Cebu Dragons revisit Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth in Argao for another Saturday filled with fun rugby. The boys in the center were very excited to see us and play touch rugby after two weeks. From the last time we visited, they have been practicing and playing on their own also in preparation for the mini tournament to be held on April.
We can really feel their interest towards the sport because even though we play in a cemented basketball court, rain or shine, the kids always end up with big smiles and happy faces after the games. After practices the kids also make an effort to entertain us and showcase their singing and dancing talents some kids can even do the beat box extraordinarily. One boy even said “Bai ato jud lingawon silang ate og kuya kai gi lingaw biya ta nila pag maau” (let’s give them a good time as they have made our day fun) Just hearing this, makes our trip worth it. Though we spent hours travelling, our efforts were never wasted.
The center has really helped the kids change for the better and we are hoping that rugby will somehow aid them in their attempt to become better people. When approached normally, each one seems to be just like a growing young boy; with talents, frustrations, emotions and dreams to fulfill. With the guidance of the staff in the center plus the added diversion of playing the sport, hopefully these boys will continue their progress to amend themselves in becoming productive citizens and future rugby players.
Congratulations to the following players who will comprise the Philippines A team that will battle the Philippine Volcanoes on April 15, at Nomad Sports Club (6:30 pm).
Philippine Barbarians (Philippines A)
De Leon, Nomads
Morales , Nomads
Coach: Simon Mann
Kick off is at 6:30pm.
Admission is free.
The Manila Nomads proved that they are the top ranked local team leading into the Manila 10s by convincingly defeating the Alabang Eagles by 33 - 19 in the Cup Final of the JML 10s league. With the series at one game each leading into the final, the Nomads came out with all guns blazing in an overwhelming first half display that saw them take a 19 point lead in the first half. Tries to Jon Morales, John Munro and Chris Anderson left the Eagles in their wake as the Nomads forwards dominated the set pieces and barreled through the Eagles defenses to set up quality ball for their backs. Coach Phil Gittus tactics of simple forward dominated rugby paid dividends and the Nomads mistake rate was minimal as the Eagles struggled to escape their own half. The return of David Carman and Tim Bweheni helped spark a short lived Eagles revival in the second half and they both scored late tries to bring the score back to a respectable level. The Nomads defeated the Eagles and retained the PRFU 10s Cup for 2013.
The Nomads defeated the Eagles in last year’s plate final at the Manila 10s tournament and have set themselves up to defend this title at next weekend’s competition.
It was fantastic to see all the local PRFU teams playing in the JML 10s finals in preparation for the 2013 Manila 10s tournament. The JML 10s finals also saw the Globe Immortals play the Makati Mavericks with the winner of this final securing the last available position at the Manila 10s. The Makati Mavericks were shouting war cries at the kick off and were then shouting victory cries at the end of the game when they ran out winners by 49 - 0.
Good luck to all the local PRFU teams and Clubs in the Manila 10s next weekend.
Ladies Division: Manila Defeats Cebu at JML PRFU 10s League Championship
Photo Credit: Nomads Sports Club
The north and south ladies teams battled for another PRFU league championship title. The Cebu Lady Dragons, who had previously won all matches against Manila, came to the pitch expecting another victory. Manila Mayhem had other plans.
The first match was evenly contested. Both teams put their bodies on the line in a grueling encounter. An ankle injury in the 5th minute ended the game early for Lady Volcano Madille Salinas, forcing Cebu coach Dean Baker to adjust their game plan. In the 7th minute, Manila scrumhalf Cassie Umali picked up a loose ball and broke through to the score line, earning the first try of the match. With a physically larger forwards pack, the Manila ladies kept most of the match on their territory, drawing the bulk of Cebu’s defence and freeing space for their backs. Lady Volcano winger Nikki Lira out-smarted Cebu defenders with a quick sidestep, scoring a swift second try.
The second half saw the Cebu team take advantage of a series of penalties by the Manila team. After a quick tap from a penalty, Cebu player Aiumi Ono scored the Southerners' first try. With the match close at 10-5, Manila ladies relied on their forwards, who pushed the ball to the attacking zone while drawing Cebu defenders. This play created a big overlap, and with quick passing from the backs, substitute winger Loujen Saldo caught the ball on the run and scored the third try in between the posts. The first game ended with a score of 15-5 in favor of Manila.
Photo Credit: Cebu Lady Dragons
The second match saw stronger defence from both ladies teams. With the added pressure of needing to win against Manila by more than 10 points, the Cebu team relied on the strength of their forwards to defend their territory. However, a ruck on the 5 metre line gave a quick ball to Manila's backs and allowed the Manila team to score their first try of the second match. Inside Center Stephie Harringer crashed through Cebu defence after a quick pass from Lady Volcano Acee San Juan. A pop pass from Lady Volcano legend Arlene Trinkler to Rose dela Cruz then won Manila their second try and earned the team a 10-to-nil lead by halftime.
