The PRFU were delighted to be invited to the 2012 Philippine National Games(PNG) by the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee. The games were held at in Sta Cruz, Laguna and Governor Jorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan was extremely supportive to host the Rugby 7s event and showcase this Olympic sport to everyone at the newly renovated RECS Sports Stadium.
Eight Men’s teams and three women’s teams registered to compete for the inaugural Philippine National Games Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The Men’s Division had the Eagles, Ibons, Bison/Tarsiers, Globe Immortals, MAAP Warriors, CBRE Vipers and Mavericks, Clark Rugby Club teams in competition, while the Women had Team Xena, MAAP Lady Warriors and Nomads.
It was an early start with the PRFU supplying a bus for the participants to make the three hour journey south. The sun was shining and temperatures soared to the high thirties as the teams took the field to play Rugby 7s in the aim of winning positions for the upcoming SEA Games, which will be held in Myanmar in 2013.
Rugby 7s is an exciting sport and promotes action, speed, agility and teamwork and is a perfect sport for any young Filipino athletes who enjoy the challenge of playing a dynamic contact sport. The PRFU restricted participation to the PNG Rugby 7s tournament to Filipino Heritage players only. It was exciting to see over 150 Filipino athletes take the field to compete to become the top Rugby 7s teams in the country.
The Men’s competition saw the teams do battle in a round robin format and then break into A and B Divisions for the finals. The Alabang Eagles were ranked the number one team entering the competition and they would have to face some formidable opponents in the top division. The semi finals were the Eagles against the newly formed CBRE Vipers, which the Eagles won to move through to the final.
In the other semi-final the young guns from Clark Rugby Club (CRC) who were all ex Bahay Bata orphanage players proved that size in Rugby 7s is not everything as they ran around their opponents displaying deft rugby skills and teamwork. Displaying excellent teamwork, the 16 – 18 year old Foundation players defeated their bigger and older opponents, the Globe Immortals, to set up a David and Goliath encounter in the Men’s A Division Gold Medal game.
On this occasion, it was the Eagles who proved too strong for their younger counterparts and they won the inaugural PNG Final by 29 – 5. The Eagles thoroughly deserved this win and have written their names in the history books as the first Men’s team to win a PNG Gold Medal in Rugby 7s.
The Men’s B Division Final was played between the MAAP Warriors and the newly formed Rugby 101 club the Bison-Tarsiers. It was a tribute to see the oldest Filipino Rugby Club, the MAAP Warriors play in this final, especially when they had travelled overnight all the way from Bataan. The MAAP Warriors had shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the round games and stalwart coaches Rick Hartley and Tony Shibley worked with the players to tighten up the defense for the final. This tactic certainly worked as MAAP ran out winners by 22 – 5. It was a great victory for the Warriors and is a tribute to the pioneer Filipino Rugby Club that they won their first ever PNG medal.
The Women’s Final was the best game of the day. Both the Nomads and Team Xena sides had several National Team players and this proved to be the ingredient for an exciting and competitive final. Both sides were locked at 7 all at the final siren and it wasn’t until National team legend, Manila Santos, broke through the Nomads’ defense in extra time to score a runaway try from 60m out. The Golden Point gave Team Xena the Women’s Division Gold Medal.
The PNG allowed the PRFU to showcase the growing sport of Rugby 7s and the Filipino athletes were extremely proud to compete to win National PSC medals. Rugby 7s is now played at the SEA, Asian and Olympic Games, and the PSC are looking to build further Rugby 7s programs to claim medals at these events.
The PRFU would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission for the inviting Rugby 7s to be a sport at the 2012 Philippine National Games and Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan for hosting the tournament at the world class RECS Sports Stadium in Sta Cruz Laguna.
Both PSC Commissioner, Jolly Gomez (PSC Commissioner) and Governor ER attended the PNG awards ceremony and were delighted at the level of skill, participation and sportsmanship displayed by all the Filipino teams that played in the 2012 Rugby 7s Philippine National Games tournament.
Official PNG results that are registered with the Philippine Sports Commission for 2012:
Photo gallery (all photos on this page by Michael Fernandez)
The PRFU is happy to announce announce that the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) have invited the PRFU to enter Rugby 7s as an official sport in the 2012 Philippine National Games.
