This year the Breakthrough Rugby team had hoped to return to Taiwan, but we were unable to secure any fixtures over the Easter weekend so decided on a return to Singapore and yet again it proved to be a splendid choice. We selected 27 boys and with Gunny, Ivan, Tank and Pan Pan, along with yours truly, there were 32 of us in all.
Thursday 2 April 2015
We met at the airport for our 2.30pm flight and for a change managed to check in, without any last minute dramas, such as wrong names on tickets, expired passports etc. Ivan issued us with our tour wrist bands and sunglasses, which if we were caught without, invoked 20 press-ups, which we had plenty of throughout the trip.
There were quite a few boys flying for the first time, which led to a mix of excited, worried faces as we lifted off, but otherwise the flight passed uneventfully.
After arrival we were whisked off to our hotel, the YWCA at Fort Canning Lodge and after a quick shower we settled on a Mongolian Buffet for supper before an early night.
Friday 3 April 2015
A 7.30 pool session helped get out the stiffness from the travelling and then after breakfast it was off to the aquarium.
Singapore’s aquarium is well done and was enjoyed by most. It was certainly more popular than the usual city tour and temples! It was then back to the hotel for an afternoon of rest before our big game against Tomoko Lions, a Singapore team that also uses rugby to help youths at risk
The 7.30pm kick off meant that things were a bit cooler than during the day, but it was still hot to be playing rugby. We started very strongly and were soon dominating both possession and position on the park. We spent most of the first half at their end of the pitch crossing for a good forwards try after a driving maul and a nice try by the backs after some fancy footwork in the centre. Therefore just as we were approaching half-time we were 12-0 up and really beginning to dominate play, particularly at scrum time. When they did get the ball we tackled like demons, forcing knock-ons and indecision. However then the Singapore weather kicked in, there was a lighting warning and we had to come off.
Whilst at first we felt that this was a secret ploy by the home team to stop the game early the lighting was some of the worst I have ever seen and it got very close. Some bolts sizzled away for a good few seconds. Unfortunately the lighting did not stop quickly and we were forced to abandon the game. A moral victory for us as even though I say it myself we were well on top.
After a few pizzas pitch side and the exchange of some gifts it was back to the hotel for another early night.
Saturday 4 April 2015
An early start was the order of the day as our next opposition, the Anglo-Chinese School could only play on the Saturday morning and we wanted to get started before the day got really hot. However
there were delays kicking off and by the time we eventually got underway at nearer 10am, it was very hot. Anglo-Chinese School are probably the strongest colts’ team in Singapore this year and we knew we were in for a hard match. However we weren’t as fired up as the night before and when we got into their 22, we didn’t take our chances. They however did and what with our line-outs going badly we found ourselves down by 24 – 0 at half time.
During the second half we used all our substitutes as the heat began to tell. The game got a bit scrappy at times and we created far fewer chances than in the first half. However the boys never gave up fighting, but we were clearly second best on the day, eventually losing 41 – 0. The lads were disappointed but having played the night before and given the heat it was always going to be a difficult task.
After the game we enjoyed an early lunch with the opposition before heading to the beach, where we enjoyed, some football, swimming, zip lining (Thanks to Megazip, for the discount) and Tanks acrobatic display.
After freshening up at the hotel it was then of too Newton Circus to the food court followed by the court, where various indiscretions were highlighted and punished. The other guests were rather surprised by the goings on, but from the laughs and cheers they clearly enjoyed it.
Sunday 5 April 2015
It was off to the Universal Studios Theme Park for everyone today and everyone had a great time on the rides. It was another hot day but it was not as busy as we had feared it would be, so not too much time was wasted queuing.
In the evening the boys were free to do as they wanted for dinner, but most of us went to another food court at Lawpasa, which was again good fun.
Monday 6 April 2015
There was a leisurely start today and everyone took the opportunity to lie in. A few boys then went to the pool but most followed Ivan on his Chinatown shopping and lunch trip returning loaded with food and other goodies. It was then off to the airport for a flight back to HK, arriving just after midnight.
My thanks to all the very generous people who made this possible, particularly Sally Leonard for running the Great Wall for us last year to raise funds; Eccles & Lee Patent Attorneys & Trade Mark Agents; Mike Horner; Ageas Insurance Company (Asia) Ltd; Stretchline Holdings Ltd; David Bateson, Phil Crotty; Ted Devereux; Bill Thomas; Dr. David Owens; Brian Mahoney; Rhinos RFC; Tektos Ltd Martin Downey and many others. Breakthrough and the boys in particular are really grateful.