Thirty more seconds… “Come on, you can do it ISKL!”
Teammates, parents, and coaches were on the tips of their toes, the edge of their seats. IASAS schools began cheering on our undefeated ISKL ladies to win the battle against Singapore American School. Ten more seconds… “just hold the ball! No turnovers!” The score was 3-1.The coaches and teammates inched closer off the sub box and into the field. Hands were held as time slowed down. 3…2…1… Cheers erupted over the field as the rugby boys and parents formed a supportive long tunnel. Our touch girls beat Singapore American School, securing their place in the finals. Everyone was hugging and crying. Moreover, it was the fifth game that ISKL hadn’t lost. Oh, and another small little thing. ISKL was in the finals, at the top of the table, waiting to see who they would play, for the first time in twelve years.
Over the course of the season, coaches and supporters were impressed as how close the touch girl’s squad had become. They were no longer just friends, but family. The connection between the ladies was present on the field as they kept their composure under pressure and continued supporting each other after mistakes on the field. Other teams cracked under the immense pressure of the sport, ending up snapping at each other.
The boys and ladies grouped together as their coaches delivered a pep talk. This was it. This was the last chance to prove that ISKL’s rugby teams are forces to be reckoned with. For many seniors, this message is what drove them to encourage their teammates and work harder than ever before. The first game for touch was against Taipei American School. The match was tough and the nerves were high. The ladies beat Taipei in the last 10 minutes with two tries. The win validated the girls’ hopes, leading them to a second win against JIS 3-1.
As day two began, the ladies were set to match ISB and ISM. Both games brought their A-game. In both instances, ISKL was up by a point and in the last couple seconds, the opposing squad scored tying the game.”When they scored, we didn’t get discouraged or crack down on each other. Often, whenever any team scored on us, in the next play we immediately scored and came back in the lead again”, Suzanna said happily. The final score? ISKL 5-5 ISB and ISKL 4-4 Manila.
It was the finals, the highly anticipated match between the host school Manila and the ladies of Kuala Lumpur. Both rugby squads came together again for another hyped up team talk to prepare for the upcoming competition. Although the Manila crowd were begging for ISKL to lose, other rugby and touch teams came to cheer us on.“Leading up to it, we were all nervous and anxious, but once we set foot onto the field, we were overcome with determination and passion. Everyone stepped up their game and we played really well and relied on each other”, captain Iona said. The teams were evenly matched and as the night rolled on, the score remained tied. The Manila crowd became quiet as ISKL became dominant and were extremely close to scoring. The alarm buzzed, time was up. It was still 0-0. The ever looming chance of a drop off match became a reality. In the drop off, both squads start on the field with five players instead of six. Every two minutes, one person from each team would be taken off, until there were only three players on the pitch. These three players would battle the opposing three for the gold title. There were a couple times where ISKL was so close in receiving that title. However, a nice play from Manila’s girls landed a try, and ended the final. The ISKL group were sad for a little bit, as both rugby and touch lost against Manila. However, it didn’t take long to realize the achievement both teams had made by even making second place. Loads of pictures were taken and laughs were shared until the end of the tournament. It was one amazing IASAS, and as a senior, the best way to be sent off.