Malaysia fail to reach rugby sevens semifinal at Asian Games

Malaysia have been knocked out of the Asian Games rugby tournament. (Bernama pic)

JAKARTA: Malaysia failed to reach the semifinals of the rugby sevens event at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games after being humbled 40-5 by two-time Asian Games champions South Korea in quarterfinal action at the Gelora Bung Karno Rugby Field.

The result means the squad faces Thailand at the same venue tomorrow to determine the 5th- to 8th-place finishers.

South Korea will face Hong Kong in the semifinals tomorrow after the 2014 runners-up won 52-0 against Thailand in the other quarterfinal.

In the match today, South Korea was in full control of the game in the first half, taking a 21-0 lead through three tries by Kim Jeong-min in the first minute, Kim Hyun-soo (third minute), and Kim Nam-uk (seventh minute).

The team also scored three conversions through Lee Jae-bok in the first, fourth, and eighth minutes.

Right after the break, Malaysia reduced the deficit to 21-5 after Muhammad Azwan Zuwairi Mat Zizi’s try.

However, the South Koreans pulled away yet again through Jang Jeong-min’s try in the second minute, before Nam-uk made a conversion in the third minute to make it 28-5.

Chang Yong-heung scored a try in the sixth minute, and Nam-uk confirmed the semifinal spot for South Korea by completing a try and a conversion in the seventh and eighth minutes respectively.

Malaysia had qualified for the quarterfinals after emerging runners-up of Group B behind defending champions Japan.