Sabah still remains cautious

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IT was a breeze for Sabah as their cruised into the 36th Agong’s Cup semifinals with an 81-10 victory over Perak in the quarterfinals tie on Saturday but the Eagles are not soaring yet.

After the convincing win at National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM) Stadium in Sungei Besi, head coach of Sabah, Bradley Moni Mika, was quick to wan his players not to get the win to their heads.

“It was a good win but I am not too happy with their overall performance because we performed in patches and failed to make use of all the chances we created,” said Mika.

“The players were committed and were hungry for success and I am happy with that. However, our performance needs to improve if we are to do well here.”

Sabah will meet Kedah in the semifinals who had defeated Kuala Lumpur narrowly 39-32 in the other quarterfinals.

“Kedah is a formidable team with several national players on their side and are an experienced team.

“Kedah may have struggled a little against Kuala Lumpur but they showed great character to comeback to win the match despite trailing.

“We are certainly not going to take Kedah lightly. Our players have to double their efforts and must be more clinical.”

Mika said as far as the team carry out the game plan, playing as a unit and commitment was concern he was happy.

“It is a good way to start our campaign with a good win, but it is only get tougher with each game and we have to step up our effort.

Former All Black player Charles Luke McAlister, who joined the team last Saturday, and made his debut in Malaysian rugby was delighted with the winning start and enjoyed playing in the new environment.

The 35-year-old who had announced his retirement from rugby last year after a professional career spanning 16 years ended at French club Toulon, said he had not played awhile and it was a great start to competitiveness.

“It was a great start and am looking forward to more action. I did well to combine with the players and it was a delight playing with them,” said skipper McAlister who got his name to the score sheet with a diving try in the 39th minute.

McAlister was substituted in the 60th minute.

Sabah led 36-7 at halftime.

Sabah who made their debut Agong’s final in 2005 but lost went on to win in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015.

Sabah play Kedah in the first semifinals on Wednesday at 3pm at NDUM Stadium.

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