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.
Nomads Storm to the top of the JML 15s league
The Manila Nomads team proved once again that they are the top team in the Philippines at the 15s format with an emphatic 45 – 10 win over their traditional rivals the Eagles. Playing at the Eagles new club in Silangan Laguna, the Nomads ran in seven tries on the back of a dominant forwards display that left the Eagles bemused at beaten. Three Nomads players scored twice, including veteran forward Eric Savina, who was a member of the first Philippine Men’s team back in 2006. Eric showed he still had the legs and vision to run on good angles and constantly took the game to the Eagles defense. He was equally supported by the combined “PLAYERS OF THE GAME” newcomer wingers Bradley Newton and Ram Al Azmeh sharing the coach’s plaudits being named the Hardy’s Men of the Match.
The Nomads never looked in trouble and the Eagles did not do themselves any favors when their elusive strong running center Tim Bheweni was penalized for a high tackle. This led the way for the Nomads to gain some valuable territory into the Eagles half and the Nomads forwards did the rest. The Nomads pack totally dominated the forward battle and time and time again they were able to maul the ball forward taking Eagles defenders with them as they marched forward. This eventually took its toll on the weary Eagles and the Nomads took a 24 – 5 halftime lead. This was done with only 14 men on the field with another ex-National player, John Munro spending 10 minutes in the sin bin for a high tackle on the only first half try to the Eagles by National u18s player Jake Batuhan. The second half saw the Nomads continue to charge at the Eagles defense and with a glut of possession the tiring Eagles could only just hold on to allow Tim Bweheni to score the Eagles only second half try and eventually lose the game by 45 – 10. This now gives the Nomads two wins in as many games. They will face the winner of the Eagles vs Cebu Dragons game (to be played in Cebu on June 2nd)in the JML 15s League finals on Sat June 9th.
Hapons win over the Ibons with an Overtime Conversion
The Manila Hapon’s v Alabang Ibons game was the most exciting game of round three of the JML 15s League. The Ibons looked to have the game wrapped up with a 31 – 19 lead with twenty minutes left in the game. It was the Hapon’s experience showed in the last quarter of the game and they retained possession to score two converted tries in the last 12 minutes of the game. What made the feat even more remarkable was when they scored out wide on the siren to draw the game at 31 – 31. The time was over and the Hapon’s kicker Colin Strikey had a difficult shot to win the game, he struck the ball beautifully and the Ibons could not believe they had lost a game that they led since the first try was scored in the 5th minute.
The Hapons now have one win and one loss. The Plate division final make up will be decided by the game this Saturday between the Ibons and the Carabaos.
Vipers Strike a Blow as they defeat the Globe Immortals
The Vipers who have been training with the Makati Mavericks showed everyone they will be a competitive force in 2012 with a first up win against the Globe Immortals. The Vipers came with numbers to their first game in the JML 15s league and proved to all the Bowl teams that they will push to play in the Finals on June 9th. They now meet the combined Bison/Tarsiers team next Saturday May 26th and a win in this game could see the Immortals miss their first finals.
The Vipers looked well-organized and Man of the Match, Charles Barthelemy scored the Vipers’ opening try in the 4th minute to put the Immortals on the back foot. The Globe team struck back in the 10th minute with an equalizer by Al Tesoro and the game was 5 – 5 at the halftime break. The second half was just as tight as the score remained 12 – 12 with 10 minutes left in the game. The injection of u16 team National team player AJ Brown made the difference late in the game as he broke through some Globe tacklers to score the winning try and kick the conversion to win the game 19 – 12.
The next round of the JML 15s league will take place at the Eagles field next Saturday May 26th:
2pm – Team Xena v Nomads (Women’s)
3pm – Vipers v Bisons/Tarsiers (Bowl)
4pm – Ibons v Carabaos (Plate)
Round 2 of the JML 15s league took place at Nomad Sports Club last Saturday and it was fantastic to see all the local teams out playing the traditional 15s format of Rugby Union. This was the first time that a number of the players had played 15s Rugby and it was obvious that they relished the opportunity to play the more physical style of the game.
In very hot conditions it was the women that kicked off the first game with a number of the players starting to prepare for the upcoming Women's International games:
June 2 - Philippines v Singapore to be played in Cebu
June 13 - 17 - Asian Women's 15s Division 2 Championships against Laos, Singapore and Uzbekistan to be played in Manila
The Women played two games of 7s style rugby and it was Team Xena team that took victory in both games. Several National team players showed that they are ready to fire up for the Philippine team in June, with Rose De La Cruz scoring both tries for Team Xena and Cassie Umali scoring and converting for Nomads in the first match, which left team Xena the winners in a very tight battle by 14 - 10.
