Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rugby 7s surge in Asia

With rugby sevens being welcomed into the Olympic Games, the Indonesian Rugby Football Union is not about to be left out of the fun.

The Harimau, or Tigers (team picture, above), take their second crack at a first victory when the 12-man squad travels to this weekend’s Singapore Cricket Club Rugby Sevens Tournament.

Sam Refshauge, the IRFU development officer and national sevens coach, said the team’s international debut had been rushed.

“We have to replace six players from last week’s tournament due to injuries, work commitments and visa issues,” Refshauge said on Friday. “The new-look team is looking forward to getting to Singapore and focusing on the tournament.”

Indonesia faces a tough first day in Singapore as it plays the SA Vipers, Japan Samurai and NT Mosquitoes.

“Day 2 will see the competition even out a little, and hopefully the Harimau can put some points on the board against some more even competitors,” Refshauge said.

The Harimau began their journey at the Borneo Sevens Tournament last weekend in Kota Kinabalu, part of the new International Rugby Board Asian Sevens Series.

Seeded 12th out of 12 teams, Indonesia lost all five of its matches. It was drawn with top seed and eventual champion Japan, as well as Southeast Asian giants Malaysia and Thailand, and it fell to Taiwan and Brunei in the Bowl division. Fly-half Moses Kalo scored the Harimau’s first international rugby sevens points against Brunei, with a try and conversion in a 26-7 loss.

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