The second half exhibited a series of good tackles from both teams. The Cebu team again capitalized on infractions by Manila's players. After a prolonged phase on the 5 metre line, Cebu newbie Ica Astentista picked the ball from the ruck and dove over the line to score Cebu's first try. The last 5 minutes saw more quality tackling, particularly from Manila's Aye Honoras and Cebu's Cherry Manaug. Cebu Lady Volcano Luisa Jordan managed to break through Manila's defensive lines several times and was consistently able to draw at least two defenders with each attempt. Ending the match, another quick ball from the backs gave Nikki Lira the change to score Manila's third try. The second game ended with a final score of 17-5 in favor of Manila, and Most Valuable Player for the ladies division was later awarded to Manila fly half, Acee San Juan, and Cebu lock, Cherry Manaug.
It was two tough matches, but both teams demonstrated a much-improved brand of women’s rugby in the Philippines. These matches served as a tryout for the ladies who hope to be included in the National Women’s 15s and 7s teams
Falcons win Bowl Championship; Ibons clinch Plate Championship
Falcons (Bowl Champions)
The Falcons started the day with an easy friendly against the Vipers in the Bowl division. The Falcons, with minimal experience in the game play of rugby, still had the edge over the Vipers. Their flair in passing and precision running resulted in a 22 – 0 victory over the Vipers.
The Hapons played a tough and expansive game plan in the first half, running the Falcons from side to side, but their effort was matched with the tough defence of the Falcons. The Falcons utilized their more experienced and seasoned players, which was evident in the second half of the game. The strong running of the PNG players broke tackles and left the Hapons’ defence wanting. The Falcons beat the Hapons 17-0. With this win, the Falcons were crowned the Bowl Champions.
Alabang Ibons (Plate Champions)
Captain Chris Hettel led the Ibons through a tough and exciting game against the Carabaos. It was necessary for the Ibons to beat the Carabaos with 18 or more points to walk away the victors in the Plate division. With the Ibons under pressure even before the game started, the Carabaos were the clear favourites for this epic show down. The Carabaos displayed their strength and scored the first try of the game. With an unsuccessful conversion, they lead 5-0 in the first 5 min of the game. The Ibons answered with hardened defence which led to Nixon ripping the ball in a tackle. Scoring between the uprights, they left the Carabaos puzzled.
With the score now at 7-5, Ibons captain had a hard talk with his team. His encouraging words were evident and the Ibons scored next with some good backline play. Running the ball from within their own half, they scored in the right side corner. With an unsuccessful conversion, the score was 12-5. Captain Chris Hettel stepped up in the forwards with some good strong running, putting the Ibons on the front foot in attack. With the backs receiving good ball, they scored again just before half time and took the lead 19-5.
The second half was all about which team was the fittest. The strength of the Carabaos’ forwards, just could not keep up with the Ibons agile and speedy forwards. It was soon evident that the Ibons would walk away with a victory. When they scored the first try only a few minutes into the second half, the score was 24-5. It was not long after and they scored another try bringing the score to 29-5. The Carabaos manned up in defence but it was too little too late and the Ibons walked away with a victory of 29-5. The Ibons’ 24 point lead victory, guaranteed them as the Plate division victors, earning them the spoils of this exciting and courageous performance of rugby.
The Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU) Games were held last Monday, March 4, 2013, at Dizon National High School in San Pablo, Laguna. This tournament marked the second time Touch Rugby was included in the association's calendar sports. Two women's teams, three men's teams, and four mixed teams competed for the champion title in their respective divisions.
photo credit: US NCA
In the ladies exhibition matches, rivals University of Makati (UMAK) Herons and Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU) Questors battled it out for the women’s title. The first game saw the Herons, led by Rugby Sevens Development player Loujen Saldo, win by a single point for a final score of 2-1. The Questors gave their all in the second game, aiming to force a winner-take-all third match. It was a close round, but a breakaway by Herons winger Cha Bolando in the penultimate minute scored the winning try. The Herons ended the match with another 2-1 lead against the Questors, and Cha Bolando was awarded Most Valuable Player for the Ladies Division.
photo credit: US NCA
The men's division finals match was the highlight of the tournament, as UMAK Herons and QCPU Questors battled for the league supremacy. The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) team fought hard on all their games but were ultimately bested by the other teams' experience. UMAK Herons, led by National Team Under 18s players Chester Anin and Raphael Ordoñez, were poised to defend their title, but QCPU Questors had other plans. Driving hard through UMAK's defensive wall, QCPU scored repeatedly by passing the ball out wide to speedy wingers. The Herons had difficulty adjusting to the Questors' pace and were unable to match the skill level. In the end, the QCPU Questors took the men's crown with a 4-0 sweep.
photo credit: US NCA
The mixed division saw a total of four teams: two each from UMAK and QCPU. UMAK A and QCPU A ended the pool games with a draw on their first encounter. They later faced each other again in the finals round. With accurate passing, speed, and stamina, QCPU A won by a final score of 4-2 against UMAK A, taking the title of mixed division champion.
This tournament continued to adhere to Rugby's new “set and rip” rule. Traditionally, players put the ball on the ground and stepped over it upon being touched. Under the new rule, players had to turn their back to the opposition and present the ball to their teammates, who, in turn, had to rip the ball from touched player. This variation is more consistent with the rules of full contact rugby. All teams were able to adjust to the new rule and played fun, high-level games throughout the day.
ALCU Games is an annual event. PRFU's goal is to include the other member schools in the Rugby division in the future.
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