Heroes (The New Paper, 20 Sept 2008)



1. The Malaysian Rugby Union Cup followed on the HMS Malaya Cup, which had existed for 44 years by 1978, but Singapore won it for the first time that year, before repeating it in 1982.


2. Singapore – also in 1978 – finished third in the Asian Rugby Tournament behind powerhouses Japan and South Korea then, beating Thailand 16-15, for Singapore’s best-ever international rugby showing.


3. For their heroic upsets and efforts, Song Koon Poh was named the Sportsman of the Year for 1978, while Natahar Bava was the Coach of the Year, with the rugby team being voted Team of the Year.


4. Tonight’s local rugby reunion will feature Niaz Mohd Shah, Gurucharan Singh, Howard Cashin, John Koh, John Burgess, Natahar Bava, Chan Peng Mun, Lee Soon Tai and Wee Tiong How, and star-spangled players like Jarmal Singh (skipper of the 1978 MRU Team), Song Koon Poh, Teo Han Chua, Andrew Chin, Alfred Lee, Mahat Zainuddin, Sumadi Sarkawi and Derek Rodrigues, among the others attending.


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