By Neil Coomber (guest writer, General Paper Department)
There was little to separate Raffles Institution and St. Andrew’s in the 2013 Kiwi Cup and the final score reflected that. Played under beautiful weather and on Raffles’ soil, this year’s match was certainly a close-fought battle.
The only try of the game came just on the stroke of half-time after a relatively equal first-half. And if the timing of the try was difficult to swallow for the home team, so too was the manner of the try, as Kyran Chew charged straight through the middle and crossed to give the St. Andrew’s the advantage. Despite this disappointment for Raffles, St. Andrew’s subsequent failure to convert the try from a relatively central position gave the team some hope for the second half.
For much of the first-half, both teams had trouble breaking through the other’s defense and opportunities to score a try were limited. Led by their captain, Matthew Tjeong, Raffles was clearly determined to put an end to a successive losing streak in the Kiwi Cup. Despite being a man down as a result of a yellow card in the 30th minute of the game, Raffles held their ground well and it looked as though the score would be even at half-time.
Going into the second-half, Raffles knew that without conceding further tries, a try and conversion would be enough to win the match. Equally, St. Andrew’s knew that their single try might not be enough to win and so pushed to extend their lead. Both teams were buoyed on by the enthusiastic support from the fans and the mascots.
The game started to open up in the middle of the second half and both teams had tussles around the try-line. However, neither side was able to take advantage of these positions. As the game went on, Raffles conceded a number of penalties, perhaps as a result of frustration or fatigue, which gave the St. Andrew’s the advantage. In the end, St. Andrew’s was able to hold on to their slender lead, with the Saint’s captain, Hargaven Singh Gill, lifting the trophy for the team.
Despite the defeat, Raffles can take a number of positives away from the game and be confident about the upcoming rugby season.
Raffles Institution 0 Saint Andrews 5