Opening Gambit by Dad Bear
Opening Gambit, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

2nd February 2012, CCAB, Singapore – A new season, a new beginning, new heroes and new zeroes. Thus begins a new season of Schools rugby, with the boys in the B division first up to the plate.

In the first match of their quest to retain the B division crown, ACS(I) met Junyuan Secondary School. It was cool wet evening at CCAB when the match kicked off at 1630h. First match jitters was definitely on the menu as the lads in gold and blue attempted and just failed on the short kick off. The wet ball did not help matters as handling errors resulted in promising moves breaking down. Not till the 9th minute when FB Joshua Chan scythed through the JY defence with a pacy blistering diagonal run, did ACS(I) settle into their task. Perhaps, it was their over-anxiety in the beginning,but by half time, the engine in the juggernaut was purring smoothly. HT 41-0.
In the second half, the ACS(I) coaches had to make changes to the lineup with the injury to winger, Justin Tan. With the introduction, there arose some confusion amongst the ranks with regards to calls and positioning. However, superior fitness saw through the day, with the ACS(I) lads soon getting the measure of the JY defence. The only serious incident of note in the match came in the middle of the second half, when JY #37 threw a punch at ACS (I) flanker, Isaiah Teh. The referee who was just metres away from the incident, had no option (after discussion with the touch judge) but to award a straight red to the JY player for violent conduct. It was a blot to the JY team’s report card, who were otherwise playing decent and fair rugby, albeit being out-gunned in every department. FT 79-0

Take home points.

1) A good but slightly unconvincing start to the season for ACS(I) B Div squad. A wee bit jittery in the opening minutes, but otherwise solid in most departments.
2) Scrums were solid without much opposition.
3) Lineouts were clinical and efficient. Severely disrupting the JY lineout the whole day.
4) Rucking was strong. Caveat is that the opposition didnt counter-ruck very much either.
5) Kicking from the hand was outstanding. Kickers found touch or excellent field position with every kick.
6) Conversion kicking, especially from out wide, remains abysmal. The fear is that one day, it will come back to haunt us and bite us in the butt, especially in closely contested games against stronger opposition.
7) Ball handling can be improved. There were many times when our players upon being tackled, were over eager to offload the ball quickly. So much so that the pass was rushed and often awry. Sometimes, a more conventional red ball, going down and setting up the ruck, before recycling the ball again, makes more sense as compared to making a poor pass (sometimes forward) and losing possession completely.
8) Justin’s injury resulted when he chased down a sweet long clearance from defence. The ball bounced high and irregularly in front him, causing him to knock it on. Justin tried in vain to retrieve the ball before it hit the ground, lost his balance, resulting in a collision with the JY player, which say him landing badly on his dominant left hand/wrist. There was a bad swelling immediately after the incident, and x-rays after the game showed a fracture just above the wrist. We wish Justin a speedy recovering and hope he can return for the closing matches of the competition.
9) There will be stronger and fitter opponents in the coming weeks. We can only hope that the boys remain healthy and fit. As the saying goes, “Cometh the hour, cometh the man!”

More pictures from the match can be here at