Friday, November 27, 2009

History: Do you know who the Anchor Reds are?

Sometimes people lose their way in life. And sometimes people don't realize that rugby is a great game, played by great men, amongst great friends and most importantly, played in the right spirit of the game. Over the years, I have seen many different kinds of players, and of late, I believe there has been a worrying change in the kind of talent that Singapore has been developing and the environment that has been set for our players of today to be brought up into.

Don't get me wrong. Its not that the players are not as fast or as strong as the players of the past - because with the modern game of rugby, most players of today's modern game are definitely stronger, faster, (talented? I will not be so sure about that.)

But the problem of today is that something has been SERIOUSLY lost over the years. And I am personally not sure, what it is. Looking at photos of the 90s warms my heart as I ponder of how enjoyable it must have been to be playing rugby in that era, where players were great friends on and off the pitch, who held mutual respect for one another, even if they played for different clubs. These players, who even up till today (after retirement), still remain as good pals and have so much love for the game in every goodness of it all.

Today many Singapore players and rugby fans have moaned of the many changes that Singapore rugby has had to deal with over the last decade, for example the ever changing faces of people in the top management, to people embezzling the Singapore Rugby union's funds, to a surprising resignation of a Technical Director with his bags all packed at the airport, to a local walkout protesting against preferential treatment to expatriate players, to great players being forced to retire or quit the game due to politics, to having a team with more expatriates than the previous year (with every year), to the ever changing expatriate talent that last for one season and are gone the next....Yes...the list really does go on. And in the end the people who or what suffers, is the future of Singapore rugby, where our very own talent that have been nurtured and grown in our backyard are left to wither and die, without ever being noticed or being brought to its fullest potential.

Where are the players who held so much potential in their school days?! Players who I personally witnessed and heard so much about, players like Grant Sani, Steedon Jessup, Ravi Shankar, Anil Singh, Li Rencong, John Pates!, Kenneth Lim, Tobias Ang, Anand Chandran, Tan Mian Yi, ...and this is really just to name a few off the top of my head, (and I am sure I have missed out many others,and you could probably add on). The problem about Singapore rugby, is NOT that we lack talent or even the HEART to play the game, because year after year you can see for yourself young players laying down their body and heart for their respective schools in the Nationals. The problem is we lack a system that will help us hold on to these precious unpolished jewels.

Gone are the days, where young boys in secondary school should aspire to be a national player, cause sadly they do not realize that it isn't so simple just being a National Rugby Player, especially in Singapore. With a National team squad with a 'turnover' rate that could possibly match the ongoing global economic recession, kids grow up not knowing that all these ideas of being a National Player isn't as straightforward as they imagined, nor as professional as they might have envisioned it to be.

Players of today either forget many things or grow up not having the privilege to know many things of the past of Singapore rugby- for instance, that almost more than a decade ago, there was a time

  • where Singapore U16s thrashed Hongkong's U16 34-5 at Chinese High Secondary School.
  • where a Singapore Under 23 side, beat a Hongkong Under 23 at Padang.
  • where Greenridge Secondary School rule the National school rugby scene.
  • where a school finals had to be decided by sudden death penalty kicks.
  • where Thailand gave Singapore a walk over during the ARFU division 2 competition because Singapore had 4 expatriate players and refused to withdraw them. (this was after training for 11 months for it)
With all these totally random knowledge of events, it just shows you how rich a history we have of this beautiful game in Singapore. (and it would be a pity if you didn't know). And probably you could try to see how some of these events hold some significance to the development of the game over the years in our country.

Players of today, forget that they play the game for the love of the game, and not for the development of their own ego. Players of today, lack the mentality or the art of stringing a series of passes and celebrating a well-worked team try together.

People forget many things as they evolve as players, but as we move forward to our own ways, as players and as gentlemen of the sport, I urge that we do not forget the long history of players that have come before us, and what they have achieved, and to remember that there was a time where players of this country, played for the love of the game, and represented Singapore for the love of this country.

