Pakistan faced relegation after suffering another loss at the Asian Five-Nation Rugby Championship Div III, going down to Indonesia 13-7 in Kuala Lumpur.
Pakistan lost to India 34-5 in their first match before the second defeat confirmed their bottom-place finish in the group. The event was staged as part of the qualifying round for the 2015 Rugby World Cup that takes place in London.
However, Pakistan not only failed to qualify for the mega event but also faces relegation to Div IV, which will be discussed in Asian Rugby Football Union’s meeting tomorrow.
On the field, Pakistan displayed an improved show but eventually went down in the match. The winners led the first half 5-0 before Pakistan fought back. But the comeback was short-lived as Indonesia sealed the result in their favour.
Pakistan manager Rizwan Malik, who had even declared the team favourites against India, was left eating his own words.
“It was a close contest,” Malik told The Express Tribune from Kuala Lumpur. “Indonesia won because of our inexperience as we failed to avail easy chances of scoring. We needed to play international matches and this event will go a long way in helping players in future. Now we have some idea of competition at the international level and players are looking forward to improve on their performance.”
The team will return to Lahore tonight.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.
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