Recently, a Malaysian intervarsity rugby tournament was held in Moscow. For the very 1st time, superbly organized by the Malaysian Students Association of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MMASO), with the direct participation of the Embassy of Malaysia in Russia, the Department of International Relations of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), the MAI Sports Club and last but not least the Rugby Union of Russia.
The tournament was held on the 8th of May, 2012. The rugby team representing Volgograd State Medical University, nicknamed the «RibBreakers of Volga» comprised of 1st year Muhammad Khairul Anuar; 2nd years Wan Muhammad Adam and Muhammad Abdul Aziz; 3rd years Isyafiq Qamaal, Elias Adam, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Syamil, Andy Mawang, Farizi Pathi; 4th years Daniel Mathew and Firdaus Pathi and 5th years Ahmad Mustaqim, Shafieq Ashraf, Muhammad Izwan Syafiq, Mohamad Izzat Arslan, Gerald Netto and captained by Mohd Shahibul Shafiq, better known as Sibol.
The «RibBreakers of Volga» left for Moscow on the 6th of May by bus, and after 13 long hours on the road, we finally reached Paveletskaya Station. We were hosted by the Russian National Research Medical University as we stayed the night at their medical hostel for the foreign students. Since we reached early, the team decided to enjoy the sights and sounds of Moscow, visiting places like Arbat Street and others.
Early the next morning, Team Volgograd was up by dawn. It was the day of the tournament, the day everyone was waiting impatiently and with full anticipation for. After hours and hours of training and even friendly matches with the local Volgograd Russian rugby teams, it was finally time to perform, and perform well!
We reached cтадион «Наука», the venue of the rugby tournament and were greeted with the sight of our participating friends from the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, the Russian National Research Medical University, the Nizhny Novgorad State Medical University and not forgetting of course our organizers, the Moscow Aviation Institute. We started by facing Team Nizhny Novgorad, and after a good match, ended with a draw. Next up, was the organizing team, Team MAI. It was a tough match, both sides fought hard but Team VSMU managed to win with the closest of margins. After winning the match against Team RNRMU, it started raining heavily and the referees decided to call of the match temporarily.
Since the weather had no signs of improving, the organizing committee decided that the winner of the group stage would automatically become overall champions. Team VSMU at that moment was top of the table, and standing in our way of victory was Team MSMU. It was like something that usually only happens in the movies. The weather was cold, heavy rain was pouring down nonstop, with even lightning in the distance. The only thing that kept us going was the fire in us to win and bring the victory back to Volgograd, the City of Heroes! Thus, the intense final match began, and with the weather not improving, both sides were making errors and were obviously exhausted. With both teams scoring in the final minutes and the match drawn, Team Volgograd emerged champions!
The closing ceremony was a short, brief one. Prizes and medals for each participating team and the winners were given by His Excellency the Ambassador Dato’ Zainol Abidin Omar, S.A. Lutin and E.A. Baranova. Our captain, Sibol, was awarded with a prize specially from the Russian Rugby Union – an official rugby match ball autographed by players of the Russian national team. We left for Volgograd on the same day, and after another 13 hours of journey by bus, we reached safely, on Victory Day, the 9th of May.
It was indeed an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. All that mattered was our hard fought victory, and bringing back the honors with us. The RibBreakers of Volga would like to thank Sibol our captain, Firdaus Pathi the vice-captain, Aziz Haladin our coach and Syamil our assistant coach for all their hard work and determination to get the best out of our team, and their exemplary display of skill and sportsmanship on the field. God willing we will do even better next year!
Daniel Mathen Mathew, 4th course