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Terengganu survive Armed Forces' onslaught

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Terengganu scraped past a determined Armed Forces today to set up a mouth-watering rugby final against Putrajaya in the Agong's Cup.

In the semi-final, Terengganu were on the backfoot for much of the match but made it count when it mattered to eke out a 24-22 win in the wet at the TUDM Stadium in Shah Alam.

Terengganu got on the scoresheet through tries from Haikal Ibrahim, Shahmi Shukor and Glen Dale Cook Cakautini, all of which were converted by Faris Pead, who also scored one penalty.

Forces' tries were scored by Arash Arizal Mukhtar, Hamizan Rosli and a brace from Turuva Lumelume, one of which was converted by Peni Kadralevu.

Terengganu coach Nik Safuan Ismade Nik Man said his side used their experience to pull through.

"Forces are known to play as a very tight unit who are also incredibly fit and they showed that today," said Nik Safuan.

"They really controlled the game and our lack of fitness showed as the game progressed.

"Our plan was to play a fast game and try to keep their forwards unsettled. The rain, however, forced us to adapt to the conditions.

"We fully utilised every chance that came our way, and that allowed us to pull through."

Terengganu beat Perlis 49-32 in the quarter-finals last week.

Title favourites Putrajaya were also forced to find an extra gear against Royal Malaysian Police, staving off a late fightback from the latter to win 29-24 in their semi-final at the TUDM Stadium.

The game, which was delayed due to lightning, also had to stop midway through the first half for the same reason.

Putrajaya coach Brad Mika said: "We had watched a lot of footage (of Police games) and had a good idea of what we needed to do. We had a good start to the game but lost our rhythm a bit due to the stoppage and also some things that didn't go our way."

It was the first time Putrajaya had conceded more than 10 points in a match this season. They had beaten Pahang 49-0 in the quarterfinals last week.

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