On Saturday 18th January, the College welcomed 45 ‘Touch Rugby’ teams to the sixth annual Straits Touch Tournament. The tournament was played in great spirits across five age groups (U10, U12, U14, U16 & U18) with 16 pitches in action. The addition of four newly laid pitches created the opportunity to increase the numbers and produce a record-breaking number of teams involved in a single Straits tournament. Marlborough fielded 14 teams on the day, which meant plenty of pupils had the opportunity to embrace the electric atmosphere. Girls from Year 3 to Year 13 illustrated that the game is much loved and skillfully played throughout the school and within the area. The camaraderie amongst the teams was admirable to see; pace and flare were the order of the day with some audacious ‘side-stepping’ and ‘show-and-goes’.
Below are the details of each winning category and match reports from the Marlborough team coaches and players that competed.
U18 Cup Winners – MCM 1st VI
U18 Cup Runner Up – UWC East
U18 Plate Winners – ISKL
U18 Bowl Winners – MCM 2nd VI
U16 Cup Winners – Singapore Cricket Club
U16 Plate Winners – MCM U16A Blues
U16 Bowl Winners – UWC Dover
U14 Cup Winners – Tanglin Rugby Club
U14 Cup Runner Up – Singapore Cricket Club
U14 Plates Winners – GEMS World Academy
U14 Bowl Winners – Tanglin Rugby Club (2)
U12 Cup Winners – MCM Cheetahs
U12 Plate Winners – MCM Leopards
U12 Bowl Winners – TRC
U10 – SK Convent Batu Pahat
Prep School Competition Summary
In the U10 competition, the two sides played in their first tournament and it was simply a joy to behold. Smiles, runs, touches and tries were witnessed with immense passion and enjoyment from all that were involved.
In the U12 Tournament the intensity was certainly higher with a very competitive competition. Local team SK Sungai Bunyi led the tournament with five straight wins with the MCM Cheetahs close behind in second place. They played out the final with the Cheetahs dominating the final, winning in the extra time drop out. The U11 Leopards were equally as impressive with a Plate final victory against SCC, with TRC winning the Bowl.
Congratulations must go to the Year 8, U13 teams who played up in the U14 Tournament. The Cobras made it to the Cup semis and the Vipers made the Plate final.
U14 Blues VI
The Touch Rugby Straits were the U14s biggest tournament this season, and they had been training hard, putting in extra sessions on the pitch and in the gym. When the big day came, the girls were focused and played with intensity from start to finish.
The first game was against GEMS World academy, with captain Jasmine Wright setting the standards with the first try scored off a move the team had practised in games. The girls maintained this momentum and came away with a 3-1 win. The next match was against MCM U13 Cobras. Elisa See was quick off the mark and scored the first try within a minute! Olivia Lennard (the overall top scorer for the U14s) also had a strong game, topping up the scoreboard with an impressive hattrick. The following game against SMK Bandar Uda Utama had a shaky start, but the defence was strong and the team found their rhythm again, finishing with a 5-0 win. Having won all group stage matches, the U14 Blues headed into the Cup semi-final against SCC Rugby Academy. SCC scored the first try but Jemima Appiah-Metcalf came back with an impressive equaliser, scoring off a rapid breakaway. Unfortunately, in the last few minutes, SCC secured the win but the girls were happy with their overall performance. The team should be incredibly proud of their achievements and look forward to building on what was an impressive start for some in touch rugby.
U16 Blues VI
The U16 competition this year was a round-robin format which meant that each team would play six matches throughout the day. The U16 Blues had a tough first match against SCC. It took them a while to play with intensity and as a result, it finished 1-1. As the morning went on, the girls grew in confidence as individual players as well as a squad. The defence was solid, making it very difficult for the opposition to score; the team also started to play more attacking Touch. The U16 Blues then went on to win the next four games. The final game was against ISKL, MCM knew that they had to win to be in contention of winning the whole tournament. The girls played with composure and skill to win 2-1. The U16 Blues finished joint first on points after the six matches but the final placing had to go on try difference. Unfortunately, they narrowly missed out, finishing behind SCC on points difference. Congratulations to all the girls who played.
Marlborough 1st VI
In the Senior Competition, there were 11 teams competing for the Straits title. The age category was split into two pools.
‘We ended up in the pool of six teams so we knew we had a lot of matches to play throughout the day. We went in with modest expectations and with the goal of working well together as a team and playing the best that we could. The first game was against ISKL, a team that has challenged us, and generally come out on top for years, but we went in with high hopes. It was a close game but we managed to pull through with a 2-1 win that put us all in a positive mindset for the day.
Our next two games were against some newer teams with less experience. This meant that we were able to practise our moves and our drives to come away with 10-0 and a 7-0 win. It was fun to play against teams with different styles and our footwork in defence was definitely challenged by their attack. Our toughest game in the pool was against SAS, who we had played in a friendly tournament a week earlier. The competition was tight and we went into the game feeling slightly nervous. Despite the tough defensive work, SAS scored against us. However, in the last remaining minutes of the game, Steph Sullivan broke the line and scored, giving us the result we needed to go on to the semi-finals.
Following our challenging game against SAS, we were feeling confident as we had done enough to be placed top in our pool. In the semis we were faced with KLASS, a strong team with a number of Malaysian national team players so we knew it would be a tough game. It was the closest game of the day with just one try apiece scored in the initial 15 minutes as a result of excellent defence from both teams. We went into drop offs and it was nailbiting as each team was reduced to four players. We were able to maintain our composure and our fitness helped a lot as we continued to fight for a place in the final. Our strong attack resulted in a diving try from Steph Sullivan that won us the game and gave us the opportunity to go through.
The final was against UWC East and we were all incredibly nervous as they are known to be a very strong team. Our main goal was to keep the scoreline low and to play our best, no matter what the outcome. We fought hard and thanks to some amazing hands down the line, we scored a try on the wing from Lulu Muthusamy. This put us all in a good mood so we continued to work hard, which culminated in some individual brilliance from Ella Halsall who broke their line with a show-and-go to score what was arguably the try of the day. Our aim was then to use our fitness to maintain our strong defence and, despite conceding a well-deserved try from our opposition, the final score was 2-1 to us. This was the first time that the MCM 1st team had been in the Straits final, so to win against one of the top teams in Singapore was an incredibly exciting result. Overall, it was a very rewarding day and everyone on the team was extremely proud of our achievements.’
Match Report by Stephanie Sullivan and Shermin Teoh, 1st VI Co-Captains
I could not be prouder of these girls’ achievements. This is a group who have led by example, remained resilient when results have not gone their way, and who have been integral to the development of MCM Touch. Their result on Saturday, a genuine team effort from a group with varying levels of experience, is a testament to how far they have come through sheer hard work and determination. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to work with such a brilliant group of young women.
– Isabel Nixon Marlborough 1st VI Coach