Lady Volcanoes have been vying for selection at two mini camps over the last two weekends
Twelve months ago the national women’s rugby sevens team won 5 from 6 games and secured a silver medal finish in the 2018 Asia Rugby Women’s Trophy Series. This year the national team backed by First Pacific, MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Sports Commission are aiming to go one step further and secure the gold.
The Philippines will face Laos & Qatar in Pool B after Brunei recently withdrew from the competition. Whilst top seeds Korea, Indonesia and Bangladesh are in Pool C with Guam, India and Chinese Taipei in Pool A.
“In 2018 our girls played some very good Rugby sevens, this year we are looking to replicate that performance however go one step further. We will have a number of players returning from last year, plus some new faces to help boost the squads strength” added Chris Everingham, one of the coaches for the Lady Volcanoes.
The Philippines are in heavy preparations for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, using this tournament as a preparation not only to climb the Asia Rugby Calendar, but also to get combinations together for the competitions at the end of the year.
“The 2019 SEA Games is our number one priority, so these events are extremely important to ensure we are on the right path. It’s a great opportunity for our athletes and our teams to showcase where they are currently, so we can test and measure what we need to do before the SEA Games in December” shared Jake Letts, the Volcanoes General Manager.
The Lady Volcanoes have spent the last two weekends in mini training camps to prepare. A total of 25 players put their best foot forward to earn selection from Head Coach Fetala’a Taua’a and Chris Everingham. Experienced players Helena Indigne, Sylvia Tudoc and Aiumi Ono have been all been selected to tour as well overseas talent Patricia Duffy, Lily Smythe, and Jacquiline Rodriguez.
The Philippines will face Qatar and Laos on day one. Followed by the finals on day two. All matches will be played in Jakarta on August 10 and 11.
1. Aiumi Ono 2. Sylvia Tudoc 3. Helena Roxanne Indigne 4. Rassiel Sales 5. Ada Milby 6. Aldee Faith Lyde Denuyo 7. Nicole Catamora Kovanen 8. Lillian Christina Smith 9. Patrocinia Grace Duffy 10. Agot Danton 11. Jacqueline Mae Lyden 12. Ma. Isabella Nepomuceno
Head Coach: Fetala’i Taua’a Assistant Coach: Chris Everingham Team Manager: Lalaine Joyce Bacus Physiotherapist: Tara Long
Featured during the recent Philippine Sportswriters Association held at the Amelie Hotel on Tuesday
Aiumi Ono from Cebu will be leading the team in for a top performance this weekend in Jakarta
Head Coach Fetala'i Taua'a putting the team through it's training camp
Team Philippines Squad
Debutant Jacqueline Mae Lyden has been selected for her first representation duties
Aldee 'Happy' Denuyo looking to showcase her best this weekend
After 12 weeks of rugby, this weekend will mark the conclusion of the 2019 JML Premiership Shield, the NCR Premiership Rugby Competition.
Eight men’s teams and four women’s teams have been battling it out each week for local supremacy. In the women’s division premier clubs the HMR Lady Eagles will face their rivals the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks in what looks to be the match of the day. Both teams have a number of national players who have just recently come off successful national team duties. The Eagles will be favourites after remaining undefeated through out the local season. The Lady Mavericks however will boast an experienced line up where the Eagles will have to withstand the pressure which a grand final day brings.
On the Men’s side the same two clubs will be fighting for supremacy. The Eagles RFC who remain undefeated will be up against the young Santos Knight Frank Mavericks. The Mavericks have been the most improved side this year, running in 4 out of 5 wins. A team heavily compromised of up and coming youth players have been able to step up to the challenge each week. For the grand final however they face a mammoth task against a stacked Eagles RFC who have been the competition favourites from the beginning.
“This year we have a seen an improvement in competition structure, it’s allowed for a more competitive based system across the league. The Mavericks will be looking to cause upsets in both matches. It will be an entertaining day this Saturday” shared Alex Menard, Competitions Manager for Philippine Rugby. Saturday’s grand final day will kick off at 10:00am, with two women’s matches and two men’s matches to be played at Southern Plains, Calamba. Entry is free.
Rassiel Sales all smiles as the Philippines put points on the board over India
Looking back one week on from the Asia Rugby Women’s Championships, the Philippines are confident this competition was another step forward for the Union and the national program according to their General Manager Jake Letts.
“Coming into this competition we were ahead of India but behind Singapore, after last weekends result we stayed ahead of India and passed Singapore. China were very dominant, they proved a class above all and finished in first place” shared Letts.
The Lady Volcanoes have been on a steady rise over the last two years, successfully achieving two silver medal finishes last year and already achieving one this year. The main aim for the program this year was to provide similar opportunities to what the Men’s national team have had access too over the years.
“The women’s program over the last two years has been boosted by the support of both MVP Sports Foundation through the company of First Pacific and also the PSC as always. We are now able to invest more resources into the Women’s program to ensure they have every chance to succeed” added Letts.
The Lady Volcanoes were led by and experienced coaches Andy Brown, Fetala’i ‘Fitz’ Taua’a and Chris Everingham. The coaching staff this year had a strong calibre of experience across each areas of specific expertise, which was evident from last weeks matches. The forwards laid a strong foundation thanks to Taua'a, the composition of the play directed by Brown and the strength and fitness by Everingham. Although more improvement is needed, moving forward is a sign that is evident within the program as they move towards this years Southeast Asian Games.
The Women’s program now focuses on the next international event which will be the Asia Trophy Series in Indonesia on August 10 and 11. The Philippines finished second place last year amongst 10 nations, the aim will be to go one better for the gold.
The Lady Volcanoes will have home crowd advantage for the 2019 Asia Rugby Division 1 Women’s Championships on June 19 and 22 in Calamba next week.
Originally scheduled to be played outside the country, Philippine Rugby recently agreed to host the championships to ensure the competition had sufficient support.
“We hosted the Asia Rugby Men’s Championships last year, when the request came to look to host the Women’s Championships, we decided we wanted to be able to give the same opportunities for our women’s to play on home soil” shared Jake Letts, General Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The Lady Volcanoes finished second last year in Division 1, this year the Philippines will be aiming to go one better, and do so in front of a home ground.
“We play India in our first game, hopefully we can get a win and progress to the final. Last year we were successful over India, we are looking to achieve the same result next Wednesday” shared Acee San Juan, halfback for Team Philippines.
The Volcanoes will be seeded second behind Singapore and ahead of both India and China. The competition between all nations looks to be fairly contested. “Women’s Rugby in Asia is consistently growing and attracting more women and girls to play. It’s an exciting era for our sport. It’s also positive to see each nation evenly contested in this competition. It’s going to be close between all matches and exciting to watch” shared Letts.
The Volcanoes will boast experienced players Rassiel Sales, Sylvia Tudoc and Aiumi Ono. The National Women’s program has consistently been preparing under Head Coach Andy Brown and Performance Coach Chris Everingham over the last two months and has been sufficiently supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, First Pacific and Philippine Sports Commission. The first match will be on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm against India at Southern Plains Sports Field. The winner will play either Singapore or China on Saturday the 22nd June. All photos courtesy of Asia Rugby and Singapore Rugby