The Philippine Volcanoes Men’s Rugby team defeated South Korea in the battle for third place of the Singapore leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series on November 3 at the Singapore Padang. The win clinched for the Philippines the third and last Asian team slot for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
The Philippines started the competition ranked 6th in Pool A with Hong Kong (ranked 1) and Guam (11). After thrashing Guam with a 33-0 victory, the Volcanoes bowed to Hong Kong 29 – 12 to set up a Quarter Final battle against China. A nail-biting 14-7 win over China placed the Philippines in the Semi-Final versus Asian Rugby powerhouse, Japan.
The 7-17 defeat to Japan meant the Volcanoes needed to beat 4th ranked South Korea in order to finish third in the tournament and book their place in the Rugby Sevens World Cup to which Japan and Hong Kong had earlier qualified. The Philippines went into half-time with a 17-7 lead but South Korea battled back in the second half. The Volcanoes held strong and the match ended with a final score of 22-19.
“It is just fantastic that we are going to the World Cup. This is the first time that the Philippines will be playing in a World Cup and it is huge feat for us,” said team captain Harry Morris.
“The third/fourth match was definitely closer than I wanted it to be. I give credit to the players for doing this for the nation,” said Coach Al Caravelli. The American coach was the former coach of the US National Sevens Rugby Team before being tapped to head the Volcanoes in August.
This latest milestone is the 3rd in what has been the Volcanoes most successful year in its existence. Starting 2012 with a debut in the prestigious Hong Kong 7s International Tournament in March, they then went on to win Division 1 of the Asian 5 Nations tournament in April placing themselves among the top 5 elite teams in Asia.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held in Moscow, Russia in June 2013. It will be the sixth edition of the tournament and most probably its last as Rugby Sevens will now be an official sport in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
For a details on each of the Philippines' matches, photos and videos, please click here.
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