SRU Premiership Finals
Wanderers RFC v Bucks RFC
Bucks Rugby Football Club sealed a brilliant 50th Anniversary present with a dramatic come from behind win against form favorites Wanderers Football Club at the last minute of play with the first ever premiership finals played at the National Stadium
The Wanderers Football Club certainly looked the favorites right from the kick off, scoring in the first 90 seconds of play through some decisive backline penetration led by flyhalf Ruairidh Bonner and finished off by the polished James Lighthouse.
Wanderers were definitely playing an expansive game and were spreading the ball wide with some penetrating runs by backs and forwards alike. National representatives Mhd Hassif and Muhammad Afeeq Mohd Radzi were in fine form leading the charge. Bucks did seem to find their footing after 20mins and some great passages of play into the half saw them come away with three points from the boot of Jonathan Barber. The Bucks resurgence was however stopped by another dynamic move in the loose which saw flanker Bruce Ashton slice through the Bucks defense to score under the posts.
The unconverted try saw Wanderers close the half in the lead and firmly in the driving seat. Bucks had seemed to be overwhelmed by the occasion and took the break to regroup.
Right after the break, Bucks came storming back with a brilliant passage of forward play leading to a try in the 46th minute, taking advantage of an earlier yellow card on Wanderers Muhammad Afeeq who turned from hero to villian. The tempo was clearly still with Wanderers though and the came back with a penalty which was not converted. Shortly after that in the 56th minute Bruce Ashron scored again from a brilliant blindside move by James Lighthouse. The try was unconvered. Wanderers built on their lead with a 64th min penalty conversion.
Bucks were far from dead and roared back with a great rolling maul from the forwards and Jonathan Barber converted the try from a difficult angle to bring the score within 6 points. Wanderers tried to hold on in the dying minutes, but again the Bucks spirit came back and scored off another rolling maul from the line out to make the score 22 – 23 at the hooter.
Joanthan Barber became Buck’s hero with the conversion from the side and Bucks were able to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in style and a fitting curtain raiser at the National Stadium.
SRU National Women’s League Finals
Blacks RFC v Bedok Kings Skyllas
The finals of the SRU National Women’s League was held at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium on 11th March 2017. Despite the initial gloomy weather, spirits of both teams were not dampened. Blacks took an early lead with a successful penalty but the women in red were not ready to give in. Their patience eventually paid off as winger, Eunice Chu scored the first try of the game. It was not long before veteran, Angel Liu sliced through the defence line to put Skyllas up on the scoreboard once more. These awoken the defending champions and Blacks hit back with two tries from Derelyn and Jayne ending the exhilarating first half at 15-10 to Blacks.
Second-half kicked off with even higher intensity and disciplinary issues crept into the game. Skyllas hooker, Mei Giet seized an opportunity to score under the post with a pick and go when Blacks had one of their key player sent to the bin. Skyllas received two yellow cards as they tried frantically to defend their try line. The composure of Blacks was commendable as they worked hard to come back on top with a try that sealed the win. The final score 22-17 to Blacks.
This nail-biting finals was the perfect ending to a very special season. This is the first season with 5 competing women teams. With the number of women players increasing over the years, we can expect more teams in the near future!