Rugby: Dragons star leads debutants to victory




He didn't shine in the pool games, despite his marquee status.

But 2010 International Rugby Board Sevens Player of the Year Mikaele Pesamino showed his class in the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby 7s Cup final at the Padang last night to help debutants Asia Pacific Dragons to beat the Penguins 43-5.

Dragons coach Sakaraia Labalaba said: "Mikaele is a sevens icon... but he didn't deliver in the pool games.

"However, we banked on his speed and knew he would deliver in the final, and he came out to score three tries for us."

The Dragons drew first blood through a try by Pesamino but the Penguins quickly drew level.

Labalaba said: "When they scored, we were a bit shocked and I told the boys to keep their composure and play according to our game plan, not the Penguins' style of play."

It worked, as the Hong Kong-based outfit went into the break 17-5 up.

They then scored another four tries and three conversions in the second 10-minute half to sink the Penguins.

Pesamino said: "We thought positive and put ourselves into the game. But now that we've won, we have to go back to being low profile and work hard for upcoming tournaments."

Penguins captain Sam Edgeley pointed to his side's weakness at kick-offs as the main reason for the mauling.

He said: "It was a pretty tough game... we definitely thought we could win but we should have done much better at the kick-offs, and that was where they won the game."

Defending champions Daveta failed in their bid to become only the second team in the event's 66-year history to win the Ablitt Cup for three consecutive years, after losing 19-12 to Sunnybank in the quarter-finals.

In the Bowl play-offs, local side SCC beat HMS Daring 22-12, but lost 21-14 and 21-12 to East Arnhem Rugby and NS Wanderers respectively.

The Wanderers beat East Arnhem 15-14 in the Bowl final, while Western Province beat Impala 17-5 in the Plate final.

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