At this year's Asian Women’s 15s Division II championship, it was Singapore who triumphed on the field against Thailand with a narrow win of 21-19. Singapore came to the tournament wanting to prove they belong in the top division after their demotion to Division II last year. This drive coupled with a well-drilled team and a high level of fitness was what eventually wore down the Thailand defense as Singapore returns to Division I next year.
In their first match, the Lady Volcanoes played against Thailand and struggled early on to maintain defense against the quick passes to the Thai wingers who scored the majority of the tries. They scored once in the first half with a quick play to the backs resulting in a try from veteran player Nikki Lira. The Volcanoes, who had just come back from training camp earlier in the week, finally found their stride in the second half with a more solid defensive line and answering back with two more tries from Manila Santos and Kaye Honoras. The final score of 48-15 didn’t quite reflect the stats of the Lady Volcanoes who had majority possession of the ball but made critical mistakes that resulted in their undoing.
After some recovery and regrouping, the Lady Volcanoes came out as their motto states, “As One!” on Saturday against Laos. Despite some injuries to the starting lineup including Nikki Lira, Alice Almocera and Nicole Moore, the ladies physicality seemed to overwhelm the Laos team, especially in the forwards’ game where half of the tries were scored including a hat trick to Captain and blind side flanker Ada Milby. Loosehead prop, Eloisa Jordan, also the youngest player on the team, consistently busted through the Laos defense and was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The game was a shut out with a final score of 55 – 0 however, the Laos team didn’t go quietly as they continued to play hard for the full 80 minutes of the match.
The Lady Volcanoes are continuing to develop and grow and a team and will now be preparing for 7s season as they travel to India later this year. With more training and match experience, this team will surely be a threat to watch for in the 2013 Division II tournament.
Report by: Manila Santos & Ada Milby
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