Friday, August 21, 2009

Tough challenges lie ahead of SMUrugby

Its been a long time since we last “refreshed” our much beloved blog, which is coincidentally looking to surpass the total viewership of NTU’s blog really soon. ..So in order to achieve that and feed all you hungry readers out there…we are back once more with the new and latest juice and spills of what goes on in the university rugby scene and in particular, the City Boys.

After an impressive season that saw SMUrugby successfully defending their Tri-Unis title, 2008 President Sherman Yeo stepped down to allow the newly-appointed President, Derek Chan to assume the honors and bring SMU forward in the competitions and challenges ahead.

Upon assuming the new leadership role, President Derek Chan wasted no time by firstly renewing the coaching contract of Coach Rong Jing Xiang for yet another term. When interviewed with SMUrugby news, the coach who led the team to it’s second Tri-Universities Crown was elated. He said, “I am looking forward to working with the boys, they are a great bunch with lots of talent.”

The first challenge for Coach Rong is to defend SMU’s SuNIG 7s’ Crown, a challenge that has left many pundits and critics speaking of how this could be a tough test for Rong and his boys. The former Singapore Captain has to deal with a squad that has suffered a significant depletion ever since key players such as Daniel Marc Chow, Desmond Wee, Lorenzo, Weiming, Alex Chew and Lionel Poh, have all left the team on free transfer.

Speaking to Coach Rong after his 1st official training for the 2009/2010 season with the City Boys at the City Campus underground concourse on Wednesday, Coach Rong said, “The players that left us were certainly a tough act to follow, but I believe that the current squad of players have what it takes to step up to the plate and fill the big shoes. We just need to work on gelling the team together and work with the new boys who have come in this year.”

Despite appearing confident in his replies throughout his interview, Coach Rong did drop hints on his concerns for how the boys might fare next season for the Tri-Unis 15-a-side Championship, saying that while he is confident for the coming SuNiG 7s, he admits there will be a lot more work needing to be done when the 15 a side season starts.

But in his words, “It’s going to be a challenge, but I like challenges and I believe the City Boys will be up for it when the time comes.”

Only time will tell.

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