After a couple days in camp at the World of Life in Laguna, this newly formed Philippine Volcanoes U20s team from around the globe were ready for a strong performance at the ARFU U20’s 7s Championships at Johor Bahru Malaysia.
There were 10 teams competing in this year’s tournament split into two pools competing for The Cup, Plate and Bowl. Unfortunately, the Philippines drew a very tough pool facing Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and China all on the first day. Our first game was against the defending champions Malaysia who came out firing and put on 3 quick tries before we even got our hands on the ball. The boy’s finally got some possession and got a try back just before half time, unfortunately our Captain and try scorer, Adam Clarke was hit in a tackle just before the break were he suffered a tournament ending knee injury. The boys put on a brave fight but ended going down 29-5.
The next game was against Singapore, this was a “must win” for the Philippines. We got off to a great start with a try to Richard Powell, Singapore hit back with two soft tries to lead at the break 14-5. We started the second half the same way as we had finished the first, allowing Singapore in for a try from a Philippines mistake. This ignited the Boys and we saw the momentum change with Tim Churchill and Ryan Clarke scoring tries in succession, the score was 21-17 with only a couple of minutes left, unfortunately luck was against us and time ran out. The full time score remained Singapore 21 – Philippines 17, but a great improvement from the Team on the first game.
With only a short turn around our next game was against the wildcards of the tournament China. Physically a very imposing team with height, size and speed we put up a strong fight but were just out classed going down 36-5, with our only try being scored by Ryan Clarke
The Philippines were the only team in the tournament required to play four games in the first day, with our final game against the well-drilled and experienced Japanese. Once again a brave effort from all the boys with a reduced squad of only 10 men, 5 of which (Rey, Richard, Ryan, Robert & Tim) playing every minute of the 4 games for the day (with the exception of the 6 min that Adam put in before being injured). Japan were just too strong and we were out on our feet going down 38-0
Sunday brought a new day, refreshed from an early night and a good feed we were playing for Filipino pride and the Bowl championship against Brunei. The Boy’s came out firing and Brunei were never in the game, tries to Tim Churchill, Rey Pearce, Daniel Melrose and Ryan Clarke saw the Philippines victorious 24-0 and Bowl Champions for 2012
Overall a good result and great experience for this young developing team with 4 players U18 and 1 x U16, providing us with great depth for the years to come. Malaysia were the eventually winners of the Cup in a close game against Hong Kong.
Philippine Volcanoes U20s 7s Men's Team
Report by: Paul Churchill, Team Manager
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