Finishing move by Dad Bear
Finishing move, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

Saint Andrew’s School Pitch, 23/7/2011 – In the 2011 edition of the National Schools under-16 Rugby Tournament. ACS (I) was drawn into Group A, along with Evergreen, Montford and Damai Secondary Schools. Representing the school were members of the Secondary 3 lads and also a couple of the year 4 lads not taking the O levels this year. The team included, Matthew Quek (C), Joshua Chan, Daniel Goh, Joshua Tan, Richard Keim, Bernard Chan, Jonathan Soepranoto, Shi Cheng Hao, Liew Yuqiang, Ngen Ge Liang, Dominic Ting and Sebastian Seow. Previously run as a qualifier for SCC 7’s in the latter part of the year, the SRU decided to increase the prestige of tournament by running it as a tournament, with a cup, bowl and plate final.
ACS(I) started convincingly and easily romped through the preliminary stages, with the top 2 teams in each group progressing to the quarter finals. ACS (I) met Greenridge Secondary School in the quarters and easily dispatched their opposition. In the semi finals, ACS(I) were drawn to meet their brother school ACS (Barker) while RI progressed to meet the tournament hosts, Saint Andrews (SAS).
In the first semi-final, ACS (Barker) started brightly but were unable to penetrate the ACS(I) defence. The inability to capitalise on their possession in the first 3 minutes of the game, led to a ACS(I) forcing a mistake and finished off ultimately in a break, down the wing by Richard Keim. The stiff Barker resistance then buckled as more ACS(I) pressure saw them romp home as convincing winners. The win set up a mouth watering tie with Raffles Institution, who emerged winners over SAS by 2 tries to none. Both tries emerging against the run of play, as SAS were pounding on the RI try area with no rewards.
In the final, both teams shook hands before kick-off. In the first significant moment of the final, Scrumhalf Bernard Chan, chipped the ball brilliantly over a static and surprised RI backline. It was then a race to get to the the ball, which was bouncing invitingly near the RI try line. In a 50 yard sprint, forward Joshua Tan outran his smaller and speedier opponent, RI’s #9, before scooping up the loose ball with one hand to score emphatically for ACS(I)’s first try of the final. Seb Seow converted easily to give ACS(I) a 7-0 lead. ACS (I) then showed plenty of resolve, winning the ball from a RI scrum, before Shi Cheng Hao, fended off 3 RI defenders to score the second try of the final. 14-0 to ACS(I) after Seb Seow’s conversion. With a typical captain’s performance, Matthew Quek sealed the deal with a bludgeoning try at the death to give ACS a commanding lead, Seb’s conversion making it 21-0. The referee blew for time not longer after. It was a hard fought victory for the ACS (I) lads especially after 8 hours in the sun.
The win saw ACS (I) adding another trophy (albeit a small one) to their glittering collection this year (following their successes in the A and B divisions). On the downside, many of the lads were left to lick the wounds from many abrasions suffered on the unforgiving astro turf. However, for some of the team, tasting gold for the first time, surely more than made up for any of the pain suffered.

More pics from the tournament can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157627268866416/

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