The Eagles Rugby Football Club (RFC) and Santos Knight Frank Lady Mavericks will head into Round 2 of the Globe Sevens Series as top favorites and aim to go back-to-back in the first two rounds of the 2018 series.
Round 1 of the series saw nine teams in the men’s division compete across three pools, with the top four teams from their respected pools progress to the Cup Finals. Eagles RFC went undefeated and looked unstoppable in round 1. HMR Ibons, a second team to the Eagles finished with the silver medal and the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks (men’s) securing the bronze medal.
"Round 1 was a successful festival for the Eagles, we felt strong, played well, found rhythm, achieved the results we needed” shared Harry Dionson Morris, Philippine Volcano and key member of the Eagles RFC. The Eagles RFC boasts several National Sevens players aiming for national team selection for the upcoming Asia Sevens Series starting in September in Hong Kong.
“The 2018 Globe Sevens Series is aimed at developing local talent for their preparations for upcoming international events, we want to ensure to host tournaments prior to key events, and offer pathways to national selection” shared Jovan Masalunga, Competitions Manager for Philippine Rugby.
Philippine Rugby have identified two divisions for the 2018 Globe Sevens Series, a National Philippine Development Division for up and coming local talent and an Open Division, for the top players in the country.
“For this year the PRFU have identified a need to develop player pathways to ensure proper player development and player performance. The open division this weekend will feature the top 7s players in the country, both men and women playing in a traditional 7s format, awarding the best team on the day rather than a League structure. We will be awarding three festival winners, plus an overall series winner to decide the overall 2018 champion at the end of October” added Masalunga.
The format of the series awards the winning team of festival 22-series-points, 19 for silver, 17 for bronze, a total of 66 points on offer across three festivals. The Santos Knight Frank Lady Mavericks will be the favorites of the women’s division, successfully defeating the Makati Chiefs and Eagles RFC in the first round.
The Lady Volcanoes are all aiming for national selection for their upcoming tour to Brunei in October Round two of the Globe Sevens Series kicks off this Saturday, September 1 at Southern Plains from 9:30am, with 23 games being played throughout the day.
The Gold Medal match for the women’s will be played at 3:10pm and 4:50pm for the Men’s. Entry is free!
For the first time in three years, the U19 National Development Rugby Team, proudly sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation have defeated Hong Kong and secured the First Pacific Cup.
Prior to kick off, the National athletes saluted the national flag, honoring our national heroes. After 80 minutes battling it out on the field, the young Volcanoes became the countries newest heroes in their very own style.
The Philippines drew first blood after an intercept try to winger John Michael Donina. Donina launched off the defensive line and found open space to capture the ball midair to speed off to take the Philippines to the lead. Raphael Barberis secured the extra two points.
It wasn’t long until Hong Kong bounced back, #15 Mervyn Lo, with his quick feet and agility, broke through the Philippines defensive line to score in the 15th minute and closed the gap. The Philippines returned fire right before half time, Barberis providing support play and adding another 5 points to the Philippines tally.
The second half remained tightly contested, both teams holding strong. The Philippines continued with their defense and once again turned pressure into attack securing yet another intercept try to John Michael Aquino. The Philippines continued to show passion and grit, holding off a valiant Hong for the remainder of the game, winning 17 to 5.
“A very close match, so proud of the team for the win today, to win the first game on Friday, then win again today, very proud” shared Carlito Abono, Head Coach of the Philippines.
The international development series has been running for three years, Hong Kong winning in 2016 and 2017. A special feat to win the title in 2018 according to Jake a Letts, Philippine Rugby’s General Manager.
“I have witness rugby in the Philippines for 13 years now, to see the development of Rugby and its rise locally is amazing. Credit goes to both teams and both Unions to focus on local development.
The National Teams Program has been quite successful in 2018 for the Philippine Rugby Football Union. The union boasts a record of six wins from seven international matches for their 15s program.
“A solid start this year, very happy for our 15s program to record those statistics. It’s only just begun however, we have an intense 7s season coming up so we have our work cut out for us for the rest of the year” shared Chris Everingham, Performance Manager for Philippine Rugby
The Volcanoes will now turn to the upcoming Asia Sevens Series in September and October. Both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams to play against the top teams in Asia, starting on September 14 and 15 for the Men’s in Hong Kong and late October for the Women’s in Brunei.
On Friday afternoon, the Philippine U19 National Rugby Development Team, proudly sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation, for the first time in three years has defeated a valiant Hong Kong in the opening match of the International Development Series.
The future batch of the Philippine Volcanoes, better known as rising stars, put together a stellar performance to outplay their opponents 36 to 12 in sunny conditions at the Southern Plains Sports Field, Calamba.
It was the visitors who opened up the scoring 5 points to nil early in the match, however it wasn’t long until the local heroes put together some teamwork of their own. Lyndon Adlao, an experienced member of both the Eagles RFC and previous National Youth Teams, continued to show why he was force, as he lead from the front, on all facets play. Adlao broke the defensive line early with a barnstorming run for his first try. A strong display from the Philippine backline kept the Philippines in the match, pressuring the Hong Kong Warriors and capitalising on their strong defence. It wasn’t long until Adlao swooped again, finding loose ball and open space to score his second try and take the Volcanoes to a 12 to 5 lead after 20 minutes of regular play.
The Philippine forward pack continued to provide strong go forward from Marco Xavier Tan and Fausto Eizmendi. Coach Carlito Abono opted for an early injection for some fresh impact. Abono called upon Reymarc Faller Bustillo of the Makati Chiefs who proved to be a notable difference.
