From Brunei Times
LAST NIGHT’S Darussalam Cup Championship final between defending champions Belait Pythons and 2006 winners Bandar Blacks was touted as the Brunei Rugby Football Union Grand Final, and it certainly lived up to its name.
With the scores tied at 9-9 after the final whistle at the raucous Belapan Track & Field in Berakas, no points were to be scored in the extra time which totalled 15 minutes, and the match had to be decided with a drop-kick contest.
Five players from each team had to take a drop-kick each, and for the Bandar Blacks, Man of the Match Ahmad Faiz and Nobel Lee successfully converted two of them to grab the title from the Belait side.
The Pythons had only managed to score one drop-kick and failed to score on the last attempt to tie the game, but even if they did, the Bandar Blacks would have had the upper hand as they had another drop-kick to complete.
The last four games between the two sides had ended in wins for the Pythons, though it had never been a championship match.
Naturally, the Bandar Blacks camp was jubilant to come out tops in what was undoubtedly the closest final in Brunei rugby history.
“I feel exhilarated and relieved at the same time because it was a close game which could have gone either way,” said Bandar Blacks manager Clifford Chin.
“I think this is the best ever final and not for one second did we doubt that we could hold them off,” said Chin, adding that the team played an excellent game in defence.
The Belait Pythons captain Petrus Tuan understandably painted a less joyful picture, but felt that his team had nothing to be ashamed of.
“This is the first time a final has reached drop-kicks and though I am a bit disappointed we lost, I feel it was an achievement we were able to stretch the match this far,” said Tuan, who is also the national team’s stand off.
It was his penalty kick late in the second half which gave the Pythons a 9-6 lead, their first in the game and one which they hoped would carry them through.
However, a foul on the other end of the pitch moments later saw the Bandar Blacks hit back with a penalty kick of their own, setting up for a tense extra time and an unprecedented drop-kick contest after that.
The Bandar-based team took the lead in the first half with a penalty kick early in the match, and though the Pythons would reply with another of their own, the Bandar Blacks regained the lead to set the scores at 6-3 heading into the locker room.
The Pythons went on to equalise in the second half before Tuan’s penalty kick gave them a short-lived lead.
-Jason Thomas 0f Brunei Bulletin-
From Sunday Bulletin
Bandar Blacks prevented the Belait Pythons from achieving a double in this year’s Brunei Rugby Football Union Interclub Tournament when they beat them in a 2-1 drop kick in the final of the Darussalam Cup after both teams were tied 9-a-piece at regulation time.
The Belait Pythons who had already won the Dr Haji Kamaruddin Cup are looking to take their second silverware of the year.
The final at the Balapan field last night saw Bandar Blacks took the lead with a penalty converted by No 11 Quan. However, Belait Pythons’ Petrus levelled the score 3-3 through a penalty conversion on 23rd minutes.
Just before the interval, Bandar Blacks regained the lead through Quan again when he converted his second penalty of the night to lead 6-3.
The seesaw game continued in the second half when No 10 Petrus was again on target to convert another penalty to tie the score 6-6.
Thirty-two minutes after the interval, Quan converted his third penalty of the night for Bandar Blacks to lead 9-6 but the celebration was shortlived as No 11 Dinlee of Belait Pythons scored another penalty conversion to draw 9-9.
The score remained the same until regular time and then overtime and to sudden death.
In the drop kick, Belait Pythons managed only a kick passed the crossbar while Bandar Blacks managed to hit two kicks over to win.
of Royal Brunei Land Force, Colonel Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Rosli bin Pengiran Haji Chuchu as the guest-of-honour presented the prizes to the winners.
Player of the final award went to Izzy (Faez) of Bandar Blacks while the player of the tournament was Petrus of Belait Pythons. The award for most improved team of the tournament went to Royal Brunei Armed Forces Team.
-James Kon of Brunei Press-
Check for more photos at Anak Brunei‘s Site