The Alabang Eagles RFC Women and the Clark Jets Men both clinched the overall Premiership titles on the 3rd and final leg of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup - June 25, 2022 at the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite. The Eagles RFC women swept both matches against the SKF Makati Mavericks. Meanwhile, Clark Jets finished with 2 wins and 1 loss to accumulate a total of 11 points to finish as the number one Men's Premiership team.
The first Women's Premiership match between the Eagles RFC and the SKF Makati Mavericks started off intense as expected. The women in white and blue capitalized on a turnover opportunity which resulted to Aiumi Ono scoring the first try for the Eagles from an offload assist from fellow Cebuano, Dixie Yu. Agot Danton successfully converted the try to bring the Eagles lead to 7 - 0. The Mavericks answered back with solid defensive pressure, pinned the Eagles on their own 22 and forced them to make mistakes. Mavericks captain Rara Sales, beat 3 defenders to score a try at the wing right before the break. Half time score was 7 - 5 for the Eagles RFC.
The Eagles RFC regrouped at the break and came out stronger in the second half. Acee San Juan scored a try from an offload assist from Kat Andrews. Andrews also powered her way through the line to score a great solo try. The match finished at 17 - 5 for the Eagles RFC.
The second match of the Women's Premiership Division was also tightly fought between the two fierce rivals until the last second. Mavericks again pressured the Eagles on their own half which resulted on penalties for them. However, a quick tap from San Juan off a Mavericks penalty allowed the Eagles to gain yards, with Ono closely behind to support. Ono gave a quick pop off the ground to Danton, who managed to beat 4 defenders to score a breakaway try for the Eagles RFC before the half time break.
Mavericks forwards' Nova Tega and Sylvia Tudoc took turns in their powerful carries at the second half while backs Ysabel del Fiero, Annie Rivas, and Janin Puig continued to attack the line. A dominant tackle from Eagles prop, Luisa Jordan, put the Mavericks players on their back foot. San Juan quickly reacted and turned over the ball to score the second try of the Eagles right at the end of the match. Final score was 10 - 0 for the Eagles.
The Eagles RFC won the 3rd leg with a combined score of 27 points to 5 points for the Mavericks. Eagles RFC center, Dixie Yu, was awarded the MVP for her efficient work on and off the ball. Yu's tackle breaks, line breaks, and offloads plus her solid defense contributed well to the success of the team.
With three legs as the Premiership Division Champions, the Eagles RFC was awarded the overall Women's Premiership Division title, making them the top women's team in the country for this Return to Play season.
The Clark Jets capitalized on their speed and great vision to runaway as the overall champions of the Men's Premiership Division of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup. The men from the north scored a total of 69 points throughout the day. They posted a 31 - 19 win against Eagles RFC with tries from Koli Seiuli, Joemari Rauras, Tui Tainielu, and a double from Joshua Aragon. However, a try and conversion from Jonel Madrona wasn't enough to win their game against the SKF Makati Mavericks, 7 - 8. Mavericks flyhalf, Reed Santos, successfully converted a penalty goal 40 meters from the posts to claim the win for his team late in the match. The Jets bounced back and came away with a 31 - 14 win against the Manila Nomads behind tries from Aragon, Henry Larriestan, Lito Talosig, and Rex Francisco. Clark Jets Center, Tui Tainielu, was awarded the MVP for his outstanding playmaking and leadership on the field.
With two runner up finishes in legs 1 and 2 plus the top finish in the 3rd leg, the Clark Jets were awarded the overall Premiership title for Philippine Rugby's Return to Play season.
"Overall, the Premiership Division was a success as it provided opportunities to showcase the talents and skills of our top players in the island of Luzon in a very competitive division. It also gave opportunities for PRFU's High Performance Program (HPP) to identify players for inclusion in the National Pool. We look forward to having these players selected in the Philippine Volcanoes teams set to compete in the Asian Sevens Series later this year", shared Acee San Juan of Philippine Rugby.
The top men's and women's teams will be back in action on Saturday, 25th of June, at the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite for the third and final leg of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup Premiership Division. The Premiership Division, which gathers Luzon's best players, will prove to be an exciting finale for the return of the domestic competitions season, which was delayed for more than 2 years due to the pandemic. This division will also see some of the local-based Philippine Volcanoes, Rising Stars, and National Development Team players in action.
In the Men's Premiership Division, it is a wide open race among the 4 teams for the overall Premiership title. The SKF Makati Mavericks won leg 1 behind the leadership of veteran captain, Jerry "Slug" Branzuela. The Ramirez brothers tandem, Lito and JR, will once again be manning the Mighty Mavericks' backs line, while loose forward, Dylan Davies, will be leading on the defensive front.
