On a breezy evening, two accustomed rivals meet yet again in one of the biggest stage for local university rugby players. Yesterday was their 6th Super 8 IPT Rugby Cup Final encounter for UPM Serdang Angels and UiTM Lions.
UiTM Lions, fresh from being beaten in the MASUM Cup Final by UPM two weeks ago, seems raring to go from the start whistle by not giving an inch of space to their counterpart. They dominate possession for the first 15 minutes but failed to break through UPM’s defense line as there is no end product to their attack.
Credit must also be given to the UPM’s defensive line as they were compact in defending their 22 meter area with big hits and tackles flying in. UPM’s winger, Stanly Sedry Stephen, was even yellow carded for a high tackle in his bid to defend his try line. UPM held through until the 20th minute mark, with UPM’s winger Muhammad Fitri Abdullah opened the scoring after a quick break in the middle of the field.
UiTM’s winger, Ahmad Zulhilmi Azizad, managed to claw one back at the far end right of the field after a quick passing from the backline which caught UPM’s defense off guard. UiTM’s flyhalf, Mohamad Faris Pead, failed to convert with the ball hitting the post. UPM replied back with their national player, Amirul Mukminin Amizan, made a breakthrough after a quick passing from his forward pack that left him free to try on the right side of the field.
With the first half done and dusted which saw both teams really compete for the ball, it is a different story for the second half. UPM came out much more aggressive and made use of their possession of the ball to really stretch UiTM’s defensive line. UPM’s flyhalf, Muhammad Safiy, was the main orchestrator as his kicks behind the defense line was instrumental in keeping UiTM’s defense line stretched and exhausted. He definitely brought his kicking boots on the day as he managed to convert all the tries.
UPM scored three consecutive tries with Mohamad Ikwan Akmal Zulkipli, Rozaihan Roslee and Akmirul Mukminin again putting their name on the scoreboard. UiTM’s men found themselves tired and beaten as several men seen lying down during a water break. At one point in the match, three UPM’s players was yellow carded and sinbinned for foul play and starting a brawl. UiTM Lions managed to score a penalty before they conceded their loss and pleaded to the match officials to cut short the match. The match ended with a score line of 35-8.
UiTM’s No 8, Muhammad Danial Noor Hamidi was awarded Best Forward of the Tournament while UPM’s Flyhalf, Muhammad Faizal Md Tahir as the Best Player of the Tournament for his stellar efforts throughout the tournament. UPM Serdang Angels brought home RM5000 while UiTM Lions have to be satisfied with RM3000 for being the first runner up. UPM Serdang Angels coach Khairizal Ali Amat was delighted for his team as they achieved their target in defending the cup 6 years in a row.
Super 8 IPT Rugby will be the main stage for local university talents for years to come as they brought upon 4 major university councils, namely Malaysian University Sports Council (MASUM), Private Higher Education Institution Sports Council (MASISWA), Polytechnic Sports Council (MSP) and Community College Sports Council (MASKOM).