Over the weekend, Marlborough College Malaysia sent five age groups up to the KL Saracens International 10s tournament. This tournament sees the best clubs and schools in Malaysia take on the best clubs from around South East Asia. Notable contenders and regular champions include Centaurs Rugby Club, Hong Kong Football Club and also the hosts, KL Saracens.
Never to shy away from a challenge, the teams performed outstandingly over the course of the weekend. Each team experienced success, beating some fantastic schools and clubs, whilst playing a creative and tenacious brand of rugby. The U11 team finished a respectable seventh place, winning the Shield Competition, with a notable win against the hosts KL Saracens in the final. Whilst the U12 team were unlucky not to place higher, they had an extremely tricky group but still managed to beat rugby giants Anglo-Chinese School in the 11th/12th playoff.
The U10 team won the Plate Competition, coming third overall. Over the course of the tournament they only conceded one try to Tanglin Rugby Club, who went on to win the competition. The team worked together throughout and never gave in. The rugby they played at times would not have looked out of place on the U16 pitches and their fearlessness in the tackles and rucks was admirable.
The U16 team came second overall in the competition, losing narrowly in the final against a strong KL Saracens team. The U16 team performed extremely well throughout the two days, beating some very strong schools from Malaysia and the Philippines. However, the most notable performance came against Centaurs who were considered pre-tournament favourites. The team battled throughout regular time and eventually the game ended in a 0-0 draw, sending it into extra time. Extra time did not start well with the MCM team being pushed back onto their own line. The Centaurs’ pressure eventually lead to a scrum to them on the MCM five-metre line, at this point MCM were staring down the barrel. They did not give in though and produced probably their best scrum of the season that resulted in the ball popping out the back of the scrum. Eberendhu Igwe jumped on this mistake, flicking the ball off his feet into his hands and setting off down the pitch with three Centaurs players on his heels. He was never going to be caught and went in for a try that will go down in MCM rugby history.
The under U13 team were without doubt the team of the tournament. They not only won the tournament but did it in style: not conceding a single point throughout the whole competition and beating some of the best teams in South East Asia. The most notable performances came in the semi-finals and finals where they beat the U13 Singaporean champions, The Dragons, and U13 Hong Kong champions, Hong Kong Football Club. They are the first MCM team to win the KL Saracens International 10s tournament and are also one of a handful of teams to do so without conceding a point. They typified what it means to be a team and this was most was clearly demonstrated by their uncompromising defense.
Overall, Marlborough achieved their best ever results at the tournament, sending out a clear and resounding message to rugby clubs and schools around Asia that MCM is here and here to stay.