RI and ACS(I) to meet in A Div rugby final at National Stadium
School rugby powerhouses to clash in final of boys' A division at National Stadium
Raffles Institution (RI) will be gunning for revenge when they meet arch-rivals Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) in the National Schools boys' A Division rugby final on May 20.
RI signalled their title ambition when they defeated St Andrew's Junior College (SAJC) 26-7 in the semi-finals at the MOE (Evans) Stadium yesterday.
With the win, the Rafflesians set up a repeat of last year's final against three-time defending champions ACS(I), who overpowered Anglo-Chinese Junior College 35-7 in the other semi-final yesterday.
RI lost 36-3 to ACS(I) in last year's final.
In yesterday's semi-final, SAJC took an early lead with Timothy Teo scoring a try, followed by a converted kick by Hityashan Chandran.
But, RI quickly recovered and dominated the rest of the match, with two consecutive tries and converted kicks right before half-time.
While they sharpened their attack, the Rafflesians also tightened their defence and did not allow the Saints to score again.
RI racked up 12 points in the second half, including a sprint through the scrum by Kasim Razak to score the game's final try to add gloss to the win.
RI coach Mark Lee was delighted by his team's commanding performance.
The 39-year-old said: "I'm a bit speechless now, but well earned by the boys, well deserved.
"They really squeezed out that result."
Lee paid tribute to the Saints, who were A division champions in 2013.
He said: "I give credit to the Saints boys, they worked hard in the first half.
"They were very menacing in their tackles, and showed intent in making this game a true contest.
"The Saints bring passion to the game."
ACS(I) were also in top form in the other semi-final as they outclassed ACJC 35-7 to qualify for the final in style.
The May 20 final will be held at the National Stadium, serving as a curtain-raiser for the Super Rugby match between the Hito-Communications Sunwolves and the Sharks.
RI coach Lee said that his team will be fired up for the final, after their younger boys lost 25-12 to ACS(I) in the B Division final in March.
But he believes they will have to raise their game to thwart ACS(I)'s bid for a four-peat.
He said: "It's everyone's dream to play at the National Stadium.
"We have to be very disciplined, have a bit of luck and plenty of conviction.
"We need to be one notch higher than today to beat ACS(I)."