Kah Yi Wraps Him Up! by Dad Bear
Kah Yi Wraps Him Up!, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rains blanketed the skies around Singapore in the hours leading up to the match. However, the heavens cleared up minutes before kickoff, allowing for the game to proceed, albeit with a 15 minute delay,
This was the return leg of series of test matches between perennial rivals RI and ACS. ACS(I) had earlier dominated the first leg with a clear victory back in November. With nothing but just pride and bragging rights at stake, both teams took the the wet astroturf pitch, with an eye to securing a psychological advantage over the auld enemy before the the season proper begins in a few weeks time.
RI kicked off and were parked inside the ACS 22 for the first 10 minutes of the game before ACSI slowly turned the pressure on and advanced up the pitch. From a scrum out in the RI 5 m line, it was a quick hands which saw the ball swung over to ACS captain and winger Matthew Quek, to went over for the opening try. From a line break by MQ again, it was Centre Shi ChengHao who sliced through the RI backline to score between the posts, and converted with aplomb by Stand-in centre Joshua Chan. With regular Ngen Geliang nursing a mild illness, it was JC and Darius Ng who shared out the duties in the centre of the park in the first half. HT 12-0 to ACS(I)
In the second half, RI came out with all cylinders firing. They tried to force the issue and attacked incessantly. Yet it was ACS(I) who soaked up the pressure before again releasing Centre Shi Chenghao to score his second try near the left corner. The final ACS(I) try that came 10 minutes from time was a real beauty which drew applause from the fans, both RI and ACS alike. From a ACS scrum 15 metres out on the right wing, the ball came out to Ngen Geliang who had come on to stretch his legs. The maestro kicked a cross field ball away from the madding crowd, perfectly placed and right into the waiting hands of the swarming ACS(I) backs, who exchanged passes neatly before sending Winger Joel Lim over at the corner.
With multiple changes made in the ACS (I) squad, it was a very different squad which finished the game. RI scored a consolation try with 3 minutes to go. However, by then the result was already beyond doubt.
Final Score RI 5 ACS(I) 22

Take away pointers
1. ACS Players showed very good hands and handling, esp the backs.
2. The lineouts today were outstanding. The boys won their lineouts convincingly and were disrupting the RI lineouts at will.
3. Scrumming today was fine, but not dominating as we have come to expect from our pack.
4. Kicking for points was again dodgy. No doubt we often score more points from tries, but with points at a premium in big matches like the Finals and semis, a ratio of 1:4 success is not much to crow about.
5. Referee RS had a suspect game. He failed to see many infringements and when he did call, he could have done better by explaining to players why they were penalised, which he did only inconsistently.
6. The intensity that the ACS boys played at was very good.
7. RI might have been beaten again, but they were clearly a better side than the one that visited ACS in Nov 2011. They will be back, and I expect a stiffer challenge the next time they meet. RI is simply too good a team to take this lying down.
8. We were very glad to have Richard Keim back after hisr recovery from injury. We hope to see stalwarts Daniel Goh and Bernard Chan back soon. Better late than never.

More pictures from the match can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157628963347191/with/6734776489/

 

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