MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Eagles Rugby Football Club (RFC) finished the 2017 Globe 7s League undefeated, beating Subic Sharks 45-0 and Makati Chiefs 24-19 in the Premiership preliminary finals before taking out the Clark Jets 43-0 in the Premiership Cup final for the second year in a row.
The Eagles proved to be a class above the rest, conceding only 70 points throughout entire competition. On finals day, the Eagles outplayed the Subic Sharks and Clark Jets and never allowed either team to get into the game.
In the Premiership semi-final however, the Eagles were shaken by the Makati Chiefs and at a near upset, after being down on the scoreboard 19-17 in the final play of the game. But with a last roll of the dice, the Eagles were able to regain composure and steal the match by scoring a converted try underneath the posts by Francis Tagalia in the dying seconds of the match.
The rest of Eagles RFC cleaned up the remainder of the competition. The Loros took out the Challenger title, whilst the Ibons shut out Albay Vulcans 35-0 to win the Championship division. But it was the Lady Eagles that stole the show beating Santos Knight Frank Lady Mavericks and Makati Lady Chiefs in the Women’s Premiership respectively.
The semi-final was won by the Lady Eagles in extra time with a golden point try over the Lady Mavericks. The Lady Eagles then had to overcome tournament favorites, the Makati Lady Chiefs. Another very close encounter, a conversion kick from Lady Volcano, Katrina Marie Perez Andrews separated the two teams. Andrews converted the try scored by her fellow Philippine Volcano Helena Roxanne Indigne, giving Lady Eagles the win and the Women’s Premiership Cup title.
“A fantastic finale to a domestic competition. Some close games and some upsets, that’s the nature of the sport. It’s brilliant to see more homegrown players excelling in the sport and competing with our national team players” shares Jovan Masalunga of Philippine Rugby.
With the domestic sevens season drawing to an end, local teams are now preparing for the annual 2017 Cebu 10s on November 11 to be held at Cebu International School.
After three months of games between 18 men’s team and 7 women’s team, the Philippine Rugby Football Union is all set for the final battle of the 2017 Globe 7s league, which will feature Philippine Volcanoes playing in their respective clubs.
The finals will be played tomorrow, 28 October 2017 at Southern Plains Sports Field, Canlubang Laguna. Teams from all over Luzon – Eagles RFC, Albay Vulcans, Clark Jet and Subic Sharks – will be travelling to compete with Manila-based clubs such as Manila Nomads, Santos Knight Frank Mavericks, La Liga, Makati Chiefs, Miriam College and QC Polytechnic University.
This weekend will feature the top teams in the Premiership, Championship, Challenger and two Women's Divisions. The Philippine Volcano Men's and Women's National team players are spread among the teams and play alongside and coming local Filipino athletes who have been learning the game over the last few years.
The Men's Division will see the Eagles RFC attempt to defend their Premiership title against formidable opponents including Makati Chiefs, Manila Nomads and current Philippine National Games Gold Medallists, Clark Jets. Makati Chiefs, with four Volcanoes fresh from the SEA Games and Asia Sevens Series are strong contenders to compete for the top prize.
The Quarter Finals kick off at 9.30am and the awards ceremony will take place at 5pm.
Rugby 7s is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and is enjoying an increase in popularity and awareness after its debut at the Rio Summer Olympics last year. In particular, Asia is experiencing rapid rises in participation, thanks to Japan’s winning bids to host the next Rugby World Cup and Olympic Games. This growth has been felt even in the Philippines with the number of teams participating in the local 7s increasing from 18 in 2015 to 25 in 2017.
This weekend marks the end of a very special era in the history of the Philippine Rugby Football Union, as Matt Cullen, our Director of Rugby, moves on to pursue new opportunities overseas.
Matt joined the Board back in 2000, when PRFU was very much in its infancy. He served 7 years as a Board member and then took on the full-time role as Director of Rugby. In that time, we have seen participation grow from two Manila based teams to today’s number of 22 that span the entire archipelago.
During his time with PRFU, Matt managed and coached many of our national sides – some of the more notable achievements include the ascent of our men’s team from Division 3 to the Elite (top 5) in Asia, qualification for men and women in the Hong Kong 7s, qualification for the Rugby World Cup 7s in Moscow 2013 and gold & bronze medals in the 2015 SEA Games. In addition, we were recognised by the Asia Rugby Football Union in 2012, when PRFU won its prestigious Development Award – a startling achievement given our humble beginnings.
