With SCC having lost to Bucks via a last gasp try in the previous week’s edition of Premiership rugby, they were intent on making a statement this weekend. This week, SCC played hosts to the Bedok Kings, who saw their first match postponed due to lightning alerts. The stage was set on the Padang for a tense clash, and the hosts promised just that by scoring in the 2nd minute via a lineout maul through the physically imposing Faris Bajandouh. The floodgates threatened to open as SCC pressed intently for a second try, but this pressure was let up when their 8 man Simon Etheredge picked up a yellow card in the 10th minute for repeated disciplinary indiscretions.
With a little breathing space, the Kings managed to claw three points back through the right booted Terence Chee, but could capitalise no further on the man advantage. To compound the frustration for the visitors, blindside flanker Nicholas Hanley received a yellow card for a try-saving but reckless intercept attempt. SCC wasted no time and immediately cut to the chase by scoring, with slick backline movement and interplay putting out centre James Tiarks just outside the sticks. Fly half Michael Oliver added on the 2 points, and the teams went into the break with SCC leading deservedly by 12-3.
Cue the second half, and both teams heavily rotated with substitutes, with the hosts looking to extend their lead, and the visitors trying to find a way back into the match. Slowly but surely, the momentum of the game looked to shift to the Kings – the tireless efforts of the Kings forward pack eventually brought a pushover try 10 minutes later from the scrum, with 8 man James Morgan sharply dotting the ball down after some deft footballing control. However, with the score at 12-8, SCC’s Michael Oliver calmed the hosts’ nerves by booting a penalty to widen the gap to that of a converted try.
With the contest quickly slipping out of contention for the Kings, a moment of fortune and perseverance shone through to turn the tides. A wayward clearance kick from the Kings led to a handling error from the SCC back three, but when the other 29 players on the pitch expected a scrum to follow, Kings winger Tom Herbst expertly latched onto the ball and played to the referee-given advantage, beating two defenders for speed and scoring near the corner flag in the tackle of the third. Left booted Naresh Kunasegaran cooly slotted home from out wide to make even at 15 all.
As the time ticked away, both teams were neck to neck and throwing everything at each other to grab the W in the last 10 minutes. Tensions inevitably reached a breaking point, and a punch was thrown by an SCC player which resulted in a massive almost-brawl before a straight red card for the perpetrator. The visitors sensed that this was the opportunity to step out in front, and that they did in the dying minutes of the game. After relentless pressure from the Kings across the width of the field, Naresh tapped a quick penalty and fed the ball to the on rushing Gaspar Tan, who scored from the 5 m line. Yet again, Naresh outstandingly converted from the far right to push the visitors to a 15-22 lead. The hosts had the final opportunity to pull even after regaining possession, but they knocked on at the death under immense pressure from the Kings defence.
SCC 15:22 Kings
Bucks 10:12 Rhinos
Blacks 22:29 Wolves
SCC Lions 0:28 Wanderers Gents
Saints 14:22 SCC Tankards
Oldham Blue : Wanderers Rovers
Premiership Fixtures & Table: http://www.singaporerugby.com/calendar/2017-2018-premiership-fixtures/
Championship Fixtures & Table: http://www.singaporerugby.com/calendar/2017-2018-championship-fixtures/
Women’s Premiership Fixtures & Table: http://www.singaporerugby.com/calendar/2017-2018-womens-fixtures/
Photo Credit: Aaron Kong