Pasig City, Philippines - The Manila Kalabaws (Championship), Santos Knight Frank (SKF) Makati Mavericks (Women's), and Eagles RFC (Premiership) all registered their first wins for the 15s season at the 2023 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup round 2. The games were held on 20 May 2023 at Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) Ultra Philsports Complex in Pasig City.
The Manila Kalabaws were triumphant on their match against the debuting SKF Makati Mavericks Roosters in the Championship Division. The Kalabaws relied on the size and physicality of their forwards pack as they took advantage of the wet weather conditions. The Roosters tried to answer back with the speed of their backs line, however, it wasn't enough to overcome the strength of the opposition. The match ended with a 27 - 7 win for the Kalabaws. The David's Salon Player of the match was awarded to the entire forwards pack of the Kalabaws for their superb performance and control of the match.
In the Women's Division, the 2019 JML 15s defending champions, the SKF Makati Mavericks, emerged victorious in an intense battle against the vastly improving Manila Rogues side. It was a tight first 20 minutes of the match as both teams struggled to break through the defensive line of the opposition. However, powerful carries from prop Nova Tega, proved too much to handle for the Rogues as she continued to draw defenders, break tackles, and create space for the Mavericks backline, which resulted to a series of tries. With a never give up attitude, the Rogues continued to fight back and managed to score 2 tries from team captain, Sha Enales, and flyhalf, Jocefine Lareda. The match ended with a 44 - 10 win for the women in red and white. For her outstanding game management, returning flyhalf, Lee Yun Boroy, was awarded the David's Salon Player of the Match.
The Eagles RFC were dominant on their first match of the season against their Manila 10s rival, the SKF Makati Mavericks team. It was an intense and hotly contested 80 minutes of rugby for the last match of the day, with the Eagles scoring a series of tries to have an lead at the half. However, the Mavericks regrouped at the break and scored a quick try from flanker, Dylan Davies, to open the 2nd half. Lito Ramirez converted the try and the Mavericks continued to fight back against the bigger opposition. The Eagles RFC regained composure and managed to control the tempo for the rest of the match. Final score was 36 - 7 for an Eagles win. David's Salon Player of the Match was awarded to the whole Eagles RFC team for their outstanding performance all throughout the match.
The PRFU would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission for its support in the domestic competitions season and the Santos Knight Frank Makati Mavericks for hosting round 2 of the season. The last round of the 2023 Luzon Rugby Cup is on 24 June 2023 at the Ultra PhilSports Complex in Pasig City. Stay tuned for more details!
Pasig City, Philippines - After a successful opening round of the 2023 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup on April 29, 2023, the Manila Kalabaws, Manila Rogues, Eagles RFC, and match day hosts, the Santos Knight Frank (SKF) Makati Mavericks, are back in action this weekend for the second round of the 15s season. These teams will be showcasing their skills in the Women's Division, Men's Championship Division, and Men's Premiership Divisions. The tournament will be held again at the prestigious Ultra PhilSports Complex in Pasig City on May 20, 2023.
In the Championship Division, co-captains Dylan Angeles and Carl Magtanong, will lead the Manila Kalabaws against Larcel Caparos, John Denmer Usman, and the rest of the SKF Makati Mavericks team at the opening match kicking off at 9:00 am. The Kalabaws will be eager to bounce back from their opening day lost to La Liga but the young Mavericks team will be looking to start strong this season.
The Women's Division will see the Manila Rogues go up against the 2019 JML 15s defending champions, the SKF Makati Mavericks, at 11:00 am. The Rogues kicked off their season on April 29, and will have the momentum against the SKF Makati Mavericks team. The Mavericks will be missing a number of key players though, as they will be in Bangkok this weekend representing the Philippine Rising Stars at the South East Asia (SEA) Rugby 7s tournament leg 2. However, expect veteran captain Sylvia Tudoc to lead from the front and guide her team mostly composed of new players.
The last match of the day at 1:00 pm will be another exciting battle between fierce rivals, the SKF Makati Mavericks and the Eagles RFC. These teams are familiar with each other as they also went head to head in the previously concluded Manila 10s Cup championship finals, which was secured by the SKF Makati Mavericks. This match will be Eagles RFC’s first 15s match of the season.
Families, friends, and supporters are invited to watch the games live at the Ultra - Philsports Complex in Pasig City for #SaturdayIsRugbyDay! Matches will be recorded and uploaded on PRFU's YouTube channel the following week.
