KUALA KANGSAR (29th February): Defending champions, Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR) diced with danger before securing their place in the Cup competition after overcoming Sekolah Menengah Agama Sheikh Haji Othman Wahab (SHOAW) in their final Group A match of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) X Premier 7s today.
Opening their campaign with a 17-5 win over King George V (KGV) yesterday, they then succumbed to a ferocious onslaught, 7-20 to the Royal Military College (RMC) before redeeming themselves with a 31-12 win over SHOAW from Sarawak.
SEMASHUR and SHOAW traded blows before two tries at the end secured their passage into the final top eight rankings for the next phase of competition.
“Alhamdullillah, it is our rezeki (to qualify). I was worried at the beginning because we had conceded a lot of tries in our second game,” said coach, Cikgu Mohd Soleh Abd Hamid.
Mohd Soleh, who was at the helm last year, felt relieved at his side’s progress as he was worried that they were fatigued, given that they had just arrived from the MSSM Selangor’s rugby championship.
“We have just arrived here on Friday, a day after (Thursday) the MSSM Selangor championship. So, we are not are at our level best.
“This year’s competition is very strong, it is an open field, any of the teams can win it this time around,” he added.
Joining them are hosts, MCKK All Blacks who secured a place in the top 8 with a 100% record, trashing Sekolah Menengah Sains Pokok Sena (Saina) from Kedah, 34-5 and Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Shah (MOZAC) Melaka, 24-5 and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Abi (SMK Abi) Perlis, 31-12, yesterday.
Completing the line-up are English College, Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail (SSTMI), SMK Sri Mersing, SMK Abi and Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak (INTEGOMB), and SMK Tun Hussein Onn (THOR)
In their quarter final match up tomorrow, hosts, MCKK have a score to settle with SEMASHUR, losing 10-24 in last year’s final.