Matt has worked with elite athletes, disadvantaged kids and anyone else that just wanted to join in and play rugby. He has made an indelible impact on the growth of the sport in the Philippines. The Board of Trustees and employees of PRFU, along with the greater Philippine rugby community, wish Matt, and his wife Reah, the very best for the future.
Maraming Salamat, to the man we know best as Chooky!
Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Globe Philippine Volcanoes finished 2017 off in style, taking out the Plate Championship in the last round of the Asia Seven’s Series in Colombo last weekend.
The Volcanoes were under pressure to perform, seeing all teams were fighting to remain in the top division for 2018. Since Rugby is played in 31 countries across Asia, the Top division for Rugby sevens only allows eight teams to qualify each year. The Volcanoes won Gold in Doha last February to earn their position and have pre-qualified for 2018 after their latest result in Colombo.
“We want to stay in the Top Division, Rugby in Asia is getting more competitive each year, each nation has invested and increased their funding for their Rugby programs. Rugby 7s is an Olympic sport now, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is not to far away” Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby shared.
In horrid, muddy, and wet conditions, the Volcanoes knocked out powerhouse China in the Plate Semi Final 26 points to 10. The result booked the Philippines a spot in the Plate Final against their Southeast Asian rivals Malaysia who beat Chinese Taipei 17 points to nil in the second Semi Final. The Volcanoes led from the start getting out to a 19 points to 7 lead before Malaysia crawled their way back late into the match. A never say die attitude led the Volcanoes to victory resulting in a stunning 19 to 17 win over their opponents.
“That was intense, to finish the tournament and win the Plate was outstanding. I am so proud of the team. We have always known we have the capability to play well at the top of Asia, feels great to repay our families, fans and sponsors. Rugby in the Philippines mean’s a lot to so many people, so it’s a great way to finish the year. A big thanks to the PSC, Globe and all our sponsors, their support has given the opportunity for Rugby to grow in the Philippines” Daniel Bembo Matthews, Team Captain of the Globe Volcanoes.
Player of the tournament was awarded to Vincent Amar Young, closely followed by Jonico After Hardwick. Both players were instrumental to the teams best performance over the series scoring a total of six tries between them in Colombo.
The Volcanoes men’s Sevens team can breath easily as they head into their international off season for the rest of the year. Local Rugby will continue in Manila, with the Volcanoes now playing for their respective clubs locally in Luzon.
“Since our international season is over for the Men’s, the PRFU now move onto our Juniors and Women’s national programs. Still plenty of Rugby to be played here locally and abroad. Our U17 National Women’s Team will play in Dubai and the PRFU will be hosting teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Korea for the November and December international rugby series” Letts added.
Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Philippine Volcanoes, backed by Globe Telecom are set for the final leg of the Asia Sevens Series this weekend in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
After a successful campaign in February, the Volcanoes bagged a Gold medal in Doha at the Asia Trophy Series. The result guaranteed the men's national sevens team a position in the top 8 in Asia.
“We achieved our goal in February, a gold medal, we wanted to ensure we always compete with the best teams in the region, this series has shown we deserve to be here" Team Captain Daniel Bembo Matthews shared.
The Volcanoes face another enormous task this weekend as they face Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia in their opening pool matches. The Philippines have selected three new faces for the series, two of which will make their debut for the Volcanoes. Ryan Reyes Howe and Emmanuel Javier Rodriguez will take the field for the Volcanoes for the first time, while Kai Ledesma Stroem is welcomed back from a short stint playing rugby in New Zealand.
"Some exciting new players have been added to the playing roster for this weekend, it's going to be another test for our team. Ryan and Emmanuel bring speed and Kai beefs up our forward pack" Jake Letts, a Head of National Teams for Philippine Rugby shared.
The Volcanoes are aiming for a top 4 finish, a feat they fell devastatingly short in Round 1. "Top 4 is our goal, we lost in overtime in the first leg but it gave us confidence we can compete with the top teams. This what we are aiming for this weekend" shared Head Coach Frano Botica.
The first match will be at 10:52am local time against Hong Kong at Racecourse International Rugby Stadium.
After the Men’s series, Philippine Rugby moves their international focus to its National Youth Programs. The U17 National Women’s team will compete in the Youth Olympic Qualifiers in Dubai in late November while the U19 First Pacific Volcanoes will compete in Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Championships to be held in December.
Match 2017 Asia Sevens Series - Colombo Schedule:
10:52 vs. Hong Kong
13:26 vs. Japan
16:22 vs. Malaysia
Times are all based on local time, 2.5 hours behind Manila. Games will be lived streamed via Asia Rugby Facebook.
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