The Philippine National Games is an annual sports competition run by the POC & PSC as one of the qualifying competitions for selection in the upcoming South East Asian Games which will take place in Myanmar in 2013.
National Sporting Associations were invited to host National League Competitions from May – June 2012 in PSC-sanctioned venues. The main section of the National Games (18 sports) were held in Dumaguete from May 26-June 2, while the remaining sports will host their National Games at either Rizal National Stadium, RECS Stadium in Sta. Cruz, Laguna and other venues throughout the country.
The PRFU will host Rugby 7’s at the RECS Stadium in Laguna on Saturday, June 23 which will be the first time that Rugby Union will participate in the Philippine National Games. The PRFU have invited Filipino Heritage players from all PRFU clubs to participate in the event and will focus on promoting teams and players who can ultimately vie for positions in the National Rugby 7s teams which will compete at the SEA , Asian Games and 2016 Olympics. The PRFU have also invited the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to also attend the one day competition in Sta Cruz as the PRFU look to start new development programs with the military in 2012.
Among the teams that have confirmed participation are the Globe Immortals, Raging Bison, Tarsiers, Mavericks, Manila Vipers, Eagles, Maritime Academy of Asia Pacific (MAAP) and Team Xena. Members of the Philippine Volcanoes National Rugby team will also be on hand to lend their support to this event.
For more information on the Philippine National Games, visit: http://png.psc.gov.ph/
The Nomads proved again that they are the number one 15s Rugby team in the Philippines with an emphatic 30-10 win over the Alabang Eagles in the JML 15s Final last June 9. The Nomads forward pack took full control of the game from the kick off and set the scene when they went straight into the pick drive patterns and constantly challenged the Eagles to try and stop their aggressive rolling mauls. The Eagles defense was certainly more organized than the last time the two teams met and they tried to challenge their bigger Nomads counterparts at the edge of the mauls and rucks, but had little effect on the machine-like attack that Dave Feeney and his forwards displayed. The Nomads did not make a mistake in the forwards in the first half and this eventually led to Man of the Match, Chris Anderson scoring the first two tries of the game both in similar style coming from rolling mauls and strong forward play.
Nomads coach Phil “Stinger” Gittus proved once again that good old fashioned 10-man Rugby can win in 15s rugby and he had obviously drilled the Nomads forwards in the finer arts of tight play. His English upbringing and coaching style dominated the Nomads play, with the ball rarely thrown to the backline and the Nomads forwards enjoying the opportunity to play up the middle of the field.
The Eagles regrouped at halftime and turned the Nomads around at the second half with some tactical kicks from flyhalf Rupert Zappia which led to two penalties being awarded to the Eagles at 21 – 0 down. The Eagles decided to try and place some much needed points on the board. Unfortunately young Tim Smith who had kicked 10 penalties against the Cebu Dragons last week missed both attempts and the Eagles were left empty handed. Some pundits thought they should have taken the game to the Nomads and gone for the tries instead of the Penalty shots
It wasn’t until late in the second half that the Eagles crossed the Nomads line with a try which they were able to convert ; but this was all too late as the Nomads scored two more tries to take out the JML 15s Championship by 30 -10.
Chris Anderson from Nomads was named Man of the Match and Chris Hettel won the JML Award which was donated and presented by Steve Payne from JML.
Maverick Vipers Win the Bowl Final to claim top spot at Rugby 101
The Maverick Vipers were totally focused on winning their debut final in the JML 15s Bowl Division and came out firing on all cylinders as they scored in the first minute of the game through some sharp work from their two underage International players, Dan O’Reilly and AJ Brown, who combined in the backline to set up several attacking raids into the Bison Tarsiers territory. The Bison Tarsiers struggled to gain possession and the Maverick Vipers seemed to run at will, led by their Captain, Ulysses Veloso the MV’s were relentless in attack and scored a comprehensive six try to one victory.
The Bison Tarsiers scored a late try in the game to spoil the Maverick Vipers hope taking out the final without allowing their opponents to score against them, but this was too little too late with the Maverick Vipers dominating all aspects play and running out the Bowl champions winners by 45 – 7.
Carabaos Defeat Hapons in Plate Final
The Carabaos took out the Plate Final defeating the Manila Hapons by 49 – 17. The Carabaos were at full strength and took advantage of their strong bench, whilst the Hapons had to call on some players to help fill the ranks before kick off. Te Hapons upset their more fancied rivals when they scored a length of the field try, which started from behind their own line and ended with Keiichi Utaka scoring after the ball went through several sets of hands.
