Manila, Philippines: The Philippine National Development XV, is set to take on the Hong Kong’s Senior Warriors in their final match this Saturday, 12:00 PM at the International School Manila.
The Philippine National Development team, proudly sponsored by Transcom, will be looking to secure the series for the first time. The Transcom Development Series has been held in Manila for three consecutive years. The Philippines are looking to change the script for this year’s event.
“Last year we had a tough outing against a very disciplined and organized Warriors side, but a year has passed and our veteran players know the expectations to win. We have been preparing well. For a few of our players this will be their first taste of international rugby, but they’re ready to take the challenge.” says Manuel Olondriz, Team Captain.
The National Development XV features some of the best local Filipino heritage players. This year ten clubs from across the Philippines will represent the makeup of the national team. The team will be coached and led by Ai Den Ng.
“The series gives local players the opportunity to shine. Hong Kong is a powerhouse nation in Rugby, we both have a great relationship, and they want to develop the game locally, so do we. Both have agreed development is the key to sustaining a growing game in Asia. Hong Kong will select a full Chinese heritage team with no expatriates. We have also committed to select only Philippine players based locally in the Philippines. No players from overseas will be flying in for this match.” shares Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
This is not the first time Hong Kong and the Philippines have arranged a series to develop rugby talent in 2017, both Unions faced off in an U19 National Development Series in August. The players who graduate from the U19s progress to this open division.
Manila, Philippines: The National U19 Rugby team, the Jr.Volcanoes will face fierce rivals Malaysia in their bronze medal match up this Saturday after conceding to a 27 points to 6 defeat at the hands of Korea.
The Jr.Volcanoes, powered by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation, showed true grit in their much anticipated match up. The Volcanoes came out of the gates with fire in their chests, holding out a physical Korean outfit in the first half.
The Koreans leaped to a 10 to nil lead after thirteen minutes, it wasn’t until Ryan Santos kept the Philippines in the match with his super boot, kicking two penalty goals and bridging the gap to 10 points to 6 with three minutes to play. After some positive team play in the final stages of the first half, the Philippines looked to take the lead after Wiremu O’Reagan broke the line however was desperately covered short by a suburb Korean defence. A penalty after the siren took the Korean’s out to a 13 to 6 lead at half time.
The second half started strongly for the Philippines, a match which was physically brutal for both teams. A standout for the Philippines, Jeromy Cairns, provided strong ball carries and solid defence, he continuely tested the Koreans. Kai Stroem led the team as always in attack and defence. With 13 minutes to play, at 13 to 6, Korea leaped on a loose carry, scoring making it 20 to 6. A penalty try after foul play by the Philippines kept Volcanoes completely out with the final scoreline 27 to 6.
“It was close for the majority of the match. We held our own. Against a bigger, fitter and more experienced outfit the last 10 to 15 minutes was always going to be our toughest. Credit to Korea, they finished strongly. As all teams aim too. Proud of our guys though, we know we have what it takes to win at the international level. If we had scored in the final stages of the first half, could have changed the game. It’s a promising sign” Kai Stroem, Team Captain for the Philippines shared.
“They held in there, played with heart and belief. We always knew Korea would be physically dominant. Our players didn’t back down, sets up a great match for Saturday. True to it’s design, it’s a developing program, aimed for Philippine Rugby to test themselves against Asia’s best at a youth level. We saw that tonight. Allows our Union to bench mark where we are at, see what improvements need to be made, so we can continue to develop the standard of how we play” shared Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
The Jr. Volcanoes will now look to play Malaysia for a Bronze medal finish. In other results, and in another close match, United Arab Emirates (UAE) progress to the final.
At 13 points to 14 after the first half, UAE also put in a second half performance racing away to win 34 to 13 win over Malaysia. The result sets up Korea and UAE for the Gold medal match, the Philippines fighting for Bronze.
Manila, Philippines. The U19 National Rugby Team, the Jr. Philippine Volcanoes, take on tournament favorites Korea this Wednesday in the opening round of the U19 Asia Rugby Championships.
The Asia Rugby Championships returns to Manila, with four teams contesting for the title. The Philippines will be seeded fourth, Korea second, United Arab Emirates third and Malaysia first, after Malaysia was relegated from the Premier division.
This is the fourth time the Philippines has hosted the international event. The aim of the tournament is to develop the next batch of Rugby stars for the Philippine Volcanoes. The Philippines compete in the U19 division each year, it acts as a stepping stone in the pathway for the National Youth System. Luckily the support from Asia Rugby, the Philippine Sports Commission, First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation, allows Philippine Rugby to host the event as the game continues to be recognised as a growing sport in the Philippines.
"The U19 program is a youth development program, nurturing young talent and identifying future Volcanoes. It allows these athletes the opportunity to play on an international stage. Having a successful National Youth Program ensures the Volcanoes and the national Rugby team has depth for the future.“ shares Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
“It’s important to invest in our youth, provide them a pathway into international competition. With the SEA Games being hosted in the Philippines in 2019, we want to be able to identify a few players from this program so we can invest in their future” added Letts.
The Jr.Volcanoes will be boosted by the return of Kai Ledesma Stroem, Rhys Jacob Mackley and Ryan Ralston Santos. Stroem and Mackley, already making their mark on the seniors level. Santos has also been earmarked to be a top draft pick for the US system, after he graduates from the International School Manila next year with an aim to play at a collegiate level.
“Its always exciting to be part of this program each year, last year Korea actually won the championships. We are expecting another tough encounter in our first match. We have been in training camp preparing well under our coaching staff, come Wednesday we will be ready for Korea” Stroem, Team Captain for the Volcanoes last year.
The team will be lead by coaches Stuart Woodhouse and David Johnston, both experienced to the international level in Asia.
The Volcanoes will kick off the first match at 5:00pm, with the second match between United Arab Emirates and Malaysia at 6:45pm. Games are to be hosted at International School Manila.
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