MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Manila Nomads are back on form as they push Eagles RFC all the way during Round 2 of the domestic league.
After a heavy defeat to the Eagles in round 1, Manila Nomads came back with something to prove. Both sides came out blasting out of the blocks but it was Nomads who maintained most of the possession early on. As the Nomads went to release the backs in the opposition’s 22 meter zone, the Eagles’ centres intercepted a poor pass by Nomads and linked up to score the first try after being chased down by the Nomads’ scramble defence for almost 80 meters.
The Nomads continued to maintain the majority of possession in the opponent’s 22 meter. Ill-discipline from the Eagles led to numerous penalties given to the Nomads who opted to continue use their strength, the scrum. After repeated infringements at the scrum by the Eagles, match official, Jovan Masalunga, felt he had no other choice but to award the Nomads with a penalty try. Late in the first half, another penalty was awarded to Nomads, this time in front of the goal posts. Philippine Volcano, Robert Amalay Jones, with a successful shot at goal brought his Manila side into the lead 7-10. But Jones’ opposite number, Jackson Pato, a Philippine Volcano under the residency rule, responded with a try which was then converted. Eagles regained the lead, 14-10 at the stroke of half time.
Early in the second half, Richard Apurel of the Eagles, repeated his actions from the first half and scoring a try and extending the lead to 19-10. Pato was unable to convert the try. Minutes later Eagles were reduced to 14 men as they lost their fly half, Pato, as he was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle. The Nomads capitalised on this, scoring a try five minutes later from catching the ball at the lineout and driving the maul over the goal line. Jones’ conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the Nomads still trailed 19-15. Numerous scoring opportunities were missed by both teams throughout the remainder of the game and the Eagles were able to hold off the Nomads until the end.
In the women’s division, the Makati Chiefs, Santos Knight Frank Mavericks and Eagles RFC joined forces to form two fair teams and play an exhibition game comprised of three periods of 20 minutes. This close fought game featured some of the Lady Volcanoes including Rassiel Sales and Madille Salinas, both who were amongst the try scorers.
Round three of the 2018 SPI 15s Rugby Championship takes place this Saturday 17th March from 12.30pm at Southern Plains, Canlubang. Having both lost to Championship leaders, Subic Shark Jets, Albay Bulkans and Manila Carabaos face off as they look to advance up the table standings. Philippine Volcano, Evan Spargo returns from injury for the Makati Chiefs this week as they look for their first win this season. Spargo and the Chiefs will have to stop Santos Knight Frank Mavericks’ own Philippine Volcano, Lito Ramirez, who has been in great form and helping the Mavericks secure two wins from two.
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