The Carabaos realized that the Hapons were going to play running rugby and closed things down with some aggressive forward play that led to the next two tries. The Hapons hit back and scored again before halftime and the game remained close leading into the break at 21 – 17.
It was all one way traffic during the second half and the Carabaos started to rotate their bench whilst the Hapons were starting to tire which allowed the Carabaos to score four tries second half tries and win the Plate final by 49 – 17.
Cup MVP – Chris Anderson
JML Cup Award – Chris Hettel
Plate MVP – Romani Peyrelouse
JML Plate Award – Fred Marcerou
Bowl MVP – Mark Bulacan
JML Award – AJ Brown
The next round of games will be played at the Philippine National Games at the RECS stadium in Sta Cruz Laguna on Saturday June 23rd. This will be an all day event with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals being presented by the PSC to the winning teams.
The JML 15s League was in full swing at the Eagle's Nest in Silangan, with teams in the Bowl, Plate and Women’s Divisions all competing for places in the June 9th Finals. The Cup teams had a bye this weekend and the Alabang Eagles will fly to play the Cebu Dragons on Saturday June 2nd before the Philippine National Women’s team play an International game against Singapore.
The Women’s game will be the last lead up game before the Philippine National Women’s team plays in the Asian Women’s 15s Championships that will be held here in Manila from June 13 – 17th. Laos, Singapore and Thailand will all travel to the Philippines to play in the Asian Women’s Tournaments with games at Nomads Sports Club on Thursday June 14th and the Finals and Awards Ceremony at the Eagles Nest on Saturday June 16th.
Carabaos Win on the bell to move to the Plate Finals
The Carabaos came up against the Alabang Ibons at the Eagles' Nest and this game would decide the placings for the Plate Division finals on June 9th. The Ibons were definitely focused on beating the Carabaos after losing 33 – 31 after the final whistle when the Hapons converted a last minute try to snatch victory and the win.
The Ibons started poorly when they dropped the first ball of the game from the kick off. The Caraboas pounced on this opportunity to go straight on the attack in the Ibons territory. The Carabaos kept the ball tight and made several attacking raids at the Ibons line, utilizing their now recognized pick and drive techniques. The Ibons defense was relentless for the first five minutes of the game and they consistently stopped the large Carabaos forwards from scoring at the edge of the ruck. It wasn’t until the ball went wide to Jason Lock who scored in the corner to open the game and put the Carabaos on the front foot early in the game. The Ibons failed to regroup from the restart and found themselves under attack again on their own line. This time it was the Carabaos second rower Bradley Benton who charged over to score their second try in the first 10 minutes and take a 10 – 0 lead.
It wasn’t until the 15th minute of the game that the Ibons secured the ball and kicked for field position and were able to apply some pressure on the Carabaos defense. The Ibons strung together several attacking raids with Rupert Zappia finally scoring from a skillful backline move and converted the try to bring the Ibons back into the game at 10 – 7. The Ibons immediately fell into their own trap as they bundled their second kick off and this let the Carabaos pressure them into making mistakes that eventually led to a penalty that was converted by Daniel Melrose to take the lead to 13 - 7. The Carabaos seemed to drop their intensity and as soon as they did, David Carman sprang into life and made three decisive breaks that allowed the Ibons to score just before halftime through a sneaky dummy half try to Jaypee Paypon who darted from the base of a ruck and scored under the posts. The try was converted and the Ibons went into the halftime break with a narrow 14 – 13 lead.
The second half would prove to be just as even as the first and Rupert Zappia took advantage of some weak Carabaos defense when he scored his second try and the Ibons had the ascendency. All they had to do was play field possession and minimize their mistake rate to take out a victory. It was the Ibons lack of discipline at the ruck area that would lead to the next two penalties being converted by Dan Melrose to bring the game level at 19 – 19. The Ibons were their own worst enemy as they repeatedly gave away penalties for off side at the ruck which eventually led to two Ibons players being sin binned in the last 10 minutes of the game. The Ibons were on their own line and the Caraboas won another penalty and decided to take the scrum and punish the weakened Ibons forwards. The Caraboas pushed the Ibons into their own corner and it was Chris Anderson who dove over at no. 8 to score on the whistle and win the game for the Carabaos by 24 – 19. De ja vu for the Ibons, losing their second straight game at home on the whistle and they can only blame themselves for repeatedly infringing and allowing the Carabaos back into the game.
