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Korean Rugby Loses in Final Minute

Posted December. 13, 2006 07:13,   


Korea was winning for 19 minutes, but did not get the last laugh in the end.

The Korean national (seven-a-side) rugby team just barely missed winning Korea’s third consecutive gold medal in Rugby since 1998.

Team Korea lost 26-27 on Tuesday.

Since rugby was accepted as an official Asian Games sport at Bangkok in 1998, Korea has won the seven-a-side and the 15-a-side, but could not grab a third straight gold. The 15-man event was not held at the games this year.

Korea was up 26-17 until the last six minutes of the finals match, which is composed of ten-minute halves (the halves in the preliminaries is just seven minutes), but after it gave away a try with only 30 seconds left. Team Korea gave away another try just before the game ended.

The Korean rugby players played with heart, but it was not enough to overcome the harsh reality. There are only five teams in Korea, including the Armed Forces Athletic Corps team. Japan has 14 top league teams, 28 first league teams, 56 second league teams, and even has a fourth league.

The Japanese have great rugby infrastructure, including a full-sized field. In Korea, even the national team has trouble in finding a place to play, because there is not a single full-sized field. The national team had to play in a field that did not even have rugby goal poles and did not satisfy the standard lengths.

The Korean players tried to overcome the circumstances and strived to promote rugby, but could not beat Japan. Team captain Kim Hyung-ki said, “It is very unfortunate that we could not win a third straight gold. Jeon Jong-mahn scored a try when we were winning 26-22. It was a pity that the referee did not see it.”