments for the year... for example the Brunei 7s series, Labuan 10's and also our ladies team will be organising an all ladies touch tournament of their own," Pg Mohd said.
Pg Mohd hopes to see the team move up the ranks in the 7s series after finishing in 5th in the inaugural edition last year. The Bandar Blacks haven't had the best of years so far, finishing fourth with three losses and one win in the Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) League Premiership.
Their sole win came via a walkover against the Miri Rhinos, while their losses were handed to them by the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Sharks (67-0), Belait Pythons (24-12) and the Knights Rugby Football Club (51-10).
The Knights would go on to win both the Dr Hj Kamaruddin Cup and Darussalam Cup. The Bandar Blacks played the Miri Rhinos in the playoffs for the fourth slot in the Darussalam Cup semi-final but were unable to move past them, going down to a 33-26 defeat. Pg Mohd told The Brunei Times, "It was the first time the club fielded an entire local look."
"We have a number of senior Blacks players coming back - Ahmed Faez Anuar, Rasimoon Adinin, Zailani Abidin and Ronny Tarang - all four got called to represent the Leopards in the recently concluded Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Asian 5 Nations Division IV tournament," noted Pg Mohd.
Despite landing in fourth, Pg Mohd admitted that he personally felt happy with the performances on the pitch throughout the season. "With our juniors coming of age and hopefully by retaining our senior players - and if both can complement each other's play - we hope to mount a challenge for any team in the league next year," said Pg Mohd.
"We are grateful and fortunate enough to be able to secure the services of coach Ben Bourne who volunteered to help out in coaching the team in one of his last contributions before leaving Brunei. "On behalf of the team we wish to convey Bourne a huge thank you and our best wishes in the future," added Pg Mohd.
The Black Pearls - women counterpart of the Bandar Blacks - are looking forward to recruiting more women and girls into their team. Active in touch tournaments since 2010, the Black Pearls' latest achievement was finishing third at the Laksamana College of Business tournament in May.
They also won the plate trophy in the inaugural Women's Touch League organised by Brunei Touch Association. The Black Pearls also have experience in contact rugby. They have played exhibition matches in both the Panaga 10s and during the half-time break of the Brunei Cambodia Asian 5 Nation clash.