The Philippine Volcanoes stand sixth in the Asian Sevens Series rankings after finishing seventh at the Shanghai Sevens played on the weekend of September 22/23, 2012, having finished sixth in the Borneo Sevens played earlier in the month. It was a mixed performance with the Volcanoes finishing strongly on Sunday afternoon to demolish
Malaysia 38 - 12 and comfortably account for the United Arab Emirates
24 - 12.
However, costly losses to Chinese Taipei (12-14) and to an improved Thai team (12-24) on the Saturday meant that seventh was the best that could be achieved after China beat the Philippines 36-5 on Sunday morning and the Thais played a draw against Chinese Taipei.
Just one point ahead of Sri Lanka in the rankings, but well below five other teams, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Japan (who did not play in China but who will be awarded an average score based on the results in Kota Kinabalu and Mumbai), the Philippines is expected to take a middle ranking (from 5 to 8) to the Singapore event which will determine which of the three Asian teams will attend the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscaow in June 2013.
On Saturday, having already played a match, Chinese Taipei started strongly and lead 14 - 0. The slow start cost the Volcanoes dearly as they fought back to score two tries of their own, both to Andrew Wolff, but Luke Matthews' conversion attempt was wide and the referee somewhat surprisingly decided that there was no time left and the Philippine side were left to rue a costly loss against the second ranked side in its pool.
The match against the Thais was a case of compounding errors with Joe Matthews sin-binned for two minutes and a number of defensive lapses led to our most disappointing result so far this year. Joe Matthews and Mark Chatting scored tries.
The mood was sombre at the hotel on saturday night but there was a determination to put things right on Sunday. Although we were not expected to conquer the hosts, China, Coach Mejia called for execution of our plans in a more clinical manner. The score line of 36-5 to China did not reflect a better performance from the Volcanoes, with Joe Matthews scoring again from a Japanes kick-off.
This left the equation of beating Malaysia by more than 5 points to progress to the 7th/8th match (Malaysia having beaten Thailand on Saturday) and that margin was swamped as the result of a fantastic all-round performance by the boys, with the team effort amplified by the fact that we had six different try scorers.
In our final match UAE proved to be a very tough side, playing a tight, physical match, but they could not match our attacking flair and Harry Morris, with two tries, Andrew Wolff and Mark Chatting skating over, the Pinoys had something to celebrate and to take renewed confidence into the Mumbai Sevens which will be played on October 13/14, 2012.
Hong Kong was the dominant team in Shanghai and they beat China 40-10 in a one-sided final. Chinese Taipei's improvement was emphasised by the fact that they beatlast year's winners, Korea, 26-7 in the 3rd/4th match.
With only three positions available to Asian teams at the Hong Kong Sevens (it was four last year) it is now not possible for the Philippines to qualify, as it will be the top 3 ranked teams from the Asian Sevens Series who are invited. So it is all down to the Singapore Sevens for the Volcanoes to attempt to cause a few upsets there and take a Philippine team to a team World Cup in 2013.
Details of the Philippines scores and scorers:
Chinese Taipei 12 - 14
Tries:Andrew Wolff 2, Conversion:Luke Matthews
Thailand 12 - 24
Tries: Joe Matthews, Mark Chatting, Conversion: Luke Matthews
China 5 - 36
Try: Joe Matthews
Malaysia 38 -12
Tries: Ken Stern,Mark Chatting, Luke Matthews, Rob Jones, Andrew Wolff and Ryan Clarke
Conversions: Luke Matthews 3, Richard Goodwin 1
UAE 24 - 12
Tries: Harry Morris 2, Mark Chatting and Andrew Wolff,
Conversions: Luke Matthews 2.
Coach: Expo Mejia
Physio: Chistian Santos
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