School sports

ACS (I) complete Grand Slam for second year running

St Andrew's Secondary School players trying to stop the charge of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) during the Schools National C Division rugby final[…], which the latter won 25-10.
St Andrew's Secondary School players trying to stop the charge of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) during the Schools National C Division rugby final[…], which the latter won 25-10.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

For five rounds - nearly five hours - of the Schools National C Division rugby tournament, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) hooker Gavin Ong did not score a single try.

His very first try of the season, however, was gold dust as it inspired ACS (I)'s 25-10 final victory over St Andrew's Secondary School at Yio Chu Kang Stadium to retain the Goh Keng Swee Challenge Shield yesterday.

It also meant that, for the second straight year, ACS (I) completed the Grand Slam - winning rugby titles in the Schools National A, B and C divisions.

Gavin scored just 21/2 minutes into the match and team-mate Alex Hunter's conversion gave them a 7-0 lead.

"Scoring the try meant a lot to me, especially when it's so early. We got a lot more hyped up and the team were really happy for me," said the 14-year-old.

"We had a lot of momentum in our attack and we just kept going forward in the first 15 minutes of the game."

FIRST OFF

Scoring the try meant a lot to me, especially when it's so early. We got a lot more hyped up and the team were really happy for me.

GAVIN ONG, ACS (I) hooker, on scoring his first and only try of this year's Schools National C Division rugby tournament. He crossed the line after 21/2 minutes to make it 5-0, and his team never lost the lead in the final against the Saints.

In the ninth minute, full-back Kaylen Chin, 14, scored the second try, as ACS (I) finished the first half leading 12-0.

From then, as the dark clouds shifted away and the skies became clearer, so did ACS (I)'s likelihood of winning the final, which was watched by over 700 spectators from both schools.

Yet, the Saints pushed for a comeback, with two tries in the final 20 minutes, forcing ACS (I) captain Emmanuel Yeo into a team talk while they were up 20-10.

He said: "I was quite confident that we would win. It's just whether we could work as a team and by how much we would win.

"After the first half, the score was two tries to zero. We were happy but we might have become complacent, and took our foot off the gas."

The team talk worked for ACS (I) as Kaylen notched up the final five points of the game with three minutes to go to seal the win.

"I felt that it was enough to secure the win," he said. "It was in the dying moments of the match and when I scored, I saw all the Saints players' heads dropping."

Besides the Grand Slam, the result also means that ACS (I) ended the season unbeaten in all six C division games.

Vice-captain Alex, 14, said: "Everybody's been putting in hard work. The A and B Division teams worked just as hard as us to get the Grand Slam.

"It's a special achievement for us, you can kind of say that it's making history for the school, but we have to stay focused and do it all again next year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline 'ACS (I) complete Grand Slam for second year running'. Print Edition | Subscribe