KL Saracens opened their Malaysia Rugby Super League 2016 campaign on Sat 23 Jan with a match at UKM Bangi against the defending champions, Keris Conlay.
The club’s debut in Super League was as tough as expected, but showed that Saracens are in the league they deserve to be in after winning Liga KRS Division 1 in 2015 and taking 3rd place in NICC 2015.
The early stages saw Keris Conlay secure the majority of possession, but Saracens’ defensive systems stood up to the pressure and the match remained scoreless for the first quarter. When a score did come, it was via a Keris Conlay penalty as they continued to be unable to break down theSaracens’
A couple of handling errors and loose kicks gifted some easy possession to Keris Conlay, but the remainder of the half played out in a similar fashion with Saracens playing very well without the ball and going in to half-time down 0-6 after one more penalty.
Things started more brightly in the second half for Saracens and with more time in possession saw some promising attacking play which eventually resulted in a try for Tavis Smith, the move beginning on the half way line with some outstanding offloading from Fin Sinnott & Morgan Smith to deliver the ball to Tavis to finish in the corner.
With the conversion missed, the match remain tight with both teams attacking, but perhaps making a few too many errors. Late in the half Keris Conlay got over in the corner after a period of concerted pressure inside the Sarries’ 22 and a try was awarded after consultation with the assistantreferee. Even at that point with 10 minutes to go and down 5-11 Saracens we well in the match and holding out hope for a debut win.
That hope was ended with a late penalty for Keris Conlay which also took away the losing bonus point.
A great first up effort and the team can feel unlucky to walk away with nothing and be proud of their efforts. We’ve come on a tremendous way in a year and can look forward to the rest of Super League knowing we can compete with the best.
Next match is against Mersing Eagles who beat ASAS on day one and will take place at Baker Hughes Arena @ Universiti Malaya Sun 31 Jan at 4.30 pm.
KL Saracens: Adam Yates (Troy looms, 55 mins), Bob Kenny, Pete Scargill (Will Tasker, 40 mins), Luc-Pierre Riou (Sean Muirhead, 45 mins), Henry Wilkinson, Rob Hollingsworth (Finian Sinnott, 55 mins), Conor Cheng, Morgan Smith, George Aird, Tavis Smith, Rhys Mackley, Ben Mitchell (Muhamad Akif Bin Muhamad Mohsin, 40 mins), Tsuyoshi Saimyo, Amer Sharrif Bin Rashid, Gabe Lingan.
Unused replacements: Ramez Alazmeh, Nick Flynn, Jotham Young