The PRFU were delighted to be invited to the 2012 Philippine National Games(PNG) by the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee. The games were held at in Sta Cruz, Laguna and Governor Jorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan was extremely supportive to host the Rugby 7s event and showcase this Olympic sport to everyone at the newly renovated RECS Sports Stadium.
Eight Men’s teams and three women’s teams registered to compete for the inaugural Philippine National Games Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The Men’s Division had the Eagles, Ibons, Bison/Tarsiers, Globe Immortals, MAAP Warriors, CBRE Vipers and Mavericks, Clark Rugby Club teams in competition, while the Women had Team Xena, MAAP Lady Warriors and Nomads.
It was an early start with the PRFU supplying a bus for the participants to make the three hour journey south. The sun was shining and temperatures soared to the high thirties as the teams took the field to play Rugby 7s in the aim of winning positions for the upcoming SEA Games, which will be held in Myanmar in 2013.
Rugby 7s is an exciting sport and promotes action, speed, agility and teamwork and is a perfect sport for any young Filipino athletes who enjoy the challenge of playing a dynamic contact sport. The PRFU restricted participation to the PNG Rugby 7s tournament to Filipino Heritage players only. It was exciting to see over 150 Filipino athletes take the field to compete to become the top Rugby 7s teams in the country.
The Men’s competition saw the teams do battle in a round robin format and then break into A and B Divisions for the finals. The Alabang Eagles were ranked the number one team entering the competition and they would have to face some formidable opponents in the top division. The semi finals were the Eagles against the newly formed CBRE Vipers, which the Eagles won to move through to the final.
In the other semi-final the young guns from Clark Rugby Club (CRC) who were all ex Bahay Bata orphanage players proved that size in Rugby 7s is not everything as they ran around their opponents displaying deft rugby skills and teamwork. Displaying excellent teamwork, the 16 – 18 year old Foundation players defeated their bigger and older opponents, the Globe Immortals, to set up a David and Goliath encounter in the Men’s A Division Gold Medal game.
On this occasion, it was the Eagles who proved too strong for their younger counterparts and they won the inaugural PNG Final by 29 – 5. The Eagles thoroughly deserved this win and have written their names in the history books as the first Men’s team to win a PNG Gold Medal in Rugby 7s.
The Men’s B Division Final was played between the MAAP Warriors and the newly formed Rugby 101 club the Bison-Tarsiers. It was a tribute to see the oldest Filipino Rugby Club, the MAAP Warriors play in this final, especially when they had travelled overnight all the way from Bataan. The MAAP Warriors had shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the round games and stalwart coaches Rick Hartley and Tony Shibley worked with the players to tighten up the defense for the final. This tactic certainly worked as MAAP ran out winners by 22 – 5. It was a great victory for the Warriors and is a tribute to the pioneer Filipino Rugby Club that they won their first ever PNG medal.
The Women’s Final was the best game of the day. Both the Nomads and Team Xena sides had several National Team players and this proved to be the ingredient for an exciting and competitive final. Both sides were locked at 7 all at the final siren and it wasn’t until National team legend, Manila Santos, broke through the Nomads’ defense in extra time to score a runaway try from 60m out. The Golden Point gave Team Xena the Women’s Division Gold Medal.
The PNG allowed the PRFU to showcase the growing sport of Rugby 7s and the Filipino athletes were extremely proud to compete to win National PSC medals. Rugby 7s is now played at the SEA, Asian and Olympic Games, and the PSC are looking to build further Rugby 7s programs to claim medals at these events.
The PRFU would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission for the inviting Rugby 7s to be a sport at the 2012 Philippine National Games and Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan for hosting the tournament at the world class RECS Sports Stadium in Sta Cruz Laguna.
Both PSC Commissioner, Jolly Gomez (PSC Commissioner) and Governor ER attended the PNG awards ceremony and were delighted at the level of skill, participation and sportsmanship displayed by all the Filipino teams that played in the 2012 Rugby 7s Philippine National Games tournament.
