National rugby coach John Beart (right, back row) and the national rugby 7’s team during the SEA Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore yesterday. Picture: Courtesy of John Beart
THE national rugby team finished sixth at yesterday’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore after losing 44-0 to Malaysia in the fifth-place play-off at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium.
The country recorded four points in Group B after two losses and one draw and finished ahead of Indonesia on goal difference. Singapore topped the group with a maximum of 12 points, with Laos second on eight points. Thailand dominated Group A after winning all their three games, and they were followed by Philippines and Malaysia.
Bottom of the table Singapore A was only introduced at the tournament yesterday to complete the four-team group. Brunei started their campaign with a 36-7 defeat to Laos and they followed that up with 19-19 draw with Indonesia. The sultanate lost 47-0 to Singapore in their last group stage match before meeting Malaysia in the play-off. In the play-offs, Philippines beat Laos 40-5 to finish third while Singapore A defeated Indonesia 28-0 to finish seventh.
The final between Singapore and Thailand will be held today at the National Stadium in Singapore before the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series opener between South Africa and Scotland. National rugby coach John Beart was proud of his charges after they were one spot off their fifth-place target finish. “I am so proud of the team,” said Beart yesterday.
“They have competed against countries with better rugby programs with more funding and much larger players’ bases - and yet they have stood up tall. “The game against Indonesia was a great performance if we look at the result, but I would say that the game against Singapore was our best as they (Singapore) should have been leagues ahead of us.
“The boys took it to them and they had to dig deep to get their win.
“Even though the scores may not reflect their performances, the boys have played well above their station and they deserve to go back to Brunei as heroes for putting their bodies on the line and flying the flag.”