The Manila Nomads proved once again that they are the reigning 15s Rugby team in the Philippines with a close win over the Alabang Eagles in the Fila 15s Cup division final last June 22. Nomads relied on their bigger forwards, their aggressive pick and drive style of play, and rolling mauls to gain territory. The younger Eagles took advantage of the experience of several Volcanoes players on their backs line. Tim Bweheni, Robert Jones, and Adam Clarke suited up for the Eagles for this very important match.
Nomads skipper and Volcanoes player, David Feeney, started the scoring with a pick and drive off the 5 meter line. Fly half Danny Williams converted the try to add cushion to the Nomads lead. Eagles responded instantly with a counter attack from a kick off. Jones outpaced several defenders and scored a try for the Eagles. As the try wasn’t converted, the score remained at 7-5 by the half.
After the break, Nomads were on the board again with a try by Williams. Conversion was unsuccessful but they were up by 7 points. An Adam Clarke try made the score even at 12-all. With the Cup championship on the line, both teams tightened up their defensive line and tried to outmuscle their way to gain territory. A successful penalty kick by Williams gave the Nomads a slim lead in the last 20 minutes of play. It was a defensive battle from there, as both teams tackled hard and forced a series of turnovers. Eagles were able to sneak in a try to take the lead for the first time in the match. Their try was converted for a score of 17-15 to the Eagles. Nomads turned to their experienced forwards pack for control over the last minutes of the match. A rolling maul from a lineout gave MVP Paul Retzlaff a chance to steal the match from the Eagles. Retzlaff scored a try and Williams converted it, sealing the win for the defending champions at 22-17.
Ladies Division: Manila Defeats Cebu at PRFU FILA 15s League Championship
The north and south ladies teams battled for another PRFU league championship title. The Cebu Lady Dragons, who won last year’s 15s match against Manila Mayhem, came to the field ready to defend their title. The Manila Mayhem, who won the 10s league championship against the southerners last March, were up for the challenge.
With both teams having at least 8 rookies– and missing a few key players on the lineup– it was an evenly matched game from the start. The match started off very physical, as both sides tackled hard to prevent each other from gaining ground. The Lady Dragons showed quality passing, which enabled them to swing the ball from side to side. In contrast, Mayhem demonstrated their forwards’ strength by creating a solid defense and coming up fast off the line. Mayhem opened up the scoring with a quick ball to the backs on the 5 meter line. Fullback Loujen Saldo found a gap and dove for the try. The Lady Dragons answered back with a blind side play off the scrum. After quickly picking up the ball, Number 8, Tonette Gambito, sped straight towards the line, outrunning Mayhem’s winger. Try was converted and the Lady Dragons were up 7-5.
Cebu Lady Dragons
Substitute player Lima, an 18 year old Papua New Guinean player from Cebu, made her presence felt early as she broke through several tackles and popped the ball to their speedy captain, Aiumi Ono. Ono then crossed the line and her try was converted. After a short regroup, Mayhem girls came back with two quick tries before the half. Mayhem’s forwards worked hard to draw defenders, creating scoring opportunities for their speedy backs. Ada Milby bulldozed her way to the line, while Nikki Lira scored a try between the posts after a quick pass from the backs.
The second half saw stronger defence and more aggression from both ladies teams. A yellow card was given to Lima of Cebu, which resulted to a penalty try for Manila Santos of Mayhem. Try was converted, bringing Mayhem up 22-14. Another yellow card from a high tackle resulted to Lira sitting out for a few minutes. The Lady Dragons were not able to take advantage of the overlap and remained unable to score on several opportunities. A loose ball from a broken play resulted to a breakaway try by Saldo. This sealed the win at 29-14 for Manila Mayhem, and Loujen Saldo was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Women’s Division.
Plate Division: Ibons Dominate Globe at PRFU FILA 15s League Championship
It was a tough battle for the much improved Globe Immortals as they played against an Alabang Ibons team composed mostly of speedy Papua New Guinean players. The Immortals, who were able to secure a spot in the finals by beating rival Maverick Vipers, were outran several times by the PNG players. The first 10 minutes looked promising as the Immortals held their ground and contained their speedy opponents. It was a physical match, but the local boys were able to gain yards and match up to the strength of their opponents. Fitness and experience spelled the difference as the Ibons finally out-muscled their opponents and swung the ball to their swift-running backs. A series of runaway tries gave momentum to the Ibons and disheartened the Immortals. A bad cut above the eye forced Immortals skipper and Volcano player, Jay Coronel, to be pulled out of the game, much to his team’s dismay. David Brissonnaud, Immortals’ inside-center, managed to put in a penalty kick, making the score 19-3 at the half.Globe Immortals
The second half was still an all-Ibons show as their PNG players scored try after try. Coronel was unable to return to the field because of the cut sustained in the first half. The match ended at 62-3 with Chris Karo, a PNG player, being awarded the MVP. It was a tough loss for the Immortals, but this match gave them the experience they needed to compete in 15s rugby.
