LAHORE - Thailand have defeated Pakistan 20-15 in the first match of the Asia Rugby Div-II Championship 2022 played here at the Punjab Stadium.

According to Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU) spokesman, the match was witnessed and enjoyed by a large crowd, where families and children were also present. Pakistan fought hard in this encounter, but Thailand came out on top in the end, converting a try to win the game in the dying moments of the match. Despite the defeat in the first encounter, Pakistan can still qualify for Div-I, if they beat Thailand in the second match to be played on June 1 at the same venue. At the moment, Thailand are up by 5 points so Pakistan need a high-point victory to qualify for the Div-I.

Thailand scored penalties in the first half, followed by a try by the Pakistan, who had a 7-to-6 edge at the halftime. Pakistan put a lot of pressure on Thailand in the second half but missed some crucial chances of converting the tries by Pakistani forwards. Luc Michel, Etienne Legrand, Sarut Janda and Thanapong Punjpang scored tries for Thailand, while Ali Shahid and Khalid Hussain Bhatti converted tries for Pakistan.

Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU) President Arif Saeed, Secretary Salman Shaikh, Asia Rugby Chief Executive Johny Stavrinou, Media Manager Khurram Haroon, Tournament Director Ghaith Jalajel, Aitchison College Principal Michael Thomson, DG Sports Board Javed Chohan, Hafeez Bhatti and a large number of former rugby players were also present during the match.

Meanwhile, Thailand team had a very busy day in Lahore the next day of the first match. They started the day with a visit to the Historic Lahore Fort. According to the players, they have a great time at the Fort. “I took several selfies and photos with the locals,” a Thai player said. The team then went to a local shopping mall for shopping. Now the stage is set for the enthralling second game between Pakistan and Thailand on June 1 here at the Punjab Stadium.