COBRA MAKE IT TO QUARTER-FINALS OF 42N HSBC COBRA 10S
Nadroga Early Favourites For Title
Petaling Jaya, Saturday: The Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (COBRA) Malaysia booked their place in the quarter-finals of the HSBC 42nd HSBC COBRA 10s rugby tournament held at the MBPJ Kelana Jaya Stadium today, despite narrowly losing their last pool encounter in a tightly contested match in Group A with defending champions Penguins International 17-19.
As expected, early tournament favourites Nadroga Stallions from Fiji are on course for the finals as they easily dismantled the other teams in Group C with a powerful display of running rugby that saw them rack up high scores against their opponents, with only Massey RFC from New Zealand managing to put points on the board against them. Both NS Wanderers from Malaysia and Cape Town RFC from South Africa were beaten 64-0 and 52-0 respectively.
Nadroga have been the team to watch as the team consists of players who represent the National side in both the 15s and 7s versions of the game and are the current holders of the Farebrother Sullivan Trophy, which is a prestigious title in Fiji, for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. An indication of their strength is that their second string side just clinched the SCC 7s tournament in Singapore last weekend.
Defending champions Penguins also signaled their intent to retain the trophy they won last year by going through their group games undefeated. This highly regarded touring team with seasoned campaigners on board made it to the quarter-finals by also beating Shanghai RFC from China 58-0, NNK Northlink from South Africa 45-0.
Among the other Malaysian teams participating this year, only Borneo Eagles managed to join COBRA in the quarter-finals as runners-up of Group D. They had a good run in their group, beating Impala from Kenya 33-7 and N.S. Silverbacks from Australia 28-10 before coming up short in their last group game against Canterbury from New Zealand 5-12. All three teams from recently crowned world champions New Zealand, Canterbury, Ponsonby and Massey joined the rest of the field in the quarter-finals. New Zealand is strongly represented in the tournament as the final team through to the quarter-finals, Tradition RFC from Japan, is also made up of players from New Zealand, showcasing the immense strength in depth that the country has in the game of rugby.
The quarter-finals of the Cup competition will take place today and sees Penguins take on Ponsonby, Nadroga against Borneo Eagles, an all New Zealand tie between Massey and Canterbury and local favourites COBRA pitted against Tradition. Spectators can expect some mouth watering rugby action as these teams compete to win the 42nd HSBC COBRA 10s.
The fast and open game of rugby 10s, which retains much of the character of the 15s, will be played over 20 minutes, with the exception of the finals, which will be played over 30 minutes. Three points will be awarded for a win and one point for a draw. No extra time will be played in the pool match stages.