A last gasp try by Rath Ra clinched the CFR Rugby Sevens league title in emphatic fashion at the Old Stadium on Sunday as Stade Khmer edged the Garudas 21-19 in the final of the seniors section.
With Stade Khmer trailing in the last remaining minute, Benoit Ramond made a 30-metre dash up the field with the ball.
Female match referee Peou Sophoan penalised the Garudas for a mistake in the ruck and 19-year-old Cambodian international Rath Ra quickly kicked to himself to set up the decisive try, converted by Dul Khmerin.
Stade Khmer had dominated the first half, allowing little possession for the Garudas as the surged ahead through two well-worked tries from Rath Ra and Robin Rerat. Rath Ra kicked both conversions.
A Lee Heang try kept things interesting for the Garudas, who hit back in the second session through a star turn by Norn Vanara.
With the seconds ticking away, Lee Heang grabbed his second score of the day, which was converted by Norn Vanara, only to see the Rath Ra late heroics spoil their party.
It was Stade Khmers first domestic trophy since being founded in 2005 by Francois Bleriot, a former physical education teacher at French high school Rene Descartes.
Emotions ran deep, with many local veteran players including Dul Khemrin, Khoeun Sangsa and Em Ratana contemplating retirement during the awards ceremony.
“I am so happy about this victory,” Dul Khemrin told the Post.
“The final was really hard. Garudas played a great second half but we never give up and always knew that this trophy was for us.
“It is a big thing for us to finally win this trophy.
“I personally lost the final on two occasions, so I will remember this day for a very long time.”
In other sevens results on Sunday, ASPECA won both the U9 and U11 finals beating Lycee Descartes 4-0 and 2-1 respectively.
PSE got the better of ASPECA 2-0 in the U13 decider, while Taraspeca thumped Lycee Descartes 5-0 in the U15s concluder.
Lycee Descartes were crowned U18 champions with a 15-7 victory over Stade Khmer, as PSE stormed to a 17-0 rout of Lycee Descartes in the women’s final.
Local rugby development program Kampuchea Balopp coached all the winning teams except the U18s of Lycee Descartes.
“We are really proud and happy about those results,” said Kampuchea Balopp head coach and development officer Jean-Baptiste Suberbie.