Maverick Vipers make in two from two wins heading into the Plate Final
The Bowl game saw a range of players take the field starting with the traditional rugby 101 teams which were both bolstered with National Underage Team players from ISM and BSM. The combination of enthusiasm from the 101 players and raw talent from the National underage players proved to be an effective recipe for a competitive game of 15s rugby. The game began at a blistering pace and it was Vipers number 8 Jason Lock who scored the opening try of the game when he beat three defenders to score out wide.
The game was certainly a struggle with both teams intent on winning the forward battle. The National Underage players marked up on each other on both sides with Tim Churchill, Jake Batuhan and Dan Melrose playing for the Bison/Tarsiers and Dan O'Reilly and AJ Brown playing for the Maverick Vipers. AJ Brown set up the challenge when he scored for the Vipers and was supported by last week’s MVP for the Mavericks Vipers, Charles Barthelemy who again showed that he is a player to watch in the future as he scored the Vipers third try to take a 17 – 0 lead into the halftime break.
The Bison Tarsiers were a different team in the second half and actually outscored the Vipers by 5 – 3, with Marc Patiag scoring the Bison’s only try and Dan Melrose kicking the only penalty goal for the game to end Maverick Vipers 20 defeating Bison Tarsiers 5. This means that the Maverick Vipers will again face the Bison-Tarsiers in the Plate Division final on June 9th.
Women’s Teams prepare for upcoming International Series
The Manila based women’s National Team players assembled at the Eagles Nest field to have an early training session and all the players will travel to Cebu this Thursday to prepare for an International 15s game against Singapore. This will be final hit out before the Philippine National Women’s Team host the Asian Women’s 15s tournament here in Manila on June 14 (Nomads) and June 16 (Eagles).
With half the National squad based in Cebu, 17 women turned out to play at Eagles on Saturday and the women played four quarters of 7s rugby. It was National Team player Rose Dela Cruz who stole the show in the first half by scoring two runaway tries. She was well supported by Jen Saldo from UMAK who showed she is definitely a prospect for the future with her deceptive speed as she ran the length of the field to score team Blues third try andtake a convincing halftime lead over the Red team by 17 – 0.
Acee San Juan played strongly at scrumhalf for the Blue team and constantly delivered quality ball to her speedy outside backs and scored a great solo try when she dummied from the base of a ruck and ran through to score under the posts. It was again the speedy youngster Jen Saldo who then scored the last two tries to see the Blue team win by 37 – 5.
The Women’s MVP for Saturday was Acee San Juan who was well supported by Cassie Umali and Manila Santos who will all feature in the upcoming International Series.
Plate MVP – Dan Melrose and Chris Httel
Bowl MVP – Dan O Reily
Women’s MVP – Acee San juan
Upcoming PRFU Events:
June 2, Cebu International School
Women’s International Series: Philippines v Singapore
JML Cup Division: Eagles v Cebu Dragons
ARFU Women's 15s: Teams: Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand
June 14, Nomad Sports Club, Merville Paranaque (eliminations)
June 16, Eagles Nest, Silangan (finals & awards)
JML 15s League Finals and Awards presentation
June 9, Eagles Nest – Cup, Plate, Bowl and Women’s Finals
Philippine National Games
June 23, RECS Stadium, Sta Cruz Laguna
Round 2 of the JML 15s league took place at Nomad Sports Club last Saturday and it was fantastic to see all the local teams out playing the traditional 15s format of Rugby Union. This was the first time that a number of the players had played 15s Rugby and it was obvious that they relished the opportunity to play the more physical style of the game.
In very hot conditions it was the women that kicked off the first game with a number of the players starting to prepare for the upcoming Women's International games:
June 2 - Philippines v Singapore to be played in Cebu
June 13 - 17 - Asian Women's 15s Division 2 Championships against Laos, Singapore and Uzbekistan to be played in Manila
The Women played two games of 7s style rugby and it was Team Xena team that took victory in both games. Several National team players showed that they are ready to fire up for the Philippine team in June, with Rose De La Cruz scoring both tries for Team Xena and Cassie Umali scoring and converting for Nomads in the first match, which left team Xena the winners in a very tight battle by 14 - 10.
