Photo credits – Alfian Hashim, Tigers Super Sports
KL Saracens Academy, our team of U17 to U19 players, came agonisingly close to making the final of the Liga KRS Diamond 2 competition against Rhinoz Warriors on Saturday 14th April 2018 at SMK Kelana Jaya. It was always going to be a tightly contested game, much like the meeting between these two teams during the regular season, with the lead see-sawing between the sides throughout the game. Rhinoz went into an early 7-0 lead against the run of play, the Academy’s failure to convert early pressure into points being something that they would rue at the end of the day, however the persistence of the Academy side in playing their phases to create space for their backs created two well crafted tries before half-time (and almost a third that was brought back for the narrowest of forward passes) to take the score to 14-7 in favour of KLS Academy. Rhinoz started the second half in more focussed mood, putting KLSA under pressure through driving forward play and continuity of possession, finally gaining a score back whilst Academy were down to 13 players by virtue of an injury and a yellow card, bringing the score to 14-12. Rhinoz managed one more converted try during the period of the yellow card to go 14-19 ahead, setting up an intense last 15 minutes of the game where Academy threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Rhinoz defence, however they were a side in determined mood and somehow scrambled a number of times to keep the Academy attack out of their in goal area.
Academy steal a Rhinoz line-out
Despite the disappointment of defeat, this team can hold their heads high after an exceptional first season of senior rugby, losing only one game in the regular league programme. They will play in one more KRS fixture on Sunday 29th April at 17:00, the Diamond 2 Plate Final against Alma, again at SMK Kelana Jaya. This will be preceded by the Bowl Final featuring KL Saracens Storm against KRAS – wishing both teams all the best!