School sports: ACS(I) wrench B Div rugby title out from Saints' hands in overtime

SINGAPORE - Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) beat defending champions St Andrew's Secondary School 12-9 on Thursday to clinch their 13th Schools National B Division rugby title at the Republic Polytechnic.

The Saints were leading 9-5 and about to put the title in their bag at the end of the 60-minute regulation time, but it was ACS(I) who walked away with the trophy when the final whistle blew.

In a stunning end to the match, the Saints bowed to tremendous pressure from ACS(I) near their zone in two extra minutes of play. Amid the deafening chants of "AC one more try" from the ACS(I) supporters, Lin Shern scored a try to put ACS(I) ahead 10-9, and his subsequent conversion sealed the game.

The Saints had defeated ACS(I) 15-10 in a preliminary round game, and Saints coach Simon Etheredge felt that it could have contributed to their downfall in the final. He said: "Some of the boys were over-confident after the previous win."

It was an unforgettable victory for this batch of ACS(I) boys who have never beaten the Saints. Captain Joshua Lee said: "The feeling of winning the final after losing to them in a previous game is a remarkable feeling. It's such an emotional victory. Everyone put in their hard work, the forwards, the backs and the team collectively."

Even though the dramatic loss was extremely disappointing for Saints coach Etheredge, he believes the rivalry is good for Singapore rugby. "There shouldn't be one school dominating all the time and today has shown that the future of Singapore rugby is bright with all these good players," he said.

berelow@sph.com.sg

armuhd@sph.com.sg