Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Globe Philippine Volcanoes finished 2017 off in style, taking out the Plate Championship in the last round of the Asia Seven’s Series in Colombo last weekend.
The Volcanoes were under pressure to perform, seeing all teams were fighting to remain in the top division for 2018. Since Rugby is played in 31 countries across Asia, the Top division for Rugby sevens only allows eight teams to qualify each year. The Volcanoes won Gold in Doha last February to earn their position and have pre-qualified for 2018 after their latest result in Colombo.
“We want to stay in the Top Division, Rugby in Asia is getting more competitive each year, each nation has invested and increased their funding for their Rugby programs. Rugby 7s is an Olympic sport now, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is not to far away” Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby shared.
In horrid, muddy, and wet conditions, the Volcanoes knocked out powerhouse China in the Plate Semi Final 26 points to 10. The result booked the Philippines a spot in the Plate Final against their Southeast Asian rivals Malaysia who beat Chinese Taipei 17 points to nil in the second Semi Final. The Volcanoes led from the start getting out to a 19 points to 7 lead before Malaysia crawled their way back late into the match. A never say die attitude led the Volcanoes to victory resulting in a stunning 19 to 17 win over their opponents.
“That was intense, to finish the tournament and win the Plate was outstanding. I am so proud of the team. We have always known we have the capability to play well at the top of Asia, feels great to repay our families, fans and sponsors. Rugby in the Philippines mean’s a lot to so many people, so it’s a great way to finish the year. A big thanks to the PSC, Globe and all our sponsors, their support has given the opportunity for Rugby to grow in the Philippines” Daniel Bembo Matthews, Team Captain of the Globe Volcanoes.
Player of the tournament was awarded to Vincent Amar Young, closely followed by Jonico After Hardwick. Both players were instrumental to the teams best performance over the series scoring a total of six tries between them in Colombo.
The Volcanoes men’s Sevens team can breath easily as they head into their international off season for the rest of the year. Local Rugby will continue in Manila, with the Volcanoes now playing for their respective clubs locally in Luzon.
“Since our international season is over for the Men’s, the PRFU now move onto our Juniors and Women’s national programs. Still plenty of Rugby to be played here locally and abroad. Our U17 National Women’s Team will play in Dubai and the PRFU will be hosting teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Korea for the November and December international rugby series” Letts added.
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