Team Singapore's Samantha Teo being tackled by Noriko Taniguchi from Japan during the first half of the match (Photo by Dyan Tjhia / Sport Singapore)
Team Singapore's women's rugby team kicked off their Asian Games campaign with an emphatic 19-0 win over the host nation, but their evening encounter with a pacey and experienced Japanese side proved to be a very different story.
Captain Samantha Teo led by example in the morning as she scored two tries while teammate Chan Jia Yu scored one. Christabelle Lim also got on the scoresheet, grabbing four points from conversions.
The team, however, was humbled just hours later when Japan beat them 60-0. Team Singapore will continue their pool games against China on Wednesday before facing Uzbekistan and hosts South Korea.
“It was a tough game for sure,” said Singapore captain Samantha Teo about their game against the Japanese.
“Japan plays a really fast game and in the tackle area they are so quick and clinical. We just have to be relentless on defense, move up really fast and not give them time and space,” she added.
Team Singapore's Goh Xin Yi defending the ball during the 2nd half of the game (Photo by Dyan Tjhia / Sport Singapore)
“We expected a tough game, we played them a couple of times, we knew what was coming,” she said.
China, whose team is made up of full-time professional rugby players, will present another stern test, but Teo is hopeful Singapore will have learnt some lessons from the loss to the Japanese.
“Obviously we are disappointed we lost but we will pick up from there. We have to go out and attack tomorrow’s game with more confidence,” she said.