LABUAN, Sept 11 — Labuan girl’s rugby squad was chosen to represent Federal Territories (FT) in the upcoming Sukma on Sept 15-16 in Ipoh.
A group of 12 players under the Labuan Rugby Association (LRA) who have gone through extensive training is scheduled to go up against the Perak team in the opening match before facing the Selangor team in the second game.
LRA president Abdul Rashid Adlie was optimistic the squad would capture gold for the FT contingent due to their overwhelming performance during the friendly games and trainings over the past one month.
“Realistically, it is impossible for us to go head-to-head with strong teams, nonetheless, with the improved performance during the friendly games, this is the opportunity for our squad to test its ability against the powerhouses in the women’s rugby in the history of Sukma games.
“Our main aim is to compete and play to our fullest as this is one of the tournaments in line with our development programme for the Labuan girls’ team.
“If the girls are able to finish the tournament with gold for the Federal Territory contingent, it is an accomplishment for LRA, as we only had a month to train before the Sukma starts,” he said when met during the handing over of sports necessities to the players at Dorsett Grand Hotel today (Tuesday).
Rashid, the Black Hawk former rugby player and former Borneo’s best player added that the team has covered all the necessary basics, techniques and strategies required for them to win the games with anything more being an added bonus to boost the players’ morale.
“The team is established to select the best players to represent Labuan and Federal Territory in the future and looking at the players, they are very talented given how young they are but with enough exposure, these players will gain valuable experience to become one of the top teams in Malaysia,” Rashid said.
He said the LRA’s priority is that his players gain as much valuable experience as they can from participating in the tournament.
“I hope the inexperienced yet talented Under-21 girls will take this opportunity to gain experience from playing against several of the top teams in Malaysia that are competing here this weekend.
“It is an opportunity of a lifetime to compete in such a prestigious tournament such as the Sukma and the players are looking forward to playing against other prestigious tournaments.
“They have shown drastic improvements over the past few weeks, especially after the friendly games and discipline,” he said.
The squad captain, a second year Universiti Putra Malaysia undergraduate student, Nursyahira Mohd, 21, said her team was fully prepared for the challengers from other teams from the other states.
“We are confident our team will give a great shock to other teams for this Sukma, as we are fully prepared mentally and physically for this tournament,” she said. — Bernama