KL Saracens break Kelleys’ defensive line on the way to a first half try
12th January 2019 – KL Saracens 1st XV got 2019 off to a winning start in a see-saw pre-season contest with last years’ KRS Division II Champions Kelleys Rugby Club, at Padang AU in Lembah Keramat. The game remained scoreless for the first twenty minutes as both teams struggled to find the ascendancy, Saracens making good progress in terms of field position on a number of occasions, only to be let down by inaccuracy at the set piece. Kelleys countered strongly and always looked dangerous on the break, but KLS managed to stay organised in defence to hold them at bay. The breakthrough finally came on 25 minutes when KL Saracens opted to take a scrum instead of a penalty inside the Kelleys 22. A strong scrum gave Saracens good front foot ball and a series of perfectly timed draw-and-give passes saw them go in for a try in the corner, straight from 1st phase possession, and Aiman Fariz slotted a difficult conversion from the touchline to give KLS a 7-0 lead. However, confusion in line-out defence shortly after the re-start saw Saracens back peddling 40 metres in a maul before Kelleys unleashed their backs to score an equalising converted try under the posts, rapidly undoing much of the good work Saracens had put in in the first half. That said, the Sarries boys kept their composure and went back to playing their phases, ultimately unlocking the Kelleys defence for a second time with another converted try just before half-time to make the score at the break 14-7 to KLS.
The start of the second half saw a more direct approach from Kelleys, who began to drive multiple phases up the middle of the park before looking to exploit spaces out wide. Saracens were caught out twice in quick succession when their defence became too narrow and within 15 minutes of half-time found themselves on the wrong side of a 19-14 scoreline. Despite the Kelleys pressure, the team remained composed, worked to fix the organisation of their defence and slowly began to regain some control of the game and with 10 minutes to go looked like the team most likely to score. With five minutes remaining and following a period of sustained pressure within the Kelleys’ 22, KLS managed to find their way over the try line in the right hand corner to level the scores at 19-19, the conversion attempt proving unsuccessful. The last few minutes of the game were quite frenetic, the game opening up as both sides looked to claim a winning score with the ball going from end-to-end. In the final passage of play, Saracens countered from just outside their 22 to force their way back into the opposition red zone where, following two penalties, they moved the ball out to the left wing to go over for the winning score, final result 24-19 to KL Saracens.
KL Saracens had to be dynamic in both attack and defensive to ultimately get the better of Kelleys
KL Saracens 1st XV will next be in action in another pre-season friendly against ASAS Rugby at UPM on Sunday 20th January 2019.