Bustillo’s impact was too fast and strong for his opponents causing havoc with his speed and agility. Bustillo coming off a strong season in the domestic season for the Chiefs, continues to show positive signs of his development. Bustillo scored two tries of his own, one just before half time and another early into the second half. He also contributed to a penalty try for the Philippines after running the near length full field before taken down illegally by his opponent, this resulted in 5 points under the posts for the home team. Raphael Barberis added another 5 points in the corner off a quick tap to take the Philippines to a commanding lead. Hong Kong continued to fight, scoring a late try however time finished the match with Philippines well on top.
“This is the first time I have seen our local development team play this outstanding, to put on 36 points against a team like the Hong Kong Warriors, it’s tremendous to see. Reymarc Bustillo for me was outstanding, strong runner and very fast off his feet, he had an outstanding game” shared Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby
“Proud of the guys, proud Coach and mentor. We still need to be ready on Monday, so our game face is still on” shared Coach Abono
The future Volcanoes will face another tough task on Monday, 27th August, for their second and final match. The game will kick off at 2:00 pm to decide the 2018 First Pacific Cup.
The U19 Philippine National Rugby Team, proudly sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and First Pacific, will compete in a two-match international development series against perennial Asian rugby powerhouses Hong Kong. The overall aim for both nations is to develop and foster more homegrown talent.
The 2018 First Pacific Cup will kick off tomorrow at Southern Plains, Calamba. Local players from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao will team up to form a national development team to take on the Hong Kong Junior Warriors.
“The competition has been running since 2015, it’s a great way to ensure our junior homegrown talent is exposed to international Rugby. Hong Kong has always been a team we look to gain experience from, as they are one of the top nations for Rugby in Asia. Hong Kong Rugby run a similar program to our development team, so it’s a positive relationship our unions have” shared Jake Letts, General Manager for Philippine Rugby
The National Development Team will be coached by one of the first original Volcanoes to wear the national jersey, Carlito Abono. Abono was part of the first national team back in 2004. Abono has a wealth of local development experience and is looking forward to another tough challenge against the Warriors.
“Each year this is a highlight for the local program, we train hard and we are always proud to represent the country, thanks to our sponsors for supporting local rugby” shared the Head Coach.
The Philippines will be looking to Lyndon Adlao, Lloyd Bendoy, members from Eagles RFC and Johnly Baloloy of the Albay Bulkans to lead the team. All have selected in the back row for the Philippines. Reymarc Faller Bustillos from the Makati Chiefs also expected to have an impact after a successful series in the PRFU SPI 15s season.
The international development series will also develop local aspiring national coaches and match officials, another important aim for each union.
“This year will have our local up and coming referees facilitate the match; they will be in charge to gain valuable experience. Traditionally we have always used our top referee in the country; however it’s an opportunity to develop our local referees more. We have selected Madille Salinas to referee this match; it’s going to be a valuable opportunity for her to gain this experience. She will referee the first match, with Hong Kong sending a referee for Monday’s fixture” shared Jovan Masalunga, Competitions and Education Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The matches are scheduled for both Friday, 24th August and Monday, 27th August at 2.00pm at Southern Plains, Calamba. Entry is free!
Philippine Rugby in partnership with Asia Rugby (regional association), and World Rugby (international federation), recently conducted an in-house two day Strategic Planning Workshop for key members and stakeholders of the game.
The distinguished guests and participants included current PRFU Board members, senior managers and staff members of the PRFU, two national athlete representatives for both the Men’s Philippine Volcanoes and the Lady Volcanoes, current sponsors, Regional Rugby Development Officers and club representatives ranging from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Gene Tong and Ridzal Saat, respectively from Asia Rugby and World Rugby facilitated the two-day strategic planning workshop for the Union. All key stakeholders gathered at Asian Institute Management Conference Center in Makati for the first ever Strategic Planning Workshop for Philippine Rugby.
“We hope that the workshop inspired Philippine Rugby to improve strategic goals, processes & systems. From our point of view, it was a good platform for all stakeholders to share challenges, concerns and align goals for the future” shared Mr. Tong, World Rugby Regional Training Manager (Asia).
The workshop created a platform to discuss governance, administration, high performance, club development, communications, competitions, participation, development, marketing, sponsorship and training & education. The workshop allowed the PRFU to establish the Union’s vision, mission and values of the organization and looked into the year on year plan until 2022.
The PRFU was founded in 1999, starting with limited growth and activities as a newly developed sport. There has been a rapid increase in Rugby Development over the last decade. This can be witnessed through the success of the Philippine Volcanoes on the international scene and the rise in local participation via the Get Into Rugby Program.
“Rugby in the Philippines is growing, I first became involved in the Union back in 2005, since then, there has been tremendous growth which we want to capitalize on an ensure the game remains healthy in the future” shared the PRFU’s General Manager and ex Philippine Volcano Jake Letts.
The PRFU strives to continue to implement its grassroots program throughout the country. President Rick Santos encouraged grassroots and youth Rugby as key to the development of the game in the Philippines.
Over the two-day workshop, up to 40 key participants and stakeholders provided input for the strategic plan. Top representatives from Globe Telecom and Crimson Hotel also attended to witness the national sports association’s plans and provided valuable input from an external perspective.
Philippine Rugby plans to implement its newly formulated strategic plan starting this December 2018 and results are expected by the end of December 2022. A key focus on growth in domestic competitions, as well as growing the PRFU’s grassroots programs is what most participants want to see. The additional need of witnessing top medal performances from the national team was also important to see Rugby continue to grow and have a presence in the Philippines.
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