The Philippine Volcanoes Under 18s finished third in Asia after winning the Plate at the Asia Rugby Under 18s Sevens Competition 2016 in Chinese Taipei last week. This was the first time the Philippines participated at this level and took on the rest of Asia.
The Philippine Volcanoes Under 18s had a dream start, crushing the giants of China 35-0 in their opening game. The young team also finished day one of the competition undefeated after tying with hosts, Chinese Taipei 14-14, and a convincing win over UAE, 21-0. Tries throughout the competition were scored by Naiqama (Philippines top try scorer), Tan, Ryan, O’Regan-Brown, Schirmer, Aragon and Santos.
Day 2 saw the Volcanoes face tournament favorites Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the Volcanoes fell short by a single try, losing 19-14. “The boys started believing in themselves later in the game and fought until the very end! I couldn’t have asked for anymore from them. If the game was a little longer I feel the boys could have stolen the game from Sri Lanka, but it just wasn’t meant to be this time around and that’s sevens rugby,” shared Jovan Masalunga, manager of the Philippine Volcanoes Under 18s.
The Philippines finished the competition strong, beating Singapore in the plate final 14-10. Volcanoes Under 18s captain, Ryan Santos, scoring all of Philippines points in the plate final but gave way to Josh Miller to score the final conversion. Following the competition Santos, who scored 83 per cent of his conversions, stated, “It was truly an honor to captain the team and to represent the Philippines in an international competition. It is always a special privilege and unique opportunity to put on the Volcanoes jersey. Although we didn’t get the results we wanted, we proved we could compete with the best teams in Asia and that we will surely be a serious contender in the future.”