Back for the 69th edition this year, the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens (SCC 7s) returns to the Padang for a weekend fiesta of pulsating rugby action.
Features Six time champions Daveta
The upcoming tournament, which begins tomorrow morning, will feature six time champions Daveta from Fiji – led by Rio Olympics gold medallist Jerry TuWai, as well as the Penguins International RFC – the 2010 champions, who have the New Zealand All Blacks star Sonsene Anesi within their ranks. International developmental squads from England and France will also be taking part.
TuWai’s Daveta have their sights on a seventh win and are relishing the chance to be back in the tournament. Said TuWai, “We are very excited to be back and are looking forward to the tournament. Our objective, as always, is to win and also develop some new players.”
He added, “The SCC 7s always attracts a quality field and we will not be taking any team for granted in the tournament. The beauty of 7s rugby is that any team can win on the day. Our main strategy is to focus on our own game.”
Penguins are also looking forward to the action
Penguins’ Anesi, who is playing in the SCC 7s for the first time, is also relishing the opportunity. He said “I am definitely looking forward to this weekend. I have heard a lot of good things about Penguin tours; there are some great teams here with great players and it will be a hard tournament for sure.”
He continued, “We want to play an open and fast game. We had our first run on Wednesday and it went well; however we will need to improve as there are a number of teams that could possibly win.”
Singapore are pragmatic on their chances
Singapore’s national 7s team, who are also playing in the tournament, however, have realistic expectations on their chances this weekend.
Said Singapore’s Sidney Kumar, 30, “I think that this tournament is tough every year; this year if I am not wrong there are lesser teams but the tough teams are still here. So it will be an uphill task. But our main objective is to focus on our performance and how we play on the pitch, rather than the end result.”
He added, “We won’t be having any goals in mind; we will plan to take it game by game and see how we are able to match and counter our opposition. These are world class opponents so it will be quite foolish to expect that we can be champions.”
Kumar also pointed out that compared to the Singaporeans, many of whom are either studying full-time or holding down day jobs, many of their international opposition are professionals. He added, “This will make it a struggle, but no matter what, we will not give excuses; at the end of the day it will be about how we execute what we have done during training and how we are able to showcase that on the pitch rather than whom we are up against.”
Hopes to get a positive result to make Singapore proud
Kumar continued, “Nevertheless we are hoping to get a positive result this weekend and though we may or may not be on the scoreboard, we hope to chalk up some positive performances and to grow from here, and take the local game to the next level.”
This being his last SCC 7s tournament on an individual level, Kumar also hopes to be able to bow out on a high note. He said “I want to look forward to other things in terms of my career, so I hope to give this a good shot and put in my best effort, before I pass the baton to the next generation.”
He added “For younger rugby boys growing up, if you have a dream to play at the Padang, like I once did, then train hard and put in the extra hours at the gym and work on your skills and the requirements of the 7s game… and you will get the chance one day.”
An action packed tournament ahead
This weekend’s upcoming 7s tournament, according to the organisers, will be an action packed one. Said Jonathan Leow, Co-Chairman of the SCC International Rugby 7s committee, “This year’s tournament will be an interesting one to watch; the three day event will kick off Friday morning with the schools and colleges tournament showcasing some of the best local rugby talent in the U14 and U18 categories.”
He added, “There will also be a Guinness bar on-site for spectators to enjoy and watch the main tournament once it kicks off in the evening on Friday. It will be an action packed weekend of rugby festival for families to enjoy, with world class teams locking horns and battling it out for the Ablitt Cup.”
The SCC will also be fielding a team themselves, captained by Michael Oliver and featuring two guest players from South Africa – Clinton Herbst and Iewan Bartels, both of whom are aiming to help the hosts to better their plate runner up position from the 2015 tournament.
Action begins at 8.30am tomorrow
The schools and colleges tournament begins at 8.30am tomorrow (Friday 4 November) and the main tournament starts at 3.30pm on Friday and will last till 7.00pm on Friday. The action will continue over the weekend and end on Sunday 6 November.
Tickets are on sale
Tickets are on sale and these can be bought at www.apactix.com. Prices range from $10 for students and full time national servicemen, to $30 for an adult ticket, to catch all three days of action.