Official PNG results that are registered with the Philippine Sports Commission for 2012:
Photo gallery (all photos on this page by Michael Fernandez)
At this year's Asian Women’s 15s Division II championship, it was Singapore who triumphed on the field against Thailand with a narrow win of 21-19. Singapore came to the tournament wanting to prove they belong in the top division after their demotion to Division II last year. This drive coupled with a well-drilled team and a high level of fitness was what eventually wore down the Thailand defense as Singapore returns to Division I next year.
In their first match, the Lady Volcanoes played against Thailand and struggled early on to maintain defense against the quick passes to the Thai wingers who scored the majority of the tries. They scored once in the first half with a quick play to the backs resulting in a try from veteran player Nikki Lira. The Volcanoes, who had just come back from training camp earlier in the week, finally found their stride in the second half with a more solid defensive line and answering back with two more tries from Manila Santos and Kaye Honoras. The final score of 48-15 didn’t quite reflect the stats of the Lady Volcanoes who had majority possession of the ball but made critical mistakes that resulted in their undoing.
After some recovery and regrouping, the Lady Volcanoes came out as their motto states, “As One!” on Saturday against Laos. Despite some injuries to the starting lineup including Nikki Lira, Alice Almocera and Nicole Moore, the ladies physicality seemed to overwhelm the Laos team, especially in the forwards’ game where half of the tries were scored including a hat trick to Captain and blind side flanker Ada Milby. Loosehead prop, Eloisa Jordan, also the youngest player on the team, consistently busted through the Laos defense and was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The game was a shut out with a final score of 55 – 0 however, the Laos team didn’t go quietly as they continued to play hard for the full 80 minutes of the match.
The Lady Volcanoes are continuing to develop and grow and a team and will now be preparing for 7s season as they travel to India later this year. With more training and match experience, this team will surely be a threat to watch for in the 2013 Division II tournament.
Report by: Manila Santos & Ada Milby
The PRFU is happy to announce announce that the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) have invited the PRFU to enter Rugby 7s as an official sport in the 2012 Philippine National Games.
The Philippine National Games is an annual sports competition run by the POC & PSC as one of the qualifying competitions for selection in the upcoming South East Asian Games which will take place in Myanmar in 2013.
National Sporting Associations were invited to host National League Competitions from May – June 2012 in PSC-sanctioned venues. The main section of the National Games (18 sports) were held in Dumaguete from May 26-June 2, while the remaining sports will host their National Games at either Rizal National Stadium, RECS Stadium in Sta. Cruz, Laguna and other venues throughout the country.
The PRFU will host Rugby 7’s at the RECS Stadium in Laguna on Saturday, June 23 which will be the first time that Rugby Union will participate in the Philippine National Games. The PRFU have invited Filipino Heritage players from all PRFU clubs to participate in the event and will focus on promoting teams and players who can ultimately vie for positions in the National Rugby 7s teams which will compete at the SEA , Asian Games and 2016 Olympics. The PRFU have also invited the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to also attend the one day competition in Sta Cruz as the PRFU look to start new development programs with the military in 2012.
Among the teams that have confirmed participation are the Globe Immortals, Raging Bison, Tarsiers, Mavericks, Manila Vipers, Eagles, Maritime Academy of Asia Pacific (MAAP) and Team Xena. Members of the Philippine Volcanoes National Rugby team will also be on hand to lend their support to this event.
For more information on the Philippine National Games, visit: http://png.psc.gov.ph/
The Nomads proved again that they are the number one 15s Rugby team in the Philippines with an emphatic 30-10 win over the Alabang Eagles in the JML 15s Final last June 9. The Nomads forward pack took full control of the game from the kick off and set the scene when they went straight into the pick drive patterns and constantly challenged the Eagles to try and stop their aggressive rolling mauls. The Eagles defense was certainly more organized than the last time the two teams met and they tried to challenge their bigger Nomads counterparts at the edge of the mauls and rucks, but had little effect on the machine-like attack that Dave Feeney and his forwards displayed. The Nomads did not make a mistake in the forwards in the first half and this eventually led to Man of the Match, Chris Anderson scoring the first two tries of the game both in similar style coming from rolling mauls and strong forward play.
Nomads coach Phil “Stinger” Gittus proved once again that good old fashioned 10-man Rugby can win in 15s rugby and he had obviously drilled the Nomads forwards in the finer arts of tight play. His English upbringing and coaching style dominated the Nomads play, with the ball rarely thrown to the backline and the Nomads forwards enjoying the opportunity to play up the middle of the field.