Bowl Division: Clark Rugby Club Come From Behind to Beat QCPU and Win the Bowl ChampionshipQuezon City Polytechnic University
Clark Rugby Club made the biggest comeback in the PRFU Fila 15s League as they snuck up from behind to beat the QCPU Questors 24-22. QCPU started the scoring feast in the first half with quick passing and overall speed. They scored four unanswered tries with one conversion. Down 22-nil at the half, the CRC boys regrouped and relied on experience to crawl back from the huge deficit. A series of penalties in the ruck after the half gave CRC several scoring opportunities which they quickly took advantage of. Joe Mari Rauras started the scoring spree for CRC. They followed their structure by giving the ball to their forwards, allowing them to draw defenders, cause overlaps, and quickly swing the ball to the backs. True to the formula, they scored four tries and successfully converted twice. The last try came seconds before the end of the match. When the whistle was blown, CRC boys erupted in cheers while the QCPU boys stood in disbelief. It was a great win for the CRC boys, who showed everyone that no one gives up in the game of Rugby. It was a lesson learned for the QCPU boys: The match is never finished until the referee blows his whistle.
Thank you to all the teams who participated in this year’s Fila 15s League. Congratulations to all the champion teams. Next League games will be in August for 7s Rugby.
Cup MVP – Paul Retzlaff
Women’s MVP – Loujen Saldo
Plate MVP – Chris Karo
Bowl MVP – Jonel Madrona
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 are proud to announce the squad of 23 players who will participate in the upcoming match against Singapore Development Team in preparation for the Asian Women's 4 Nations Division 2 (AW4N) this coming June 13-17 hosted by the Philippines.
Rosemarie De La Cruz
Marie Antonette Gambito
Kaye Llanie Honoras
Ann Kristine Mae Layumas
Acee San Juan
Blessie Kate De Los Santos
Mae Ann Ubaub
Team is composed of all local players from Manila and Cebu. Come down and watch your homegrown girls in action this June 2 in Cebu International School (CIS) at 4pm.
The Philippine Women's 15's Rugby team came up against a well-drilled and experienced Chinese Women's Rugby team that included many players who had played in the Chinese 7's National Team during the last two years on the Asian 7's circuit. This was the first time that 8 of the 15 starting Filipino team had experienced the opportunity of playing at International level. The game started in a very evenly contested battle which saw both teams putting their bodies on the line in a very physical encounter. It was not until the 15th minute of the first half that the nil all deadlock was broken. A well-weighted kick downfield saw the Chinese score out wide to take a 5 - 0 lead. The try was converted and the Lady Volcanoes knew they were in for a hard battlle.
The second quarter saw the Chinese backline show their experience with many attacking raids into the Philippines’ territory, the Lady Volcanoes combated the onslaught with some committed defense and the spectators were amazed at how the smaller Filipino ladies could take down their larger Chinese opponents. After a glut of possession, the Chinese managed to score out wide and took a second half lead of 24 - 0.
Coaches Susan Konstantly and Grant Rice rallied the Filipino team at halftime and could only praise the tenacious and never give up attitude of the many newcomers in such a fierce physical encounter. Both coaches implored their warriors to keep moving forward and challenge their larger opponents and this is exactly what the Lady Volcanoes did. The third quarter saw the Chinese score only one try which came at the end of the 45 minute period. The Chinese suddenly realized that the Filipinas were here to contest until the final whistle.
It was evident that the Lady Volcanoes were never going to surrender; injuries to two of the experienced players in the final quarter sparked a revival by the Filipino team. For the last 10 minutes of this quarter the Filipino team rallied to put on many raids into the Chinese scoring zone. The girls were almost over the line on few occasions, but the Chinese were able to hold back the attacking raids. The crowd supported and cheered the Lady Volcanoes as they took up the challenge to the Chinese. In the dying seconds of the game the Chinese swooped on a loose ball and raced 95meters to score and take the final scoreline to 36 to nil.
In true spirit, our team refused to surrender. At the end of the game, the Chinese team realized that they had beaten a spirited, never-say-die Filipino side and their bodies felt that they had been in a real contest.
The Coaches award was shared by Eloisa Jordan and Rozie Morala and the big hit of the game was a bone-cracker by Manila Santos.
Photos by: Jackie Hoffart
The PRFU are proud to announce the squad of 22 players who will compete in the Asian Women's 15s Division II Championships on November 23 to 27, 2011 in Vientiane, Laos.
Rosemarie De La Cruz
Marie Antonette Gambito
Rose Mae Lanticse
Ann Kristine Mae Layumas
Acee San Juan
Blessie Kate De Los Santos
Mae Ann Ubaub
Composed of players from Manila, Cebu and overseas, the team will train together in Manila starting on November 18 and depart for Vientiane on November 22.
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