Stade Khmer players (pink) battle with PSE Garudas during their CFR league game on Saturday at Mekong Field. Photograph: Dan Wetherall/Phnom Penh Post
Stade Khmer edged PSE Garudas 19-17 in their Cambodian Federation of Rugby league match on Saturday thanks to a sideline conversion from flyhalf Alexis Chevalier in the final play of the game, which denied the young PSE team a draw in what was a very tough contest.
The Garudas started the stronger at Mekong Field, racing out to a 12-0 lead early on and forcing many errors through their brutal defence, but Stade Khmer fought their way back into the game through tries from Sophea Phan and Raingsey Dul.
PSE looked to have taken control with a try in the second half to go 17-12 ahead. Unfortunately, indiscipline was to be their undoing with some yellows and a red card being shown in the final 20 minutes.
While defending valiantly, Stade Khmer were able to take advantage of their superior numbers, sending centre Sangsa Khoeun over in the corner in the final minute to tie the score before Chevalier’s dramatic conversion for the win.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Sisowath Knights hosted Saigon Geckos in a return match from last week when the Cambodian league champions were humbled in Vietnam.
In a much improved performance, the Knights began with clear intent, taking an early lead through a try from captain Luke Wilkie.
Saigon showed why they are regarded such a strong force in Southeast Asian rugby and came back strongly with quickfire tries through their pacy outside backs.
In a tightly fought encounter, the visitors once again displayed their dominance to take the tie 37-7.
The Knights can be proud of a much improved performance from the previous week, with standout contributions from Rowdie Loughlin, Ritchie Munro and prop Richie Flanagan.
Earlier in an U15 game, ASPECA’s late flourish saw them overcome PSE by five tries to two.
These two sides will meet in the CFR final later next month.
After being locked at two tries all for a long period of the match, ASPECA were able to find another gear and skipped out to a comfortable win.