The Philippine Volcanoes National Men’s 15s Team, headlined sponsored by SEAPAC Philippines Inc and MVP Sports Foundation, completed a two-match sweep against Singapore in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Championship held at Southern Plains, Laguna. With a score of 32-24 last Saturday and 38-12 on Tuesday, June 26th, the Volcanoes managed to bag two wins from two appearances to secure the Asia Rugby Division 1 Title
After early points to Singapore, Philippine Team Captain, Steve Pagtalunan Howorth was the first to draw blood for the Philippines with a barnstorming try. Robert Luceno Fogerty added the extra points and poured another two penalties to bring the lead to 13-5.
Fogerty, the youngest member of the Volcanoes continues to rise to the international standard of rugby. With a near perfect kicking performance, converting four penalties and three conversions for 18 points, Fogerty added crucial points the Philippines tally. It was however the defense and physicality of the team that most impressed the outside back. The Philippines defending their own tryline for a period of 20 minutes straight.
"We talked a lot about puso (heart). I think you saw in the last 20 minutes of the game, that we just never gave up and kept applying pressure" shared Fogerty.
Veteran, nickname the Flying Jeepney Justin Villazor Coveney also contributed 10 points to the scoreline crossing for a double set up by the Philippine back line. Joe Palabay Dawson also scored another to add to his two from Saturday.
"Our goal is to keep building on this win. Come next year, reclaim the Division 1 trophy in a four team round robin tournament,” Steve Pagtalunan Howorth, Team Captain and man of the match the Philippines.
The Volcanoes state their claim to further climb the world rankings, booking their place in the 2019 Asia Rugby Championships. Continuous wins will promote the Philippines to the Premier Division where they would face the likes of Hong Kong, Korea and 2019 World Cup hosts Japan.
On a Sevens arena, the Volcanoes continue their international preparations, with the international Sevens Series due to kick off in September
The Philippine Volcanoes, backed by headline sponsors SEAPAC Philippines (SPI) and First Pacific, rallied in a second half performance to secure the first match in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships.
In unexpected dry conditions at Southern Plains Sports Field, a strong home crowd inspired the Volcanoes, stringing together a winning performance.
It was Singapore who drew first blood, after an intelligent drop goal four minutes into the match from Fullback Jonathan Barber took the visitors to a three point head start. It wasn’t long until the Volcanoes returned fire after a slick play saw debutant Sean Celada Lynch cross over for the first points for the Volcanoes in the sixth minute to take the lead 5 points to 3.
The Volcanoes continued to attack deep within their own territory, however, it was Team Singapore who capitalised on an early mistake forcing a turnover. Jonathan Barber, in the right place at the right time, jumped on the opportunity to score his teams first try off a support play, taking the lead 8 to 5. Back-to-back ill discipline cost the Volcanoes a further 6 points taking the Singaporeans to a 14 to 5 head start after 23 minutes.
It wasn't until the final play before halftime the Volcanoes answered back. Halfback Joe Palabay Dawson swiped through the blindside off a scrum into an open field play to secure crucial points for the Philippines. With a successful conversion from Vice Captain Danny Bembo Matthews, the half time break saw Singapore 14 to 12 ahead.
It wasn’t long until the home team regathered the lead, another penalty conversion from Matthews gave the home side the edge 15 to 14. The Volcanoes continued to apply pressure off open field phase play which put Dawson in for his second try to take the Volcanoes to a 20 to 14 lead. Singapore kept their attack with a breakaway try to winger Xavier Ducournean. Another successful conversion from Barber put Singapore out to a 21 to 20 lead with twenty minutes to play.
A set of fresh legs and a strong impact off the substitution bench kept the Volcanoes alive. Robert Luceno Fogerty, the youngest member of the Volcanoes and the fourth debutant in the match sparked an attack from the home team. Fogerty with fast feet continued to show glimpses of class and in the 72nd minute created a much needed break for the Volcanoes. Fogerty went on to score in front of a vocal home crowd
It was all very surreal for an emotional Fogerty, “it’s hard to believe to have scored on debut, it meant a lot”
With a vocal backing of a Philippine pro crowd, the Volcanoes continued to draw inspiration, Edlen Cortez Hernandez scoring another 5 pointer off a driving maul to put the match safely into the advantage of the home team. A late penalty goal to Singapore settled the score 32 to 24 with all to play in the final and last match on Tuesday.
