UAE finish with a flourish at Asia U20 Sevens Series

Matt Jones - Editor 10:04 01/08/2016
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Jerry Kilicanasau (l) against Thailand.

The youngsters finished on a winning note after two opening defeats on the second day of the competition in Johor.

Apollo Perelini’s youngsters were beaten 45-5 in Sunday’s final Pool B game against a rampant Sri Lanka.

Al Ain Amblers’ wizard Jerry Kilicanasau actually opened the scoring after three minutes to give the UAE the perfect start, but that was as good as it got as their opponents went on to score 45 unanswered points.

Defeat put them into the second tier Plate competition and the UAE narrowly missed out on the opportunity to fight for a fifth place finish as they were downed 21-17 by Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals.

The men from the Emirates fought back bravely from a 14-0 half time deficit. Ben Van Rooyen halved the deficit before Hao-wei Chang put Taipei 21-7 up. Kilicanasau and Ryno De Bruyn crossed late on but Taipei held on.

De Bruyn scored again in their final game with Thailand, his conversion of his own try the difference as the UAE signed off on a winning note.

“The boys really pulled through in the last game to beat Thailand,” said UAE skipper Devante Steele.

“We managed to finish on a high and how Apollo wanted us to,” added team-mate Kilicanasau.

“We finished seventh which wasn’t so bad and we are all proud and happy individually and as a team for the good, hard work we did. We’ll have some time to recover now and then we look forward to Hong Kong.”

The second leg of the series, in Hong Kong, takes place over the weekend of August 12-13.

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