General Manager of the Philippine Rugby Football Union and Philippine Volcanoes veteran Acee San Juan believes in the ability of rugby to empower Filipinas. Since playing the sport in 2011, she has tirelessly advocated for grassroots development, training & education, and coaching in remote areas —once even flying to post-siege Marawi to help rebuild the community through sport.
Last April 27, she was named as one of the 12 inspiring women around the world to participate in World Rugby and Capgemini’s Women in Rugby Leadership Program.
San Juan has represented the country on countless international tours as a player and captain. Most notable was when she captained the women’s team on their debut at the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games in 2015, where the team won its first ever medal in the bi-yearly regional competition. This became the catalyst for the increase in women’s players and teams in the country. Today she devotes her time as General Manager of Domestic Operations of the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU). Apart from organizing local tournaments, she is also a key figure in ChildFund Rugby’s Pass It Back program, which equips children of underprivileged communities with skills and competencies that inspire social change through rugby.
“I am honored to be selected as one of the 2023 Capgemini Women In Rugby Leadership Scholarship awardees. I am grateful to Capgemini and World Rugby for this massive opportunity to support the development of the women’s game and empower more female leaders across the world. Special thanks to the PRFU for their continuous trust and support through the years”, says San Juan of her career-defining opportunity.
This is the second time in five years that a Filipina has been chosen to join. The rigorous selection process identifies rising female leaders in World Rugby. Launched in 2018, the program helps develop its participants’ full potential by supporting their personal and professional development. “By creating a pipeline of female leaders in rugby, the leadership programme is advancing parity and ensuring greater opportunities for women at all levels of the game,” a statement from Capgemini says.
World Rugby Council member Ada Milby, the first Filipina to join the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership program, is supportive of San Juan’s success. She says, “I’ve been very close to Acee’s development over the years and have watched her presence and voice grow as she took on various leadership roles and responsibilities. I’m proud of the work she has done and this recognition of her efforts is a great reward to supercharge her journey”.
The program aims to accelerate the development of women in rugby through diverse leadership. San Juan, along with other participants, will receive funding for their professional development, as well as personalized coaching sessions and masterclasses. According to Capgemini, 61 women to date have benefited from its program, “going on to fill governance roles at a local, national and regional level, and passing on their knowledge.”
Pasig City, Philippines - The Manila Nomads (Premiership), Eagles RFC (Women's), and La Liga (Championship) all registered wins for their first match for the 15s season at the 2023 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup. The opening weekend was held on 29 April 2023 at Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) Ultra Philsports Complex in Pasig City. It was the first time in more than a decade that contact rugby matches were played at the prestigious venue.
In the Men's Premiership Division, the Manila Nomads started the match strong with a number of tries and a lead on the first half. However, the SKF Makati Mavericks showed their never ending grit and determination to claw back at the second match, even leading in the last few minutes of the match. With seconds left, the Nomads were awarded a penalty within the opposition's 22 meters. Nomads Flyhalf, Adam Baxter, successfully converted a kick from a very tough angle on the left side of the posts. This allowed the men in green to win the match with a narrow 36 - 36 full time score. With his superb playmaking skills and grace under pressure, Baxter, was awarded the Player of the Match.
In the Women's Division, 2022 Luzon Rugby Cup defending champions, the Eagles RFC, relied on the experience of their veteran players to come away with a 68 - 0 win against the determined Manila Rogues team. Senior player and captain, Kat Andrews, led the women in white as they played their first 15s match after more than 4 years. The Rogues had a number of good runs, broke tackles and tested the defensive line of the Eagles all throughout the match. However, the experience and balanced attack of the Eagles proved too much for the rebuilding Manila Rogues team. For her awesome carries which resulted in a couple of tries her and for her teammates, Eagles Prop Bella Nepomuceno, was awarded the Player of the Match.
The La Liga Rugby team unleashed a beautiful display of attacking rugby to come away with a 76 - 19 win after 80 minutes of play over the Manila Kalabaws team. The La Liga team, composed mainly of International School Manila, British School Manila, Cararoo Foundation, and Touch Rugby players, had an impressive showing on their very first 15s match played. The Kalabaws, composed of players who've learned the sport in the last couple of years, also scored a number of tries through their burly forwards. Renzo Ismael of La Liga was chosen as the Player of the Match for his awesome display of speed and scoring prowess.
The PRFU would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission for its support in the domestic competitions season and the Manila Nomads Rugby Club for hosting the opening weekend of the season. The next round of the 2023 Luzon Rugby Cup is on 20 May 2023 at the Ultra PhilSports Complex in Pasig City. Stay tuned for more details!
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