Rugby: Cricket Club to fight on despite many defeats

Rugby: Cricket Club to fight on despite many defeats
Bryan Ng.

Forty-one years have passed since the Singapore Cricket Club rugby team last won the SCC Rugby International sevens (SCC 7s).

Since then, their record has been less than stellar. Last year, the team finished bottom of their group and had to settle for a place in the third-tier Bowl pool.

Yet, despite the relentless blows and crushing defeats they have suffered over the years, the hosts remain committed to sending a team with a good mix of youth and experience.

It is, after all, a rite of passage for the proud club - where boys become men, where budding players experience first-hand what it is like to do battle against the game's greats, and where future national players are groomed.

SCC captain Simon Etheredge said: "The younger players have to treat every game as an international Test match. It is high intensity and physicality throughout, and will be a good test of their speed and reaction skills."

Thrown into the deep end when he was only 17, Suhaimi Amran, a veteran of six SCC 7s tournaments, remembers vividly his baptism of fire in the competition.

Suhaimi, now 25, and who is also on the national 15s team, said: "Then, a Fijian player who was almost two heads taller than me slammed right into my chest. The next thing I saw was the sky as I lay on the pitch completely winded. I stood up out of pride, pretended to brush it off, then quickly asked to be substituted!"

It is taking hits like these that has enabled the club to groom numerous national players over the years, including current stalwarts Bryan Ng and Kevin Loo.

Ng, 26, who will be giving the SCC 7s a miss to focus on next week's Singapore Sevens, said: "The SCC 7s was a good stepping stone for me. I made my debut at 17, and it helps tremendously because you are exposed to a much higher level of rugby early on.

"It gave me confidence to do well on the international stage, and also made me want to improve, because you know there are people out there who are better and working harder than you."


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