Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Preview to Tri-Universities: NUS tournament favorites

This will be the first Tri-Universities Rugby Championship ever held in Singapore, but it certainly isn't the only time that such a tournament involving the three universities has been organized. Ever since the polytechnics pulled out from the IVPs, the three universities have been playing some form of an IVP of their own, by playing against each other once a year. Previously the tournament only consisted of one leg, but this year the tournament which is officially called "Tri-Universities Rugby Championships" will have teams play each other twice, both home and away.

The team from Clementi Campus, NUS will certainly be a team to watch out for. Our bookmakers have tipped the defending champion to make a third one in a row. The side has enjoyed victory since 2005 and has constantly been viewed as the top rugby university in Singapore.

Last year, the team was given a special invitation to participate in a 15 a side tournament in France and did well to go all the way to the semi-finals. In last year's SMU ringEmail 7s, the team swept aside both SMU and NTU to book a place in the finals, only to lose to local rugby club, Red Dot Rebels.

In their preparation for the Tri-Unis, the team has hired the expertise of ACS(I) coaches Mr Jok and Mr. Adrian Chong, who were also involved in their preparation up to France. Rumor has it, under the charge of the duo, the side is looking sharp, fit and very organized.

Said NUS' Skipper Shafiq Zulazmi about being called favorites,

"We would rather not think ourselves as favorites, but it will certainly be nice to make it 3 in a row. We are quietly confident of our chances and I think with the right attitude and guidance we will get there...."

Players to watch out for:
  • #8 - Valmiki C Nair -
  • Inside Centre - Muhd A'srie
  • Outside Centre - Jonathan Chen
  • Fullback - Muhd Raihan

Look out for other previews on the NTU and SMU teams over the next few days.

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