The World First Premiership and World First Challenge Cup started off with a bang last weekend with great high scoring action in week one across all games.
The SCC Rugby Section continued their dominance from 2015 with massive wins in all their games. A massive 84-10 win by their 1st XV in the World First Premiership welcomed rugby back to the Padang over a youthful Bedok Kings side. Kings were definitely playing the youth card in spades as the likes of youth internationals Benjamin Broughton and Maverick Lim acquitting themselves with polished performances. It was great to see National 7s Player Ho Yishu back on the pitch after being absent from rugby due to National Service commitment as well. Ho was a standout during the 2015 SEA Games and his play on Saturday showed that he just needs more game time to maximize his potential. SCC on the other hand came out with all guns blazing and showed their class and intent for the coming Premiership season. Given that the SCC have not won a Premiership knockout title since the early 1990s, the early signs are promising for the Padang Boys. Michael Oliver looks to be a key addition for them, the scrum half adding some pace to proceedings and accurate goal kicking.
At Turf City, Bucks on paper looked to have a side that would dominate Wanderers, with the inclusion of former Irish International Neil Best in their backrow. Best however had a frustrating afternoon as Wanderers toppled Bucks 43 -8. Charlie Lambert was again impressive for the Bucks as was another Irishman Declan Heplin. These performances were however let down by poor defending as the Wanderers midfield paring broke through time and time again. Daryl Chia was outstanding for Wanderers and it is hoped that the Singapore U23 international who is back after studies in Australia will continue his rise into the national setup. Overall well rounded performances by each player from Wanderers allowed them to dominate and frustrate a Buck side that got on the wrong end of the whistle too many times.
The last World First Premiership game of the weekend saw Saints RFC up against debutantes the Singapore Select (SST). The SST’s maiden game saw a core of players from Gauloius and Oldham up against a youthful Saints team that had a year of premiership rugby under their belts. SST were banking on the experience of Brice Derouet and Reiner Leong in the pack to led them through. Early signs were not promising though for SST, as they conceded an early short range forwards try after some great running from National 7s rep Nicholas Yau. Yau was in fine form despite playing in the 9 shirt for the first time and went on to score 4 tries in the 45 – 3 win over the SST. Unlucky injuries and a lack of depth on the bench eventually let the SST down as the Saints showed how much they have grown in a season. Sidney Kumar was impressive from mid field and linked up well with National teammate Mhd Zaki. SST unfortunately did not have the platform to unleash the likes of Marah Ishraff and Rex Wang in their back line, and it will be interesting to see how the team will bounce back against Wanderers in their match of the round on Friday night, 7.30pm at CCAB.
Some interesting matchups for Week 2 then : SCC up against Bucks who have been their bogey team of late on the Padang. Saints are facing Bedok and there will be no doubt the Kings will be a different side. Both sides split wins last season, and it will be interesting to watch at Turf City.
Week 1 RESULTS
World First Premiership
SCC 84 v 10 BEDOK KINGS 1 XV
BUCKS 1 XV 8 v 43 WANDERERS
SAINTS 45 v 3 S’PORE SELECT TEAM
World First Challenge Cup
SCC GROWLERS 17 v 22 BUCKS 2XV
WANDERERS 2XV 36 v 0 SCC LIONS
OLDHAM 24 v 24 WANDERERS 3XV
SCC TANKARDS 42 v 12 BEDOK KINGS 2XV
SRU National Women’s League
NTU 0 v 59 BLACKS
SKYLLAS 10 v 10 BUCKS
Women’s Development League
BLACKS 1 0 v 5 NTU/NUS
SKYLLAS 1 25 v 5 SKYLLAS 2