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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Volcanoes Men's Rugby team has earned a ticket to the prestigious 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Through a 22-19 victory over 4th-ranked South Korea on Saturday, November 3 at the Singapore leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, the Philippines took the third and last Asian team slot to the 2013 tournament in Moscow.
This is the first time in history that the Philippines has qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens -- topping what has been a highly succesful year for the Volcanoes.
The team started 2012 with their Hong Kong 7s International Tournament debut in March, before continuing on to win Division 1 of the Asian 5 Nations tournament in April which put them among among the top 5 elite teams in Asia -- also a first.
Ranked 6th in the beginning of the competition, the Philippines started with a 33-0 victory against Guam before they were humbled by top-ranked Hong Kong 29-12.
The Volcanoes then faced China in the quarterfinals. After a nail-biting 14-7 win, the Philippines met Asian Rugby powerhouse Japan in the semi-finals and conceded a 7-17 defeat.
In their match against South Korea for third place, the Philippines needed a victory to secure a slot to the World Cup. The Volcanoes were leading 17-7 at halftime, before South Korea entered the second half with renewed determination.
South Korea clawed their way back up but the Volcanoes held strong, finishing with a close 22-19 victory.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held in Moscow, Russia in June 2013. - Rappler.com