Hopefully, some day...things will change to what they used to be in those glory 90s.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kong following cousin's footsteps?

It seems that the recent Eugene Wee saga has opened a can of worms, and early this morning, first-team winger Daniel Kong followed in the footsteps of his cousin by posting about his personal life on Facebook. It has since emerged that Kong has found another side to himself - declaring that he has a liking for men.

In an exclusive interview with Kong, who celebrates his 21st birthday today by skipping training, Daniel gave SMU Rugby a breakdown and intricate details of his life off the field even stating that he was 'one up on his cousin' because he 'enjoys the best of both worlds'.

When probed about the fierce intra-family rivalry between himself and Wee, Daniel said "It's a stupid question about who's better and who's not. Look at our last few games and tell me who starts. Look at my facebook profile and tell me who has more hits. Look at us when we strut around school and see who turns more heads, both guys and girls. When you look at every aspect, there is no competition."

However, it has emerged that the news has not sat well with everyone. For one, Eugene Wee was livid upon hearing the news - with our sources telling us that Wee was caught repeatedly screaming the line - "There can only be one poker in the team!!!".

Daniel Kong was signed in the summer of 2009. A former national javelin champion, Kong has since picked up the sport quickly and developed into one of the oustanding young talents of SMU Rugby. Kong has since cemented his position in the 7s first team squad and was recently called up to the IRAUG 2009 squad.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eugene Wee Comes Clean

The truth is out!

After months of constant speculation from both fans and teammates, Eugene Wee has finally come out with the truth. In a shocking turn of events, Eugene Wee chose to make the announcement on popular social networking site - Facebook, about his relationship with fellow teammate Alvin Wong.

The last few months have seen the duo grow increasingly close, and whilst the news has shocked many, there is a handful who saw this coming. Fullback Wang Enjian told SMURugbyNews, "I knew it. It was long coming. There were times when I noticed that their tackles on each other were coated with a bit too much of a sexual touch. We all had our suspicions, and all Eugene did was make it official. I wish the duo all the best."

Our sources, who revealed the details on the condition of anonymity, said that the pair was last seen having a romantic meal at The Line, Shangri-La when the speedy winger, who recently got his fair share of media attention, popped the question. And of course, who is Alvin to reject the advances of the SSU President?

Love is in the air!

The duo becomes the first couple ever in SMU Rugby's history, breaking a long-standing tradition of no relationships between fellow players.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Punk'd - Its back to haunt u. Say No to crossdressing

In previous years, we didn't have too much problems with our players off-field conduct, as majority of our players were known to be more unassuming, humble, shy, role model...(you get the point). But of late, we have seen a growing trend in our players being caught in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. And most of the time, it happens outside of the rugby field - this week's victim is no different.

This week's claim to shame and featuring for a second time on our season of "You're an ABSOLUTE disgrace" we have our very own SMU Prop Matthias Lim.

(L to R) Matty "i am a slut" Lim, Daniel "I know what girls want" Lee. Sherman "I run 100m in 15 seconds" Yeo

Taken during last year's Freshmen Sports Camp, a group of our players were heard to be really enthusiastic about welcoming the new batch of FRESHmeat. But, from what our sources told us, some of them got really carried away. Needless to say, we think the picture tells you who really lost the plot.

Our verdict: "Matty, Matty...what!were you thinking mate!?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Head Coach Releases Autobiography

SMU Head Coach, Rong Jing Xiang, officially released his very own autobiography entitled Two Rongs Don't Make A Right. The story of Singapore's most capped player has been a highly anticipated event within the rugby community - after the former national captain promised to spill it all.

Our sources tell us that Rong will talk about his love-hate relationship with the Singapore Rugby Union, his excessive indulgence in personal soliloquy on the rugby blog as well as his personal emotions after his heart-breaking loss coaching the City Boys. With a career spanning a gabillion years, Rong talks about the highs and lows of his rugby career.