The second game saw National team second rower Reena Novero busting the defence open with several block busting runs which paved the way for the Team Xena backline to run in two unanswered tries and eventualy win the second game by 10 - 0.
National team coaches Susan Konstanty and Expo Mejia were very pleased with the quality of Rugby that they witnessed. With the Asian Women's Championships being held in Manila in a months time, they explained that all the women need to be playing top level, competitive Rugby from now until the June 13th tournament to be able to be contenders in these championships.
The next game was the Plate Division match between the Nomads Carabaos and Manila Hapons which saw a number of expats take the field. The game was extremely close in the first half with the Carabaos taking an early lead through a try by veteran player Nigel Barrett. To the Hapons credit, they kept the pressure on the Caraboas which finally paid dividends when they scored just before the halftime break to take a 10 - 7 lead. The Hapons came out in the second half and continued to apply the pressure and it looked they were going to surprise their more fancied opponents when Jun Park scored a great solo try. However, this seemed to spark the Carabaos into the game and the second half became a one-sided affair with the Carabaos scoring the next eight tries, Nigel Barrett led the way with his second try of the game and National U20s player, Daniel Melrose also scored and converted three times for the Carabaos to win the game comfortably by 38 - 12.
The Bowl game, was by all observers the best game of the day with the Globe Immortals taking on the Tarsiers/Bison team. It also saw Cassie Umali referee her first game of 15s Rugby and what a game to make debut. Both teams were certainly fired up for a win and it was Chester Anin from Globe that scored the first try to help Globe begin the first half with a 5 - 0 lead.
The Globe team seemed to have the upper hand in the first half and both teams were playing an open style of rugby trying to outflank each other with their speedy backs. Globe finally realised that 15s Rugby must be dominated in the forwards before running wide and Rafael De Colnet scored the second try for Globe and extended the lead to 10 - 0.
The Tarsier/Bisons under coach Paul Churchill rallied at halftime and came out with a more focused gameplan. They started to control the ball in the forwards, and this new tactic paid off when Bisons flanker Noel Villa scored and game was hung in the balance at 10 -5. This certainly gave the Tarsier/Bisons a new lease of life and they immediately went straight back at the Globe team with some strong runs up the middle of the field from National U16 player Tim Churchill. This time it was the Tarsiers/ Bisons hooker Merick Magdarang who scored on the back of some good ruck work by the Tarsiers/Bison forwards to equalize the game at 10 - 10. Tim Churchill converted the try and the Tarsier/Bisons team took the lead for the first time in the game with two minuted left to play. Globe had one last shot at scoring but lost possession and the Tarsier/Bisons celebrated their first victory of the season with a score of 12 - 10.
The last game of the day was plalyed between the Manila Nomads and a touring side from Hong Kong, the Discovery Bay Pirates. The Nomads had defeated the Cebu Dragons last weekend in the opening round of the JML 15s League by 53 - 0 and were primed to take the game against the newly formed club from Hong Kong.
The Nomads have had an outstanding year so far, winning the Bostik 10s League and the Plate Final at the Manila 10s International Rugby Festival. They have been looking forward to playing the 15s season as most of their big forwards relish the hard physical nature of 15s Rugby. Under new coach, Phil Gittus who himself is a front row player, the Nomads have come up with a very forward-orientated gameplan which worked to perfection on Saturday with Nomads scoring their first three tries through the forwards mauling the ball through the Discovery Bay opposition.
Chris Anderson and Paul Ingram were on the back of two 15m mauls to crash over for tries which was followed by a third try by prop Nick Treweeke. The Nomads never looked threatened as they took a 38 - 0 lead into the halftime break. The Discovery Bay team asked a few of the local players to help in the second half but the Nomads machine was in full throttle as they eventually won the game by 55 - 0. This looks ominus as the Nomads take on their cross town rivals next week, the Alabang Eagles. After two games of 15s this season, the Nomads have scored 108 points and have not reliquished a point against them.
Round 3 will be played next Saturday, May 26th at the new home of the Alabang Eagles, The Eagles Nest. Situated in the Southern Plains development, the Eagles Nest is accessible via the Silangan Exit on the South Luzon Expressway.
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