Defending HSBC Asian 5 Nations (HSBC A5N) Division V champions Lao opened this year’s tournament with an imposing 10-try blitz against Brunei, winning 70-7.
After conceding 15 points in the opening half to Cambodia in round 1 on Tuesday (Jun 26), Brunei again struggled through a slow start, as Lao scored their first try in the opening minute and crossed over for their second in just the fourth minute.
The early tries came through scrumhalf Savanhxay Xayyasone, who scored a brace today,and centre Anousith Phaipanya, whose slick running saw him score a hat-trick today.
Both tries were converted by flyhalf Chris Mastoglio, who was a perfect 10 for 10 from his conversions today and added a try to boot for a personal haul of 25 points. Phaipanya finished second in the scoring stakes today with 15 points.
Lao scored a further four tries in the first half through the same three players as Mastoglio scored, followed by Xayyasone’s second while Phaipanya collected the final two tries of the half, to take a 42-nil lead into the changing room.
Lao started the second half as strongly as they had the first as burly hooker Nicolas Sisombath crossed over in the 42nd minute.
Brunei took some consolation from a pretty try set up by a nice dummy by No 8 Azahar Timbang, who then broke down the Lao defence for the first time in the day with a hard-charging run before offloading the ball to scrumhalf Ziyad Ramlee who scampered over the line. The try was converted by Brunei captain and flyhalf Petrus Tuan to bring the score to 42-7.
But Brunei did not have another miraculous comeback in the kitbag as Lao No 8 Phouphet Phattavong crossed over for Lao’s eighth try two minutes later. The Lao pack continued to apply the pressure as reserve prop Ddeny Vang crossed over, followed by flanker Lee Sheridan for Lao’s eighth and ninth tries of the afternoon. Mastoglio’s accurate kicking brought the final score to 70-7 and put Lao on the path for a third consecutive HSBC A5N Division V title.
The 2012 HSBC A5N Division V is played on a round-robin basis with a bonus point system in place. After today’s results, Lao has five points for the win and a bonus point for scoring more than four tries, leaving them top of the table with six points. Brunei has five points from their opening win over Cambodia, while the hosts Cambodia earned one bonus point for losing their round 1 match within a converted try.
Lao and Cambodia will now reprise their long-standing regional rivalry on Saturday June 30 at 15.30 at the RCAF Stadium in Phnom Penh. Entrance to all of the games is free. Following its opening match on Tuesday (Jun 26) Brunei has now completed their participation in this year’s HSBC A5N and their first international test matches since 2010. Brunei will finish in either second or third place depending on the results from the tournament’s last match between hosts Cambodia and Lao on Saturday, June 30 (kick-off at 15.30).