18 September 2017 – Kelantan re-claimed the Ung Khek Chaow trophy as they overcame the host, Perak in the final. Kelantan beat the host 19 – 14. Kelantan was the pre-tournament favourite as they was represented by 5 players who claimed gold medal in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Kelantan cruised through out the tournament. They were untouchable from the group stage. Kelantan opened the campaign with scintillating 34 – 0 win over Melaka. They continue their fine display as they comfortably dispatch Pulau Pinang in the second game. They beat Penang 29 – 0. Kelantan ended the group stage on high. Negeri Sembilan who finished the group match in the second place was no match. Kelantan well drill and experienced team beat them 40 – 0.
In the quarter final, Kalantan did not have much problem as they overcame Selangor 38 – 0. Mohamad Nasharudin of Kedah was the only player who manage to score try against Kelantan defence after 4 match. However, that did not stop Kelantan as they cruised into the final with 26 – 5 win.
Kelantan was certainly in their own class. Lead by Malaysia 7s captain, Zulkiflee Azmi, they started the match with great intensity. Their effort was rewarded as Zukhisham bin Rasli scored the first try. Mohamad Khairul Abdillah then added Kelantan second try 2 minutes later after Muhammad Ameer Nasrun split the defence into two from the resulting turn over. 2 more points contributed by Nazreen Fitri as he converted the conversion.
Kelantan ended the first half on high as they scored their third try in the match. Veteran Muhammad Faris Che Salim who personally lifted Ung Khek Chaow trophy four time before the final, scored Kelantan third try at the end of the match. Ameer Nasrun completed his second conversions as Kelantan comfortably 19 – 0 in the lead at the end of the half.
Perak performed much better in the second half. They kept on trying and had their chance but Kelantan defences stood still. Perak finally got their rewarded as the referee Zainuddin Mahsuri awarded penalty try as Kelantan players blatantly stopped Faizal Mat Tahir from completing the conversion.
Perak had another try a minute later as Muhammad Amirudin who came on in the second half scored his first try of the match. Two more points were added by Faizal Mat Tahir’s conversion. Kelantan beat Perak 19 – 14 to become the champion of 2017 National 7s champion at Padang Ipoh, Perak.
Kelantan lifted the Ung Khek Chaow trophy for the sixth time in their proud history. They last won it in 2015.
Kelantan and Malaysia captain, Zulkiflee Azmi received award as the tournament best player.
Earlier that day, Kelantan Under 20 retained the National 7s Under 20 tittle for the fourth consecutive time . They did it in style as Kelantan dominated all the five matches and comfortably won them. Kelantan did not have much problem in the final as well as they beat Labuan Under 20 with 21 – 7 scoreline.
Labuan however shocked the tournament favourite with the first try in the 2nd minute through Muhamad Sayuti. They pick up the full 7 points as they converted the resulting conversion. Labuan continue to dominate and pressure Kelantan defensive line but the champion stood still. Kelantan defensive line proved to be well trained considering they only let one try got through pass them en route to the final.
Kelantan however only managed to get their break in the last minute of the first half. The team captain, Muhammad Nazir broke free from Kelantan own half but his effort was stopped a few metres from the try line. That incident caused the referee to yellow carded Mohd Azwan Zamri as he did not let Nazir after the tackle. Kelantan finally got their first try of the match as Wan Azley scored the first try while Zulmajdi Kama Razali who had been outstanding through out the tournament, added 2 more point as both team level at the end of the first half.
Muhamad Nazir who was part of Malaysia 7s last 15 players selection for the last 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games proved to be the driving force and different in the match. His pace beat the Labuan defensive line as he scored Kelantan second try of the match. Zulmajdi added 2 more points as Kelantan took the lead for the first time.
Wan Azley added his second try of the match as Kelantan extended the lead. Zulmajdi make it 3 out of 3 as his conversion make it 21 – 7. Labuan had no answer for that as Kelantan celebrated their fourth consecutive title. This is the sixth Kelantan Under 20 National 7s tittle in 12 years as Kelantan first won it back in 2005, 2011 and before the kept the trophy from 2015 until 2017.
To make it sweeter, Zulmajdi Kama Razali was awarded with Men Under 20 best player tittle.
Kelantan domination was well documented as they scored 21 try and only let 2 try went pass them through out the tournament. Zulmajdi also converted 7 conversion while Wan Azley contributed most point as he scored 6 try and 2 conversions.
Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline