Story and photos by Bryan Foo/Red Sports.

Tan Kai Wen (SA #26) carries the ball as he outpaces the opposite Barker defender down the wing. The Saints beat Barker 22-8 to advance to B Division rugby final. (Photo X © Bryan Foo/Red Sports)

Tan Kai Wen (SA #26) carries the ball as he outpaces the opposite Barker defender down the wing. The Saints beat Barker 22-8 to advance to B Division rugby final. (Photo 1 © Bryan Foo/Red Sports)

MOE (Evans) Stadium, Tuesday, 28 March 2023 — The Saints have qualified for their first B Division rugby final at the National School Games (NSG) since 2019, after beating ACS (Barker Road) 22-8 in a tense semi-final.

The NSG was brought to a two-year hiatus due to the Covid situation.

Last year, however, saw the return of NSG rugby, though the B Division was played in the 7s format rather than the usual 15-a-side due to the prevailing public health measures at the time.

“They did better than expected, they brought up the intensity for today,” said Saints coach Ashraf Nasser. “What we really needed was the first 20 minutes to blow the opposition off, and we did the job.”

The atmosphere was akin to a final, with both schools packing the stadium stands with supporters.

In a show of sportsmanship, both teams also prayed together prior to the match.

The boys from Barker Road were the first to put points on the board. Scrumhalf Elliot Chan (AC #9) took a successful penalty kick 15 metres away from the Saints’ posts, opening the match 0-3 in favour of ACS(BR).

“The boys gave 100% effort – the first half especially – I thought we defended well but it was just difficult to get [possession of] the ball,” said Barker coach Rex Wang.

The Saints had other plans as Ashton Tay (SA #13) would go on to score two tries for the boys in blue and white. Both tries were unconverted and the scoreboard stood at 10-3 for the first half.

The second half saw St. Andrew’s put in a further two tries.

The Saints scrumhalf (SA #9) sniped the ball off a ruck and stretched his arms out over the Barker tryline to score, while the Saints No. 8 (SA #8) grounded the ball in-touch from a pick-and-go.

One of the tries was converted by the Saints right winger (SA #14), taking the score to 22-3.

ACS(BR) would go down swinging with a late game try from Luis Garcia (AC #12) which remained unconverted.

As the game wound down, neither side ceded any ground, and the full-time whistle blew to a score of 22-8.

Despite the loss, Barker captain Chan (AC #9) is focused on their next game: “[The semi-final] definitely wasn’t our best performance… [the result was] slightly disappointing but we are looking forward to our 3rd/4th placing [match].”

As for the victorious Saints, captain Jareb Seow (SA #12) shared his anticipation to be advancing to the final: “It feels pretty exciting and good since we haven’t made the finals in a while.”

“We want to finish off on a high at the finals,” added coach Nasser.

St. Andrew’s Secondary School will face perennial rival school Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) in the final scheduled for Monday, 10 April 2023 4.30pm at the Singapore National Stadium.

St. Andrew’s Secondary School v Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)

Scoring by half
First Half: 10-3 (10-3)
Second Half: 12-5 (22-8)
Full-time: 22-8

Ashton Tay Liqian (#13) – 2 tries
SA #9 – 1 try
SA #14 – 1 conversion
SA #8 – 1 try

Chan Ee Xi Elliot (#9) – 1 penalty
Raki In Luis Gabriel Garcia (#12) – 1 try

SASS Roster
Muhammad Erhan Bin Mohan, Chew Wei Zhe Oliver, Darian Oh Kai Jie, Chen Sibin, Emmanuel Tong Ke Jun, Jedd Tng Jie, Timothy Tan Jia Yi, Yeo Jia Kai, Bryant, Ng Yan Ming, Timothy, Khow Jyun Zhen, Liu Brendan Brian, Goh Kai En Travis, Ong Yu-Jie Keegan, Tan Yong Qi Elwin, Jareb Seow Yu Zhen (#12), Ashton Tay Liqian (#13), Giorgio Ng Cai Xun, Tan Kai Wen, Caston Tan, Muammar Nidal Bin Jasmani, Grivas Tzimopoulos Konstantinos, Asfa Danish Bin Saiful, Owen Lee Rong, Noah Loh Leya, Jesse Tng, Isaiah Tan Rui Yang, Irfan Bin Mohamad Amrin, Jake Kong Zit Caie, Elijah Lee Zhi-En, Zachary Wee Jun Zhe

ACS(BR) Roster
Bradley Hang Zong Han (#16), Ethan Choo Zi Yi (#1), Hung Junlin (#3), Josiah Zhi Yang Williams (#2), Ong Yiu Kiat (#17), Andre Ian Lim Ji In (#20), Ryan Ng Yi Kai (Huang Yikai) (#8), Teo Rui Feng (#26), Arya Evan Zaccheus (#7), Ezra Lye Ci Yuen (Li Siyuan) (#5), Samuel Siang Yu (Shang Yu) (#22), Goh Yu Heng Joshua (#27), Elliot Cory Rantung (#21), Shammah Abishek S/O Robin (#30), Wan Ian Irfann Bin Wan Shamsury (#11), Nico Caviezel (#23), Yeong Zong Seng (#29), Ethan Koh Tze Kit (#6), Jedidiah Cheong Jie De (#18), Chan Ee Xi Elliot (#9), Su Shze Jie, Declan (#28), Nur Asyidiq Bin Sufian (#25), Raki In Luis Gabriel Garcia (#12), Jaedon Ong Jie En (#14), Javier Toh Jun Lin (#15), Jayden Toh Jun Yan (#10), Matthias Teng Carwyn (#4), Joseph Lee Min Yih (#13), Nonis Ryan Jayden (#24), Danish Naufal Bin Mohamed Zulkifly (#19)

*** NOTE: Names and jersey numbers are based on official team sheets. The SASS team sheet did not include jersey numbers.

More photos next page. Please let us know if you recognise any of the players in the photos by leaving a comment, so we can edit the captions to include their names.