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ACS (I) Complete Grand Slam of Titles

Fed-Ex Delivery. Jared Tang (ACS Barker #14) prepares to receive the ball. (Photo: Redsports/Adrian Tan)
 

By Les Tan

 

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) beat brother school ACS (Barker Road) 6-0 with two penalties to win the National C Division Rugby Championship on Thursday August 18.

 

ACS (Barker) had sensationally beaten favourites St Andrew’s Secondary 20-8 in the semi-finals but their dream run ended in the face of an ACS(I) team that defended well when it mattered.

 

For ACS(I), this win completed a grand slam of titles, after having won the A and B Division championships earlier this year. ACS(I) last won a grand slam in 2008. This is the seventh grand slam in the school’s history.

 

Two first-half penalties by scrumhalf Joshua Goh (#9) gave ACS(I) a 6-0 lead at half-time as ACS (Barker) failed to get close to the tryline, breaching the ACS(I) 22m line only once in the first half.

 

However, with such a slim lead, the game was far from over. ACS(I) could not put the game away when Joshua Goh (#9) and Michael Yee (#10) missed one second half penalty each. One penalty was taken right in front of the posts from just outside the 22m line.

 

ACS (Barker), after surviving a period of sustained ACS(I) pressure, then made the spectators stand up when Rafi Rosli (#13) took a pass and ran almost the whole ACS(I) half before getting stopped just shy of the try line.

 

That signalled a start of sustained ACS (Barker) pressure, with forward Kamen Tang (#1) almost crossing the try line twice. Both times, ACS(I) stood their ground and held firm.

It was then the turn of ACS(I), with winger Jeremy Toh (#27) and fullback Michael Yee (#10) coming close as they lit up the game with exciting runs down the left flank.

 

ACS (Barker) survived both attempts but time ran out on them.

 

“Being here after finishing fourth in the league is an achievement for the team,” said ACS (Barker) head coach Lincoln Tan. ACS (Barker) had finished the preliminary rounds with a 4-3 win-loss record before their upset win over St Andrew’s in the semi-final.

 

“We had three opportunities to run it in the first half but didn’t. That’s why I told them to do so in the second half,” said Lincoln about the need to bring the pace of Rafi (#13) into the game.

 

ACS (I) head coach Adrian Chong was very happy with his team’s effort.

 

“We played with more grit and determination. We had been shaky throughout the season,” reflected Adrian, who was comparing with his team’s effort in the slim 22-21 win over St Joseph’s Institution in the semi-final.

 

“We played with belief more than at any time the whole season. We gave away only two or three penalties the whole game.”

 

On coping with the threat of Rafi, Adrian said: “We were working with the centres to nullify Rafi. Our flankers, our number eight, were deployed to cover wherever he was standing.”

 

ACS(I) Lineup


Haziq (#20, Prop), Zachary Chio (#2, Hooker), Alex Chia (#3, Prop), Gregory Ang (#23, 2nd Row), Lloyd Ng (#4, 2nd Row), Kyler Wong (#6, Flanker), Isaiah Teh (#6, Flanker), Keegan Yap (#8, No.8), Joshua Goh (#9, Scrumhalf), Darius Ng (#12, Standoff), Jeremy Toh (#27, Winger), Joby Chng (#25, Centre), Toshikazu Inoue (#13, Centre), Daniel Ho (#14, Winger), Michael Yee (#10, Fullback)

 

Substitutes: Samuel Pang (#16, Prop), Darrell Ou (#21, Hooker), Bryan Putra (#1, Prop), S Kanes (#5, 2nd Row), Lee Jen En (#15, Scrumhalf), Keefe Tan (#19, Flanker/2nd Row), Tjoa Han Yang (#11, Fullback), Jerry Wang (#18, 2nd Row), Zachary Tan (#17, Flanker), Joseph Yek (#24, Winger), Zane Chan (#22, Winger), Craig Chua (#26, 2nd Row), Jason Goh (#28, Winger)

 

ACS (Barker Road) Lineup


Kamen Tang (#1), Matthias Soh (#2), Marcus Loo (#3), Joseph Hu (#4), Dogulas Allwood (#5), Shah Asraff Khan (#6), Wee Hong Lin (#7), Samuel Gunalan (#8), Andre Quah (#9), Jaren Heng (#10), Guitino Teo (#11), Jonathan Chua (#12), Rafi Rosli (#13), Jared Tang (#14), Alaistair Wong (#15)

 

Substitutes: Seet Kai Jun (#16), Ethan Foo (#17), Jared Hoe (#18), Loi Mun Yen (#19), Anders Quah (#20), Joshua Connor (#21), Julius Teo (#22), Tan Ter Jin (#23), Izzudin Shah (#24), Richard Ng (#25), Kieren Wong (#26), Samuel Foo (#27), Danish Abrisam (#28)

 
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