KUALA LUMPUR: The national team showed some positive improvement but it was not enough to stop a well-oiled South Korean side from notching a straightforward 38-16 win in Saturday’s Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) encounter at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Korea came out strong in the first half, taking only four minutes to find a gap and score their opening try through Cha Sungkun.
Malaysia struggled to find their feet in the early stages and conceded a second try in the 21st minute with Yang Daeyoung putting the visitors 10-0 up. Korea, however, failed to convert their first two tries.
That second Korean try, however, put some fire into the national team and they piled on the pressure in search of a reply. They were rewarded as Malaysia got on the scoresheet via a Fairuz AB Rahman penalty in the 25th.
Amirul Mukminin Amizan then scored Malaysia's first try in the 30th. Fairuz, whose kicking was spot on during the first half, split the sticks on the conversion to put Malaysia level 10-10.
Korea, however, showed their experience as they replied with a third try via Na Kwanyoung in the 33rd.
Fairuz scored a second penalty in the 26th but a yellow card picked up by naturalised Fijian Sakiusa Terence Gavidi in the 38th minute did not help as Korean notched their fourth try, this time through Shin Hyeonseong in the 39th.
Park Jisu successfully converted both tries to see Korea enter the break with a 24-13 lead.
Fairuz proved he was on fire as far as kicking was concerned as he scored his third penalty of the night in the 52nd minute, this time from well over 40 metres.
But Korea, who remained well organised throughout the 80 minutes, were never in any real danger during the game.
They added to their tally with two more tries by Kim Namuk in the 57th and Lim Junhui in the 77th. Both tries were successfully converted by Kim Kimin, allowing Korea to run out 38-16 winners.
Korea won their home match against Malaysia 52-14 in Incheon last week.
The national team will next play defending champions Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Football Club on June 15.