Rugby: Dragons' defence breathes fire

Rugby: Dragons' defence breathes fire

Too big, too strong, too fast and simply too good.

Nothing could stop the impressive Asia Pacific Dragons - first-time participants in the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby sevens (SCC 7s) - as they romped to a 43-5 victory over the HSBC Penguins at the Padang on Sunday.

The Dragons are an invitational team including current and former players from the Fijian, Samoan and Japanese national teams. They were a late entry to the 20-team roster, and their attendance was confirmed only two weeks before the start of the tournament.

Headlining the team was Fiji's Rupeni Caucaunibuca, who, at his peak, was considered one of the game's most lethal offensive players.

With two-time defending champions Daveta surprisingly booted out in the quarter-finals by surprise package Sunnybank from Australia, the stage was set for the Hong Kong-based Dragons to take home the Ablitt Cup.

In front of a sell-out crowd of 5,000 and with classic hits such as Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline blaring in the background, the Dragons lived up to the pre-tournament hype, trouncing 2010 champions Penguins.

And despite boasting arguably the tournament's most potent offence, it was their sturdy defence that stole the limelight - just as captain Pio Tuwai predicted.

The Dragons, who linked up only three weeks ago, had conceded only three tries in six matches en route to the final. In contrast, the Penguins conceded 10 tries in the same number of matches.

It was the same story in the final. The Dragons held their opponents at bay, conceding only one try in the entire game.

But their offence were no slackers either. Led by speedy winger Mikaele Pesamino, they stormed to a 17-5 lead in the first half.

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