Scrum half James Carandang Price
After suffering defeat at the hands of Asian 5 Nations perennial champions Japan, the Philippine National Rugby Team have vowed to use the experience to their advantage in their match against Hong Kong on May 4 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The 121-0 trouncing was only the second loss for the Volcanoes since the Philippines joined the competition in 2008. Japan on the other hand, has never lost a match at the A5N.
It was a highly anticipated match between Asia’s Rugby superpower and the newcomers, but while the Volcanoes were praised for their skill and spirited play throughout the game, Japan’s superiority was simply too much.
“We worked very hard for the first 30 minutes,” said Philippine coach, Jarred Hodges. “But we missed a couple of kicks that could have made it 10-6. Japan played to their strengths. They were a class above.”
The Volcanoes have a week off to re-group before facing Hong Kong. After which they meet South Korea on May 11 in Ansan, South Korea. The final game of the competition, which is widely predicted to be a battle for relegation between fourth seeded UAE and fifth seeded Philippines, will be played on May 18 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“I can't fault the team’s effort,” said Volcanoes captain Michael Letts. “We will learn from this and I can tell you now we will be a completely different side for our next three games.”
The team that finishes fifth after the end of the six-week long competition will be demoted to Division 1, while the top 4 teams’ remain in the Elite Division and continue their quest to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The winner of the Elite Division in 2014 receives outright qualification to the Rugby World Cup 2015, while the Elite Division’s 2nd placer will face the 2nd placers from Africa, Europe and the Americas in a knock-out competition for the 20th & final Rugby World Cup slot.
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