“We were solid in defence up front, we showed heart. Our backs proved to be dominant in space” shared team Captain Steven Pagtalunan Howorth.
With a two match series, all is still to be played for in the final match of the series. The winning team will be decided on a points system so the best team over two matches will gain the championship title.
The final match will be played at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 26 at Southern Plains, Calamba. The Volcanoes will be aiming to win the Division 1 Asian Rugby Championships on home soil, the first time since winning the title back in 2012.
The Crimson Hotel, Filinvest City Manila, have recently announced the news as the latest home of the Philippine Volcanoes for the upcoming 2018 Asia Rugby Championships held in Manila. The Volcanoes, the national Rugby team of the Philippines secured the partnership with the Crimson based on the five star services the Crimson has to offer.
“It’s a going to be a great event, we look forward to hosting Singapore and being able to showcase the top class service the Crimson has to offer. As members of Asia Rugby and World Rugby, we want to be able to offer top services to international touring teams and tournaments touring to the Philippines. Having the Crimson hotel as an official partner for the Volcanoes and Rugby in the Philippines will build a mutually beneficial partnership” shared Jake Letts, General Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The Crimson Hotel will host additional Rugby teams in 2018, the Penguin International Rugby touring team, Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and the Aberdeen Dolphins Rugby Club will be hosted on their visits to the Philippines. Teams have chosen the Philippines as a tour destination for not only it’s rugby pursuits but to engage in the cultural experience the Philippines has to offer.
Crimson Hotel Director of Sales and Marketing Kirk Anthony Llamas commented, “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Philippine Rugby for the Asia Rugby Championship. With Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila being the most preferred hotel in the metro south and Philippine Rugby, one of the country’s most successful sports teams, we’re certain that this is a perfect match and we look forward to a successful long-term partnership. And as the exclusive hotel partner of a champion team, we’re committed to providing rugby teams a home away from home experience.”
The Volcanoes and their guests will experience a distinct kind of Southern leisure or holiday at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila that’s exclusively made to satisfy crowds of varying pursuits. Apart from being the South’s ultimate lifestyle destination, Crimson Hotel is also the venue of choice for businesses, the site for the most intimate life milestones and a witness to memorable bonding moments between families and friends.
The Rugby teams will be special guests for some of 345 contemporary guestrooms; these will all feature modern interiors, international standard amenities, and high-speed WiFi connection. Their Crimson staycation comes with premium amenities from enjoying the food and beverage at Café Eight to simply making the most of your time at the Executive Lounge, swimming pool or at the 24-hour Fitness Center.
The Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships campaign kicks off today and will run for six days. Teams will play their first match tomorrow with the Philippine Volcanoes taking on Singapore at 3:00pm while the Penguins International Rugby Team will play a curtain raiser against the Philippine Residents XV at 12:30pm. Games are at Southern Plains, Calamba, entry is free.
In clear skies at Southern Plains on Saturday, the Santos Knight Frank (SKF) Mavericks took on their old foes the HMR Ibons to decide the 2018 domestic season’s SPI Rugby Championship while the Eagles RFC secured the Premiership Division.
The Championship encounter was everything the spectators had expected, a closely fought match where the weather could have been the difference between the two. With no rain, the match fell evenly across the playing conditions.
The HMR Ibons finished first after the regular season, taking out the Manila Carabaos in the first semi final. The SKF Mavericks, caused an upset over an experienced Subic Shark Jets team in the second semi final to book a place against the Mavericks last Saturday.
The Mavericks sped out of the gates early, holding nothing back, the Mavericks taking a 5 point to zero lead before Ronald Longasa went ahead with a stellar line break showing fabulous speed and footwork. Longasa set up the second 5 pointer for the Mavericks. The HMR Ibons fought back scoring a try of their own. At 12 to 7, the Mavericks slotted a penalty goal through Matthew Cowley to take the Mavericks to a 15 to 7 head start.