The second game saw National team second rower Reena Novero busting the defence open with several block busting runs which paved the way for the Team Xena backline to run in two unanswered tries and eventualy win the second game by 10 - 0.
National team coaches Susan Konstanty and Expo Mejia were very pleased with the quality of Rugby that they witnessed. With the Asian Women's Championships being held in Manila in a months time, they explained that all the women need to be playing top level, competitive Rugby from now until the June 13th tournament to be able to be contenders in these championships.
The next game was the Plate Division match between the Nomads Carabaos and Manila Hapons which saw a number of expats take the field. The game was extremely close in the first half with the Carabaos taking an early lead through a try by veteran player Nigel Barrett. To the Hapons credit, they kept the pressure on the Caraboas which finally paid dividends when they scored just before the halftime break to take a 10 - 7 lead. The Hapons came out in the second half and continued to apply the pressure and it looked they were going to surprise their more fancied opponents when Jun Park scored a great solo try. However, this seemed to spark the Carabaos into the game and the second half became a one-sided affair with the Carabaos scoring the next eight tries, Nigel Barrett led the way with his second try of the game and National U20s player, Daniel Melrose also scored and converted three times for the Carabaos to win the game comfortably by 38 - 12.
The Bowl game, was by all observers the best game of the day with the Globe Immortals taking on the Tarsiers/Bison team. It also saw Cassie Umali referee her first game of 15s Rugby and what a game to make debut. Both teams were certainly fired up for a win and it was Chester Anin from Globe that scored the first try to help Globe begin the first half with a 5 - 0 lead.
The Globe team seemed to have the upper hand in the first half and both teams were playing an open style of rugby trying to outflank each other with their speedy backs. Globe finally realised that 15s Rugby must be dominated in the forwards before running wide and Rafael De Colnet scored the second try for Globe and extended the lead to 10 - 0.
The Tarsier/Bisons under coach Paul Churchill rallied at halftime and came out with a more focused gameplan. They started to control the ball in the forwards, and this new tactic paid off when Bisons flanker Noel Villa scored and game was hung in the balance at 10 -5. This certainly gave the Tarsier/Bisons a new lease of life and they immediately went straight back at the Globe team with some strong runs up the middle of the field from National U16 player Tim Churchill. This time it was the Tarsiers/ Bisons hooker Merick Magdarang who scored on the back of some good ruck work by the Tarsiers/Bison forwards to equalize the game at 10 - 10. Tim Churchill converted the try and the Tarsier/Bisons team took the lead for the first time in the game with two minuted left to play. Globe had one last shot at scoring but lost possession and the Tarsier/Bisons celebrated their first victory of the season with a score of 12 - 10.
The last game of the day was plalyed between the Manila Nomads and a touring side from Hong Kong, the Discovery Bay Pirates. The Nomads had defeated the Cebu Dragons last weekend in the opening round of the JML 15s League by 53 - 0 and were primed to take the game against the newly formed club from Hong Kong.
The Nomads have had an outstanding year so far, winning the Bostik 10s League and the Plate Final at the Manila 10s International Rugby Festival. They have been looking forward to playing the 15s season as most of their big forwards relish the hard physical nature of 15s Rugby. Under new coach, Phil Gittus who himself is a front row player, the Nomads have come up with a very forward-orientated gameplan which worked to perfection on Saturday with Nomads scoring their first three tries through the forwards mauling the ball through the Discovery Bay opposition.
Chris Anderson and Paul Ingram were on the back of two 15m mauls to crash over for tries which was followed by a third try by prop Nick Treweeke. The Nomads never looked threatened as they took a 38 - 0 lead into the halftime break. The Discovery Bay team asked a few of the local players to help in the second half but the Nomads machine was in full throttle as they eventually won the game by 55 - 0. This looks ominus as the Nomads take on their cross town rivals next week, the Alabang Eagles. After two games of 15s this season, the Nomads have scored 108 points and have not reliquished a point against them.
Round 3 will be played next Saturday, May 26th at the new home of the Alabang Eagles, The Eagles Nest. Situated in the Southern Plains development, the Eagles Nest is accessible via the Silangan Exit on the South Luzon Expressway.
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