In a special press interview, Rong told SMURugbyNews - "I've always wanted to be a writer and I knew I had it in me to write fancy prose and charm the socks off my adoring fans. There was a time when it was between being a poet and being a rugby player. But that's history. I am what I am today and now it's time I got back to doing the other things I love."

Two Rongs Don't Make A Right is currently retailed at all major bookstores. Should you wish to get an autographed copy, Rong will be at Borders (Wheelock) for a special autograph signing session.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Prodigal Son Returns

Eugene Wee returns home, finally.

Scouted and signed 2 years ago, Eugene Wee is finally paying dividends in the faith and belief that the coaching panel placed in him. The former ACS winger had previously decided to hang up his boots, citing that he has had 'enough rugby to last him for a lifetime'. Back then, the speedster broke the hearts of many of his adoring fans - especially those who were desperately waiting to see him don SMU colours for the senior side - hanging up rugby boots to play handball.(wtf!)

Labelled as a 'bad-boy' and 'want-away' in 2008, Wee announced his return in the summer of 2009 citing a 'desire for some rough manly action'. When probed about the possibility of Wee breaking into the first team, Coach Hairul said, "Yes, it is a possibility. But Eugene spent a year away engulfed in a life of excessive sex, booze and drugs. It will take a while for us to get him back into shape. The lad has loads of talent but we need to work on his fitness issues."

Eugene who featured in SUNIG 2009 still displayed the same wicked speed that tormented sides back in his day - an amazing feat considering being out of training for so long. When probed about the secret to his speed, Eugene said 'A wank a day makes me fly away!'.

Wee was recently called up for the IRAUG 2009 senior side.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mouth Chew rumoured to hang up his boots

Yin Xiang axed from the IRAUG squad despite almost a full attendance in trainings

After announcing the squad for this year's India Rim Australia University Games (IRAUG), it has come to the attention of many onlookers of the surprise omission of veteran and dedicated Mouth Chew (real name Yin Xiang). While selectors clearly had a difficult decision in weighing between factors such as commitment in training, playing ability and experience, last year's vice-president had to be on the receiving end of being axe from the squad. Hence, preventing the year 3 student from making his 2nd successive appearance in the IRAUG.

It is rumored that the utility player was clearly disappointed, but accepted with grace that he empathized with the committee's difficult position in terms of selecting the squad for the tournament. However, the player hinted that the recent axe from the squad might be a blow that could lead to the calls of hanging up his boots for good.

In his time in SMUrugby, the lad has clearly contributed his fair share of hard yards for the club and has given nothing less than his best for the team (on and off the field), and certainly will be a loss should he not see out his 4 year contract with the City Boys.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ryan Jerseys Fly Off Shelves!

SMURugby's new kid on the block, Ryan 'Cold-sore' Tan, will soon be seeing many other little cold sores running around. The club's retail outlet saw Ryan's jerseys fly off the shelves, with many fans signaling their support for the former Raffles flanker.

Club merchandising officer, Gao Shen, said, "The shelves are empty! We never expected to see so many jerseys disappear, but it seems many people have taken a liking to the new kid. You might be interested to know that ever since we signed Ryan, we have managed to see a surge in "Cold-Sore Stickers (Ryan Tan Edition)" in the same month. Seems like more and more people want to not just play, but also look like him!"

Cold-Sore Stickers (Ryan Tan Edition) - U.P. $8.99

Ryan was signed in the summer of 2009 and made his debut for the senior side in the recent Singapore University Games, and has since been called up for the Indian Rim Asian University Games. The former Raffles Institution vice-captain had been singled out by out for his good work ethic and sterling performances by the coaching panel, with some believing that he will soon play a big part in the upcoming tournaments.

The player, who was recognized by his distinctive butt ugly looking cold-sore in his last competitive outing - earning the nickname 'Cold Sore', was not available for comment at the time of press.