The Alabang Eagles travelled to Cebu this past weekend to support the Women’s International match and play their Cup round against the Cebu Dragons. The Eagles who were coming off a loss to Nomads, had to defeat the Dragons in order to cement a place in the JML 15s League finals.
The Cebu Dragons had a positive start to the game and pressured the Eagles from the kick off, this resulted in the Eagles giving away a simple penalty in front of the posts and Jerry Branzuela stepped to slot the Dragons first points. Unfortunately this would be the last points the Dragons would score until late in
the game as the Alabang Eagles took full control of the game and piled on 90 unanswered points to send a strong signal to the Nomads that the Eagles are ready for the JML 15s Finals. The speedy Eagles backline were in dominant form as they piled on 14 tries and seemed to run at will with Captain Tim Bweheni consistently making inroads into the Dragons defence. Young gun Tim Smith who played for the Philippine National u16s last year converted 13 shots to rake up 26 solo points and is a bright star for future National underage teams.
Under coach and player Dan Moutin, the Eagles forwards played with more discipline and Veve Apolosa was hard to stop as he charged into the Dragons forwards and also made several blockbusting tackles to create turnovers.
The Dragons tried to combat the Eagles onslaught but were unable to keep possession for more than three phases and struggled in the set pieces as the Eagles larger forwards applied constant pressure at every scrum and lineout.
Dragons Captains Noel Flowers and Jerry Branzuela kept rallying the Dragons players to fight until the end and newcomer backs Dean Bates and Tony Tualo from New Zealand showed signs that the Dragons can rebuild from this loss in their first outing in Cebu. The Dragons Captains frustration boiled over and both players were out on their feet by the end of the game.
The Final score was Eagles 90 Cebu Dragons 8 and the Eagles will now meet the Manila Nomads in the JML 15s Cup Finals to be played at the Eagles new home field in Silangan next Saturday June 9th. The finals will feature the three Men’s divisions, Cup, Plate and Bowl. The Women’s Division will rest as they prepare to play in the Asian Women’s Division 2 Championships against Laos, Singapore and Thailand in Manila on June 14 and 16th.
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