High Tackle!!! by Dad Bear
High Tackle!!!, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

My report on RedSports

CCAB, Tuesday, July 19, 2011 — Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) beat Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) 20-15 in the 2011 National C Division Rugby Championship.
ACS(I) now have a 4-1 win-loss record and lie second in Group A, behind St Andrew’s Secondary. Only the top four qualify for the semi-finals.
The match had all the ingredients of a local derby as both schools frequently spar against each other in pre-season. What a thriller it turned out to be with the game only settled in the final minute.
The match kicked off at 3pm sharp in the scorching sun. It was ACS(I) who had the better of the early exchanges and were soon knocking on the ACS(BR) tryline. However, stout defending from the ACS(BR) lads along with some loose ball handling from the Independent team, saw the pressure eased.
ACS(BR) drew first blood when they calmly converted a penalty from about the 22m line. Stung by the setback, ACS(I) hit back from the kick off, with Captain Isaiah Teh scoring between the posts. ACS(BR) countered when they blocked the resulting conversion to ensure that they trailed only 3-5.
The first significant incident of the game occurred when the ACS(BR) number 6 was shown the yellow card for repeated fouling. The player was then given a red card when he persisted in arguing with the referee.
In the game of many lead changes, ACS(BR) went ahead when quick thinking saw them take a tap and go penalty and evade the entire static ACS(I) defence, scoring easily between the posts.
Again, inexplicable, ACS(BR) failed to convert the sitter, pulling it wide right of the posts, but they still led 8-5.
ACS(I) struck back just before half time when they won a put-in to a scrum 10m out, with Keegan Yap deftly doing a slalom around a host of ACS(BR) defenders, touching down for a try. Following the failed conversion, the referee blew for half-time with ACS(I) leading 10-8.
In the second half, ACS(BR) seized the initiative 10 minutes into the half, when their ace player, Rafi (#13), danced his way to a try between the posts. The try was converted with aplomb and ACS(BR) now had a 15-10 lead.
The heat and intensity of the game seem to take quite a fair bit out of the players. Slowly but surely, ACS(I) also began to make the numerical advantage count. ACS(BR) defended lionheartedly but there was no stopping Haziq (ACSI #20) who sailed over the defence, to land in the try area for the equalizing try. The failed conversion left the score at 15-15 with everything to play for.
The second critical incident of the match happened five minutes from the end, when Jason Goh of ACS(I) broke through the line, and was sprinting towards the try line. He was abruptly brought down with a high tackle by Rafi (ACS(BR) #13) and the referee had no hesitation in brandishing a yellow card, leaving ACS(BR) with 13 men on the pitch for the last few minutes of the game.
From the resulting series of plays, Joshua Goh (ACS(I) #9) darted between two ACS(BR) defenders on the try line to give his team the go-ahead try.
The referee blew for full time soon after, leaving all the spectators drained from the roller coaster of emotions that afternoon.
ACS(I) head coach, Adrian Chong, remarked after the game that his team were very fortunate to emerged victors, and he would have settled for a draw with five minutes to go.
Depending on how the other games in the league pan out, the two teams from the ACS family might play each other again in the semi-finals of the championship.
However, until then, it is ACS(I) that have bragging rights over their brother school.

More photos can been seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157627232933408/