SINGAPORE - The national men's rugby sevens team fell short in their quest to be the first-ever South-east Asia (SEA) Sevens champions, falling 5-19 to rivals Thailand in the final at the National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Thais stormed to a quick 14-0 lead in four minutes, taking advantage of the gaps left by the Singapore team's high pressing game.
Centre Nicholas Yau's try early in the second-half gave the hosts hope, but a subsequent try from Thai winger Wutthikorn Kaewkhiao two minutes from time effectively extinguished hopes of a comeback.
Singapore captain Daniel Marc Chow said: "At the end of the day, they were a bit more streetwise, they knew we press up pretty fast and hard, and were always going to be weak at the back.
"After they scored the second try they had momentum on their side. We started to take things into our own hands, but they had the better teamwork…they were the better team on the day."
Their female counterparts also enduring a disappointing day as the Republic's women's team lost 42-0 to Thailand in the SEA 7s final.
Despite recording a more respectable 5-29 scoreline against the Thais in the group stages on Friday, the home team had no answer to their opponents' physicality, conceding eight tries over two seven-minute halves in front of a crowd of about 10,000.
Playing after the HSBC Singapore Sevens lunch-time pool match between England and Portugal, the ladies in red were also undone by an inability to retain possession of the ball, hardly getting out of their own half in the second half.
Despite the margin of defeat, coach Wang Shao Ing was pleased with her charges' efforts. She said: "I thought the team held its defensive shape pretty well, but we definitely got burned on the wings - the Thais have very pacy wingers."
"The positive thing is we didn't concede any tries through the middle, which to me demonstrates the girls' effort...with regards to the SEA 7s, we met our target of getting into the finals, beating the other teams along the way."