The Eagles regrouped at halftime and turned the Nomads around at the second half with some tactical kicks from flyhalf Rupert Zappia which led to two penalties being awarded to the Eagles at 21 – 0 down. The Eagles decided to try and place some much needed points on the board. Unfortunately young Tim Smith who had kicked 10 penalties against the Cebu Dragons last week missed both attempts and the Eagles were left empty handed. Some pundits thought they should have taken the game to the Nomads and gone for the tries instead of the Penalty shots
It wasn’t until late in the second half that the Eagles crossed the Nomads line with a try which they were able to convert ; but this was all too late as the Nomads scored two more tries to take out the JML 15s Championship by 30 -10.
Chris Anderson from Nomads was named Man of the Match and Chris Hettel won the JML Award which was donated and presented by Steve Payne from JML.
Maverick Vipers Win the Bowl Final to claim top spot at Rugby 101
The Maverick Vipers were totally focused on winning their debut final in the JML 15s Bowl Division and came out firing on all cylinders as they scored in the first minute of the game through some sharp work from their two underage International players, Dan O’Reilly and AJ Brown, who combined in the backline to set up several attacking raids into the Bison Tarsiers territory. The Bison Tarsiers struggled to gain possession and the Maverick Vipers seemed to run at will, led by their Captain, Ulysses Veloso the MV’s were relentless in attack and scored a comprehensive six try to one victory.
The Bison Tarsiers scored a late try in the game to spoil the Maverick Vipers hope taking out the final without allowing their opponents to score against them, but this was too little too late with the Maverick Vipers dominating all aspects play and running out the Bowl champions winners by 45 – 7.
Carabaos Defeat Hapons in Plate Final
The Carabaos took out the Plate Final defeating the Manila Hapons by 49 – 17. The Carabaos were at full strength and took advantage of their strong bench, whilst the Hapons had to call on some players to help fill the ranks before kick off. Te Hapons upset their more fancied rivals when they scored a length of the field try, which started from behind their own line and ended with Keiichi Utaka scoring after the ball went through several sets of hands.
The Carabaos realized that the Hapons were going to play running rugby and closed things down with some aggressive forward play that led to the next two tries. The Hapons hit back and scored again before halftime and the game remained close leading into the break at 21 – 17.
It was all one way traffic during the second half and the Carabaos started to rotate their bench whilst the Hapons were starting to tire which allowed the Carabaos to score four tries second half tries and win the Plate final by 49 – 17.
Cup MVP – Chris Anderson
JML Cup Award – Chris Hettel
Plate MVP – Romani Peyrelouse
JML Plate Award – Fred Marcerou
Bowl MVP – Mark Bulacan
JML Award – AJ Brown
The next round of games will be played at the Philippine National Games at the RECS stadium in Sta Cruz Laguna on Saturday June 23rd. This will be an all day event with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals being presented by the PSC to the winning teams.
The Cebu Dragons hosted a Junior’s touch rugby tournament at the Cebu International School on June 2. The event had up to 60 players aged between 8 – 15 attend the fun event which took place before the JML 15s Men’s game and the Women’s International fixture.
Newly employed PRFU development officers, Rose Lanticse and Aiumi Ono organised the Junior’s event and invited all the new clubs with whom they have started Juniors programs to come out and show their talents. The children thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play in the tournament and for most of them it was their first experience playing in a competition for Touch Rugby.
In the end, it was the Cebu International School team that won the tournament after which the children were entertained by a Sinulog Dance Troupe from the University of Cebu.
Simon Hoyle, the President of VISMIN Rugby, was impressed with the Junior’s tournament and stated that “Rugby is alive and well in Cebu and it won’t be long before the junior players come through the ranks and start playing for the Cebu men’s and women's Dragon teams. It is also a privilege to host our first International Game here and VISMIN Rugby look forward to hosting more International Rugby Matches in Cebu.”
More information on VISMIN Rugby can be found at www.pitchero.com/clubs/cebu/ , on their official Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Cebu-Dragons-Rugby-Club and official Twitter account www.twitter.com/CebuRugby
Stay connected with us!