The Eagles RFC is eager to ride on the momentum from their top finish in leg 2, to win leg 3 and finally secure the overall Premiership title. Philippine Volcano veteran, Tim Bweheni, will again be a steady presence on the field while Joe Palabay Dawson's quick play making and work off the ball will create attacking opportunities for the team. Philippine Rugby's Flying Jeepney, Justin Villazor Coveney, will be back in action for the Eagles RFC after missing leg 2.
With 2 runner up finishes under their belts, the Clark Jets are raring to finish the mission and win the 3rd leg Premiership trophy. The tandem of Tui Tanielu and Koli Seiuli will again provide physicality for the team. Jets' triple J - Jonel Madrona, Joemari Rauras, and Jovan Masaunga, will also steer the speedy Jets backline to the try line.
Not far behind will be the Manila Nomads team led by Philippine Volcano, David Feeney. The oldest rugby club in the country will be aiming to finish strong this season and capture the leg 3 trophy. Nomads Adam Baxter and Neil Pickford will be guiding this team composed of a mix of expatriates and local players.
In the Women's Premiership Division, the Eagles RFC is going into the final festival day with a secured overall Premiership title, having won back to back legs 1 and 2. However, expect fierce challenge from rivals, the SKF Makati Mavericks, as they aim to finish strong this Return to Play season, in preparation for the 7s season starting in August. The Mighty Mavericks will also welcome the return of Philippine Volcano, Ysabel del Fierro, who will form a solid backs line with fellow Volcanoes, Rara Sales and Sylvia Tudoc. The Eagles RFC will bank on the experience and physicality under the leadership of Philippine Volcanoes forwards, Kat Andrews and Bella Nepomuceno, and solid playmaking from Philippine Volcanoes 7s SEA Games 2019 captain, Aiumi Ono.
The matches on Saturday will be played at Ayala Vermosa Hub in Imus, Cavite and streamed live on Philippine Rugby and Upstream Sports TV Facebook pages. Only Covid-19 fully vaccinated individuals and those who have completed their Health Declaration forms will be allowed to enter the venue. Gates will open at 8:00 am for all local rugby supporters to join. Entrance is free.
The La Liga 1 men and SKF Makati Mavericks women finished with unblemished records last weekend at the 3rd and final leg of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup held in Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite. Both teams swept their matches in the pool rounds and were dominant in their finals matches to secure the 3rd leg Championship Division trophies. In addition, both teams also swept all three legs of the Championship Division with 0 losses, making them the overall champions of the league.
A 29 - 5 win against the Subic Jets started the day for the La Liga 1 team which was later on followed by a close 17 - 10 win against a tough Albay Bulkans team. These 2 wins in the pool rounds allowed them to set up a semi finals match against their clubmates, La Liga 2.
It was a repeat of the first leg finals with SKF Makati Mavericks reaching the finals as well. Three unanswered first half tries from the La Liga 1 team set the tone for the match and resulted to the Mavericks playing catch up most of the match. The Mavericks tried to answer back in the second half with 2 tries and a successful conversion of their own. However, these were not enough since the La Liga 1 already built a sizable lead to finish the match with a 32 to 12 win.
With La Liga 1's speed, agility, great teamwork, and vision, they established themselves as the best men's development team in the country this year by winning all the legs of the league. It was a momentous moment for one of the newest clubs in the country which was founded by former Philippine Volcano and homegrown player, Paulo Jordan, and coached by National Teams coach, Andy Brown. Raiden Abello was named MVP of the Men's Championship Division.
The SKF Makati Mavericks capitalized on their speed and great vision to runaway as the overall champions of the Women's Championship Division of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup. The ladies in red and white scored a total of 81 points with only 5 points scored against them throughout the day. The Mavericks posted a 37 - 0 win against Manila Rogues and a 32 - 0 win against the Eagles RFC before facing great challenge against the Clark Jets. However, the ladies still came away with a 12 - 0 win against the ladies from the north. The Mavericks and the Jets faced each other again in the finals after finishing first and second in the round robin games. A 27 - 5 win for the Mavericks after 14 minutes of intense action secured the trophy for these ladies who mostly learned full contact rugby during the pandemic. First leg MVP, Riho Kasai, was named MVP of the Women's Championship Division again.
"Overall, the Championship Division was a success as it provided opportunities to showcase the talents and skills of our Philippine-heritage players. We were able to see how much these players have grown in skills over the years and also identified players to be added in the National Development Team pool. It was exciting to see these young players and we look forward to seeing them maximize their potential in the future", shared Acee San Juan of Philippine Rugby.
Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) and ChildFund Rugby reaffirmed their shared commitment to developing young leaders and creating a positive social impact in communities through rugby by officially launching the Club Champions project this week.
“For us, rugby is important in building solidarity across the country and in empowering young people, especially women and girls. We welcome this partnership with ChildFund Rugby, especially during these times when the country is starting to open up after lockdowns, with children and young people adjusting to the social and economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Acee San Juan, PRFU’s General Manager for Development, Competitions, and Training & Education.
As full members of both World Rugby and Asia Rugby, PRFU has been achieving excellence at the elite level of the sport and gaining public support for the game. Over the years, fans and supporters have seen the rise of their National Rugby Team, the Philippines Volcanoes. Some of their most recent successes include the clinching of both the Gold medal finish for the Men’s and the Silver medal finish for the Women’s in the 2019 South East Asian Games
The PRFU has also been known for breaking barriers in the often male-dominated sport, with the likes of PRFU President Ada Milby who became World Rugby Council’s first female member in 2017, and San Juan who recently stepped up as GM of PRFU – not a common feat among rugby unions across the globe. PRFU has also recently went beyond rugby touch lines by mobilising an all-women rugby crew to respond to those affected by Typhoon Rai at the end of 2021.
“Rugby is more than just a game. I have seen what the game has done for young people. Rugby provides a platform where girls and young women have opportunities to achieve their dreams, challenge barriers, and step up to be leaders both on and off the field,” said San Juan.
PRFU began its partnership with ChildFund Rugby in 2016 to implement the Pass It Back program and has since supported thousands of young people – more than half female – to learn and develop essential life skills through rugby.
The new project will focus on delivering the Reconnect curriculum, an initiative developed to support children and young people to access sports and learning activities in safe and structured settings, with a focus on setting goals, reuniting with young people and teammates, and getting back to the pitch following the disruptions caused to communities from COVID-19. ChildFund Rugby and the PRFU will work closely with Clubs and Club Champions to implement the curriculum, develop young leaders for the Club rugby community, and support Clubs in further developing safe and inclusive practices for everyone.
“The world continues to see the change that is impacting the wellbeing of children and youth in so many ways. Enabling young people to respond to these challenges will be key in supporting healthy and safe communities for everyone. This next stage of the ChildFund Rugby and PRFU partnership, with the support of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and DHL Express, will equip more children and young people with key life skills to respond to changes positively and to become leaders.” said Chris Mastaglio, ChildFund Rugby Director. “We are excited for this next phase of partnership with PRFU to once again contribute to both sport and development goals in the Philippines.”
Six men's teams and 4 women's teams are back in action this weekend for the third and final leg of the 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup Men's and Women's Championship divisions. These divisions, which feature the core of Philippine-heritage players, aim to help foster the development of these local talent and provide a pathway to play the country's most experienced players.
The La Liga 1 team of the Men's Championship Division is going into the final festival day brimming with confidence, having secured the first two legs of the season. However, expect fierce challenge from their rivals as each team aims to finish strong this Return to Play season, in preparation for the 7s season starting in August. The La Liga 2 team will aim to outwork their clubmates after meeting them in the finals in leg 2. The Bulkans from the Albay province set for an explosive finish after a narrow lost in the previous leg. Subic Jets will seek to maximize the potential of their speedy youngsters under the coaching and mentorship of their senior Jets counterparts. The Mavericks will fight for the top spot with a more complete team this time around. Lastly, the Manila Kalabaws look forward to improve on their previous legs after having more match exposure for the team composed of mostly new players.
It's the same scenario in the Women's Championship Division as the SKF Makati Mavericks girls have already secured back to back trophies in the first two legs. However, with more match exposures from the previous legs, the Clark Jets, Eagles RFC, and the Manila Rogues have improved steadily and will look to claim the trophy for the 3rd leg this weekend.
Three u18s girls teams and 3 u11s boys teams will also have the opportunity to play touch rugby games against each other on Saturday, thanks to the support from PRFU program partners, ChildFund Rugby.
Eagles RFC, SKF Makati Mavericks, and Bulacan Bombers will enter u11s teams for the juniors festivals. In the girls u18s division, the Albay Bulkans, Bulacan Bombers, and SKF Makati Mavericks Baabaas have entered teams as well.
The matches on Saturday will be played at Ayala Vermosa Hub in Imus, Cavite. Only Covid-19 fully vaccinated individuals and those who have completed their Health Declaration forms will be allowed to enter the venue. Gates will open at 8:00 am for all local rugby supporters to join. Entrance is free.
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