The HMR Ibons remain favourites and top seeds in Philippine Rugby’s Championship Division after defeating the Manila Carabaos in a convincing 47 to 10 victory. A close encounter in the second semi final between the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks and the Subic Shark Jets saw the Mavericks prevail 24 points to 19 to book a place in the grand final.
In drizzly conditions, inspired by the return of club stalwart Jovic Paypon, the Ibons put together a dominant performance. With an agile and experienced backline it wasn’t long until the Ibons soared over for their first points 5 minutes into the match. Back-to-back points took the Ibons to a lead of 21 to 0. Philippine Resident David Bogle barged his way over to help the Carabaos get on the scoreboard however it wasn’t enough as the Ibons closed out the first half with another try to extend their lead. The second half remained much the same, the Carabaos continued to put in a spirited performance however the Ibons remained too string and booked their position in the final on June 16.
The second semi final was the match of a day, second seeded Subic Shark Jets faced off third seeds the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks. The return of U19 Junior Volcanoes Ryan Ralston Santos and Wiremu Brown provided much needed direction for the Mavericks. The Mavericks applied pressure early in defence scoring their first points off an intercept to make it 5-0 after the first two minutes. With both teams going head to head in a physical match, young Volcano Jaime Chuidian applied defensive pressure off a high ball and latched onto a loose carry and scored to make it 12 points to nil with Santos converting the try for the Mavericks. The Subic Shark Jets hit back and capitalised on a penalty with a stellar line break from Jonel Madrona to set up Michael Morales in the 23rd minute. The Shark Jets backed it up with another try and two successful conversions. The scores were set at 14 to 12 at the half time break in favour of the Shark Jets.
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