Reported by Julian Tay
Edited by Victor Lee
It was just like any other Sunday morning – peaceful and sunny with some traces of rain from the previous night and a perfect time to catch up on the lost sleep over the week. However, it was 9.30 am in the morning and already the girls touch rug team, led by Germaine from AB block, was diligently warming up in the soccer field opposite the Tan Chin Tuan Building. There was no doubt that the atmosphere there was intense as teams from other halls were also busy preparing for a very challenging day ahead, physically and mentally.
Their coach, Raihan who was previously a touch rug player from Eusoff Hall was also there to guide them along the way. He left both the girls and guys team with words of encouragement before their matches began. As always, KE sports teams have a tradition of cheering before beginning any matches and thus they thundered with a resounding “KE WHOOSH” before they marched on to the field.
The girls started off the day against Raffles Hall (RH), donned in their bright green jersey. It started off slowly as it was the first match of the day and both teams were seen pushing their fronts to their opponent’s side. Several waves ended before an RH player saw an opening and ran for it (literally) before securing their first try. The first half of the match ended with no more goals. During the second half our defenses were breached by RH, costing us another try. The first match ended with a loss for us against RH 0-2.
In the second match, we were pitted against Temasek Hall (TH). It was delayed from the actual timing due to some unforeseen circumstances but the girls took that period to grab a quick bite to replenish their energy. The girls were clearly trying their best to defend their ranks but TH got the better out of them and went on to score 3 tries in the match. We lost against TH 0-3.
The third match was a very tight game. It was against Sheares Hall (SH) and both sides were defending and attacking equally throughout the whole game. Some good attempts were made by us but it did not come to fruition despite the players executing the formation. By half time, there were still no tries made by either side. After a brief advice from Raihan, the girls went in again and gave an even better fight. Despite that, we could not break SH’s defenses and thus ended the match with a 0-0 draw.
For the fourth (against Kent Ridge Hall (KR)) and fifth (against Eusoff Hall (EH)) matches, our touch rugby girls were exhausted by the unforgiving sun and lost both matches 0-3 and 0-4 respectively. It was worth mentioning that during the fourth game against KR, Unnaa made a nice save – or touch for this matter – enabling the team and get back into formation.
Despite the losses, the girls did not show any anger or regret but instead were seen jumping and shrieking in happiness after ending their fifth match against EH because they knew that they have given their all. Germaine felt that the team had truly trained very hard over the course of 4 months and that they had grew a lot as a team from scratch. To her, the friendship forged with her team mates was something that could not be measured by any yardstick or taken away by the losses they experienced that day.
Lastly, Raihan (the coach) raised another poignant remark about the calibre of these girls’ spirit. I would like to quote his words here: “I had this moment for the team when they were against KR in their fourth match. We started with 10 players but were left with only 6 midway of the match due to injuries acquired during the match. It was just after a turn of possession for the KE team and the girls were very exhausted and looked at me for substitutes but I could only shake my head because I had no more viable substitute. I could see in their faces that they were slightly affected but they forged on and pushed their ranks till KR’s end with no substitute and that’s when it hit me that these girls really put their heart and soul into their matches. To me, that moment is a strong image that would remain etched in my mind.” I thought his words captured the true essence of how we KEVIIans fight. We may not always win but we always give our all.
Let us all learn from the touch rugby girls!