Singapore optimistic for glory on home soil

The Singapore women’s rugby 7s team (in red) faced Thailand (in blue) during the South-east Asia (SEA) Games women’s rugby 7s final, on June 7, 2015.
The Singapore women’s rugby 7s team (in red) faced Thailand (in blue) during the South-east Asia (SEA) Games women’s rugby 7s final, on June 7, 2015. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Singapore were crushed 39-0 by Thailand in the SEA Games women's rugby final last year but the Republic's team want to exorcise ghosts of that thumping at the inaugural Southeast Asia Sevens (SEA 7s), which starts today at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium.

For national women's team captain Alvinia Ow, the players had already recovered from the shock of that big defeat.

She told The Straits Times yesterday: "Of course it was disappointing.

"But it doesn't mean we lose hope, mope or anything. We regrouped, had a debrief, and moved on from there."

Ow, 28, added: "Thailand were the better team that day, we took away some lessons, improved and we're definitely going for gold.

"We need to manage the pace of our game, be more consistent, and also adapt to the opposition."

Likewise, the Singapore men are targeting glory after an agonising end to their SEA Games campaign, in which they finished third.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA75

  • TODAY: Group stage. Play-offs and women's semi-finals from 5pm - Yio Chu Kang Stadium (free entry)

    TOMORROW: Finals (men and women) - National Stadium (Singapore Sevens ticket required for entry)

    MEN Group A: Singapore A, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines

    Group B: Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Brunei 11.40am: Singapore A v Thailand

    Noon: Singapore v Indonesia 1.40pm: Singapore A v Malaysia 2pm: Singapore v Laos

    3.40pm: Singapore A v  Philippines

    4pm: Singapore v Brunei

    WOMEN Group A: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines

    Group B: Thailand, Laos, Singapore 1.20pm: Thailand v Singapore 3.20pm: Laos v Singapore

Captain Daniel Marc Chow said there would be no repeat of their lacklustre showing at the SEA 7s.

"We should have made the final but in some games we didn't assert ourselves enough despite being in control. We won't take any game lightly this time," said the skipper.

The men will be represented by two teams of 12 players - Singapore and Singapore A.

Giving Chow optimism is the heightened intensity in training, as well as the team's good showing at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series.

Singapore finished eighth of 12 teams and were the second-best South-east Asian team.

Reigning SEA Games champion Philippines are also fielding a developmental team for the tournament, according to Jake Lett, head of the Philippines' national teams.

The 32-year-old said: "We had a pool of over 30 players competing for 24 spots, so the competition in training has been intense."

Admission to Yio Chu Kang Stadium is free, but tickets to the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens are required for the final at the National Stadium.

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore optimistic for glory on home soil'. Print Edition | Subscribe