The HMR Ibons continued to threaten the line with their potent backline, continually putting pressure on the Mavericks defence. A converted try to the Ibons put them back in the match closing the scoreline to 15 to 14 with over 10 minutes remaining.
Strong performances through Jeremy Hernandez, Jed Dimaguya and Lito Ramirez kept the Mavericks in front. Consistent efforts from Jovic Paypon and Lyndon Adlao from the Ibons kept the Ibons in the match. After each team continually took each other blow for blow in a true tribalism form, it was the Mavericks who capitilized on a last minute penalty to secure the win, a penalty goal adding an extra three points, leaving it to a final score of 18 to 14 in favour of the SKF Mavericks and securing the 2018 Domestic SPI Championship Title.
“A remarkable final, one of the best in Philippine Rugby history. The Mavericks and Ibons can each be proud, one very good game of Rugby to watch” shared Jovan Masalunga, Competitions Manager for Philippine Rugby.
After an end to the domestic season, all eyes this weekend are on the national team the Philippine Volcanoes as they face Singapore for the Asia Rugby Division 1 Championships. The hometown heroes will be playing in front of what is expected to be a vocal home crowd, bringing international rugby to the home of local Rugby in the Philippines, Southern Plains, Calamba. Matches will kick off from midday as the Philippine Residents XV take on Penguins RFC for a pre-match curtain raiser with the main game at 3:00 pm.
The SPI Philippine Volcanoes, for the first time since 2015, will play on home soil to decide the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 Championship. The Volcanoes will host Singapore at Southern Plains, Calamba in a two-match head-to-head series this Saturday, 23rd June and Tuesday, 26th June.
The Volcanoes, proudly headlined sponsored by Seapac Philippines, Inc (SPI), MVP Sports Foundation and First Pacific, finished third in last year’s Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships and will be vying for a first place finish under experienced coaching staff Stu Woodhouse, Greg Mumm and former veteran Philippine Volcano Austin Dacanay.
The Volcanoes will field a mix of youth and experience for this year’s national squad, a total of 12 potential debutants to make up the final 26-man roster. Experienced campaigners Ashley Matias Heward, Steve Pagtalunan Howorth and Justin Villazor Coveney return for national duties.
“A new look roster this year, some exciting new faces have been included in the program. The likes of Robert Fogerty, Sam Callaghan and Kevin Broussard will have the opportunity for selection in the nation’s Top 15s program. These players all have their Filipino roots connecting them to the motherland, I am sure their families here in the Philippines cannot wait to see them represent the nation proudly,” shared Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
The Volcanoes last played Singapore on home soil in 2015 at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan. The Volcanoes were pushed to the very end and managed to secure the win in overtime, after a successful penalty conversion from past fly-half Alex Norona Aronson.
In 2016, it was Singapore who edged out the Volcanoes in Malaysia after a late try secured their win, the Volcanoes however finishing on top of Singapore after points differential separated the two over the Championship standings.
In 2017, the Singapore National Team toured the Philippines to take on the Philippine Residents XV team, the Residents overcoming Singapore 29 to 17 in wet conditions. Up to nine players from the Residents XV team will be returning to make up of the Volcanoes team this year.
The Volcanoes will be using home ground advantage as a key addition to their preparation, playing on home soil adding an additional drive to the players. “Playing at home is very special to our playing group, it’s not often we get to play for the country we love, especially in front of family and friends here in the Philippines. I am really looking forward to having a vocal home crowd on cheering our players against two tough matches against Singapore,” shared Howorth, who has been selected as Team Captain for this campaign.
The two match series will be combined with two curtain raiser matches to be played prior to the Volcanoes and Singapore test matches. The United Kingdom Penguins Rugby Touring Team will take on the Philippine Residents XV team, the Residents coming off a strong win over Guam in April. The Residents XV program boasts the next batch of top rugby players in the country who sit under the Volcanoes.
The match day program kicks off at 12:30 pm when the Penguins take on the Philippine Residents followed by the main game at 3:00 pm, where the Philippines take on Singapore at 3:00pm. Entry is free
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