'Fantastic' tries win it for ACS(I)

ACS(I) captain Matthew Lim (right) scores his first try.
ACS(I) captain Matthew Lim (right) scores his first try. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

During last Wednesday's coaching clinic with the New Zealand rugby sevens team, Matthew Lim received tips on how to improve his passing.

What the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student clearly did not need advice on was how to run as he scored two tries - the first covering three-quarters of the National Stadium pitch - yesterday and guided his team to a 14-12 victory over Raffles Institution (RI) in the first Schools Sevens Under-14 final.

The 14-year-old, who described his tries as "fantastic", also kicked the winning conversion to complete the dramatic come-from-behind win for ACS (I).

In fact, the team in green twice had the upper hand in the contest. RI's Spencer Wee scored in the first minute to stun ACS (I), who were the favourites having beaten RI twice in the preliminary rounds.

Both teams entered half-time at 7-7. The Rafflesians started brightly again as Lee Kai Si found space on the wing and dived across the line to give RI a 12-7 lead within 60 seconds of the restart. But a swift counter-attack by ACS (I) saw the ball switched quickly to the flank and Matthew had a clear path to the try line.

It was not a vintage performance from his players, said ACS (I) coach Adrian Chong. He said: "The crowd and occasion probably got to a few of them and they made some uncharacteristic mistakes. But they showed a lot of spirit and I'm proud of them."

RI's rugby teacher-in-charge Romi Musa was equally effusive in his praise for his team. He said: "They played better than any of us expected. This will give them confidence, knowing that we've closed the gap. Next time, they'll be ready to win."

For triumphant ACS (I) sevens captain Sean Ng, 14, it was a moment to savour. He said: "To play in a final at the National Stadium is something special. All of us will remember this."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2016, with the headline ''Fantastic' tries win it for ACS(I)'. Print Edition | Subscribe