The RMPA International League started for the 13th year in Malaysia as the ball was thrown in yesterday for the match between Thai Polo and La Sarita, the first match of the 2017 Royal Pahang Classic. It lasted 3 ½ chukkas till rain stopped play, with La Sarita leading Thai Polo 3½ to 2. The game resumed this morning, with Thai Polo coming back to win it 6 – 4½.
La Sarita’s debutant Ali Jumabhoy got his first International League goal, a lofted goal from 60 yards out that he hit on the run. The two-on-two tactics that La Sarita’s Juan Losada and Guy Gibrat employed however did not play out in their favour today as Thai Polo’s Carlos Pando and Raul Laplacette beat them at their own game.
Royal Pahang played La Familia in the second game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon, with Prince Hassanal and Prince Muhammad taking to the field with Tomas Llorente and Matias Vial.
Despite the industry of Tomas Llorente, Royal Pahang looked sluggish against a quick La Familia team.
While the interlinking play between Gines Bargallo and Tomas Gandara was very good, it was their use of their local players, Dato’ Mohamed Moiz and Shaik Reismann that was the difference in tactics.
La Familia’s patron Dato’ Mohamed Moiz got them off to a great start with a superb goal in the opening minutes, running the ball from a pass from Gines Bargallo inside his own half, all the way to goal, to give them the lead. They never looked back, controlling the game throughout.
It was 4 to 2 ½ in La Familia’s favour at half time. They took it to 7 – 3 ½ in the final chukka before two penalty goals made a more respectable final score of 7 to 5 ½ to La Familia.
The umpires for this tournament are Steve Evans (RSA) and Nico Scortichinni (ARG).
The 2017 RMPA International League comprises of three tournaments:
- Thai Polo Open
- Royal Pahang Classic
- RSPC Open
In the Thai Polo Open in January, honours were shared between Thai Polo and La Familia. Royal Pahang also did very well at that tournament, just missing out on a place in the final but earning very good league points.
The Royal Pahang Classic schedule and team line-ups can be viewed on PoloEquestrian.com at: http://poloequestrian.com/2017-royal-pahang-classic/