Two avid Philippine Rugby stalwarts depart our shores leaving Philippine Rugby in a better place
In the last days of 2018, we say goodbye and thank you to two key Rugby advocates for Philippine Rugby.
The PRFU would like to thank both Chris Anderson, more commonly known as ‘Ando’ and Stuart Hodge for all their contributions to the game of Rugby in the Philippines.
Ando has been a linch pin to the Nomads Rugby Club over the years, not only as a past Club Captain, but as a proud club representative and member of the Philippine Volcanoes Men's 15s team. A true leader and Captain to our Philippine Residents XV program, a formidable Volcano and best yet, a top all round team player on and off the field. Ando always left his mark on the pitch, a lead runner and powerful backrower, always reliable to put in 110% for every game he wore the jersey. Thank you Ando for always putting your best foot forward in every jersey, and being the man everyone looked up too on and off the field. Enjoy Singapore with your beautiful wife Megan and three kids, you will be missed!
On the another side, we have Stuart Hodge who called the Philippines home for three years with his lovely wife Amanda. Stuart was an important member to the Union, a top Match Official (MO) ensuring our game was played within the laws and an advisory member to our local aspiring MOs. Stuart loved to see Rugby develop in the Philippines and was excited and proud to be part of a developing nation and witness their rise both locally and internationally. A big thanks to Stuart on behalf of all players and the Union, it’s never easy being in the middle with a whistle, we hope you enjoyed your time here and we thank you for your support and services! You are always welcome to return and referee here in the future, our match officials are grateful for your coaching!
Thank you Ando, thank you Stuart! We wish you all the best for the future, you will always have a home in Philippine Rugby.
“It was a spirited comeback in the first half, they showed patience and composure. It’s never easy coming back from two tries down, however credit to the team, they held strong for the first 35 minutes” shared Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
The Junior Volcanoes didn’t stop there, early in the second half after a brilliant set piece, saw Dean Dela Beeton scream onto a perfectly passed long ball from Davie and found the corner for the Philippines to take the lead for the first time after 40 minutes. Five minutes later Makati Chief Reymarc Bustillo was in again for the Volcanoes and the Philippines extended their lead to 26 to 14.
China however didn’t stop there, scoring a brilliant try out wide closing the gap to 7 points with still 20 minutes remaining. The Volcanoes had to hold strong in order to take the win. Off a set piece penalty, it was Craig Bayer Wallace who fought for every inch as he bursted through the Chinese pack to take the Volcanoes to 31 points and Wakeham once again securing the extra two points. With time running out, this was enough for the Volcanoes to bag the win 33 to 19 and secure third place in 2018.
“A good result, the best result we have had since 2014. So that’s another positive for 2018, it’s been a tremendous year. Very happy they finished here on a win” Letts added.
Philippine Rugby ends their 2018 international calendar with another successful campaign, looking towards another big 2019 season. With Rugby Sevens in the SEA Games, earning qualification into the World Series Qualifiers in Hong Kong in April and Olympic Qualifications in November, the Volcanoes look to set for another competitive calendar for 2019.
The U19 Junior Volcanoes, proudly supported by First Pacific, MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Sports Commission are all set to take on the host nation Thailand in the opening match of the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 Championships.
The Philippines will face strong competition in the Division 1 series, competing against Thailand, China and Singapore, to see who will be crowned 2018 champions. The competition kicks off tonight at Bang-Bon Stadium, Bangkok, with China playing Singapore in the first match followed by the Philippines taking on Thailand.
The Junior Volcanoes are comprised of 17, 18 and 19 year olds, a rugby development program supported by MVP Sport Foundation for the Philippine Volcanoes. The young Volcanoes have been in an intensive training camp since Friday under Men's National Coaches Stu Woodhouse and David Johnston.
“It’s always a much shorter and intense training camp for this group. Gathering talent from the Philippines and overseas has it’s challenges, especially with the timing of this program, however we know it’s always worth the investment. Having our senior quality coaches here helps their preparation and enables them to fast track their learning process ahead of the competition” shared Jake Letts, the General Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The U19s program for Philippine Rugby was first established in 2006, and since the program's inclusion several key players have gone ahead and graduated to the Men’s senior program. An outcome which is exactly what the program aims for.
Earlier this year, four players from Men’s 15s Championship winning Philippine Volcanoes team came from the U19s development program. Experienced players Gareth Dela Rosa Holgate (class of 2006), Daniel Bembo Matthews, Ned Plarizan Stephenson and Ricky Alarcon Kucia (all class of 2008) were all selected for the senior playing group and helped the Volcanoes to a first place finish in 2018.
“This program has always played an important role for the development of our national programs. It enables our youth to have a platform to perform for the National Coaches and go on to represent the country at a senior level. I have seen a number of remarkable players come through, it’s an important program we want to continue and invest each year” shared Letts.
This year the Junior Volcanoes will be looking at their firepower through brothers Jeromy and Manaia Zafra Cairns, both earning selection in the forward pack. Jeromy earning Team Captain this year. A debutant Tom Canon Coleman will be looking to impress further, after earning the Vice Captaincy role for the national team. At flyhalf, Matthew Imperial Davie will lead the team around the field with the assistance of Jason Bonilla Schirmer at fullback. Overall the Philippines have strong mix of experience with new faces and will be looking for a victory in the opening match tomorrow against Thailand.
The first match will kick off tonight at 7:15 pm MNL time, and be streamed live via the Volcanoes Facebook page.
For more information you can contact the Philippine Rugby at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018 international season for Philippine Rugby continues this December as both the Women’s National Development Team, and the U19 Junior Volcanoes take the field to once more before the years end.
2018 for Philippine Rugby has been one of the most successful seasons to date, the Men’s National Program has achieved success across all levels. The Men’s Residents XV team defeated Guam in April in a one off international exhibition match, the Men’s 15s team were crowned Champions over Singapore in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships, the U19 National Development Team defeated the Hong Kong Junior Warriors in the First Pacific Cup, and lastly the Men’s National Sevens Team finished with a Bronze Medal in the 2018 Asia Sevens Series, making them the 3rd highest ranked team in Asia.
Not only success in the Men’s Programs, national success was achieved with the Women’s also. A silver medal finish in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Women’s Championships in June and an additional Silver Medal finish in the 2018 Asia Trophy Series in October capped off a remarkable international season for the Lady Volcanoes.
“It’s been a positive year for our international programs, we hope to add two more successful campaigns to finish off 2018” shares Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
This Saturday sees the Lady Volcanoes development program take on the Singapore Bedoks at Faith Academy. Both teams traditionally set for a close encounter. “Last year the Bedoks got away with a close win, hopefully this year our ladies can get one back. We are currently playing in top form, so hopefully we can finish on another high” shared Letts.
The U19 JunIor Volcanoes are also in preparation for an international competition. The youth program also backed by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation are preparing for the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 U19s Championships in Bangkok, Thailand next week. The Volcanoes will face hosts Thailand on Tuesday in the hope to secure a place in the final either against China or Singapore on Friday, December 14. Letts sees it as more of an opportunity to scout future talent.
“The U19s program is very important to what our future holds, these players will be the basis of our National Teams in the future. It’s a great opportunity for our athletes to impress our current national coaches at an international level”
The U19s will be coached by Stu Woodhouse and David Johnston. Philippine Rugby have been fortunate enough to have First Pacific and MVP Sports Foundation as headline investors for these programs, as they help support and pave the future for Rugby development in the Philippines.
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