Juggernaut by Dad Bear
Juggernaut, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

6th March 2012, CCAB, Singapore

Matchday 4 (rescheduled) of the B Division Rugby Tournament saw ACS(Independent) matched up against Greenridge Secondary School.

With the backdrop of the draw against Saint Andrews, the emphasis turned not only to just winning the remaining ties, but to accumulate as many points as possible, in a bid to finish at the top of the table.

The lads were given strict instructions to go for the jugular and to hit the magic 80 point mark asap. A strong team lined up against Greenridge at kickoff. The modus operandi was simple. Win the ball, spread it wide, let the wingers burn down the tram lines. It was all business as ACS(I) raced rapidly to a 61-0 HT lead. It might have been more, if not for some wasteful kicking during the conversions.
In the second half, Greenridge were awarded a penalty just past the centre line. Greenridge elected to take a shot at goal, but pulled the kick wide. With that went their chance of breaking the egg, as ACS(I) wrapped up the tie with 3 swiftly taken tries beneath the posts.
FT 80-0 to ACS(I) by mercy rule.

Points to the match:

1) A clinical and efficient performance. Nothing spectacular or highlight reel worthy, Well worth the 80-0 scoreline. Greenridge players were clearly overawed and were asking the ref repeatedly, as to how much time was left to the end of the first half.

2) Conversion kicks were split between GL and JC. One word, inconsistent. They can nail the toughest and widest kicks, and yet miss the sitters. The best solution apart from improving kicking stats and technique, would be for the players to consciously aim to score beneath the posts, making the conversion easier.

3) There appeared to still be some doubt or lack of confidence when the ball is ‘hands’ or passed out wide quickly. There was still the occasional dropped ball, but more importantly the lack of confidence in taking the ball all the way into the end-zone. Sometimes, straight and hard running is the best answer.

4) Apart from a throw which was deemed not straight, the rest of the lineouts were efficient with nice take downs. The forwards also managed to steal a number of the Greenridge lineouts.

5) Our players must learn to protect the ball and not waste possession, in particular against better opposition. Learning to make better decisions like when to look for an offload or when to pass the ball out wide. Also, when not to grubber/chip the ball, when that would lead to a loss in possession. Simply put, they must learn to make the right choice at the right time. Easier said than done, unfortunately. It just boils down to one thing, experience.

6) Scrums were competent. Nothing much more to add.

7) Saints defeated SJI 27-0 in an earlier match at Republic Polytechnic. This meant that while both ACS(I) and Saints remain unbeaten and are currently only separated by virtue of points scored, with ACS(I) currently having a superior point difference.

8) The last remaining spot for the semi finals will be ultimately determined when SJI plays against RI on Matchday 7 of the competition. Based on currently form, and the availability of players from injuries and suspension, it will be tight game that could go either way.

9) While optimally, we always prefer to have a say as to who we will meet for the semis or the finals. However, that is just wishful thinking, and we can only play to whoever is in front of us on the pitch. The only thing we can do now is to win the rest of our matches, and come what may in the semis and hopefully the finals, we will let our opponents worry about us, rather than the other way round. We can only pray to God to continue to watch over us and keep our lads healthy and ready.

Incidentally, according to the Webster dictionary, A juggernaut is defined as – a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path. A fitting description, no?

More pictures from this set can be seen here at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157629165469032/