MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Residents XV, a feeder program to the Philippine Volcanoes capped off their first match in 2018 with a victory defeating Guam, 35-22, in the 2018 Austronesian Cup.
"It was good to get the win; our international season has started off well. Credit to Guam, playing 3 matches in one week and never giving up. They deserved their Division 3 East title win earlier in the week. We are grateful to have matched up well against them on their return home from their Asia Rugby Championships," said Philippine Rugby Football Union general manager Jake Letts.
Residents XV – a team of local residents featuring past, present and future Volcanoes –boasts a remarkable record since the program started in 2016. The national program has won 3/3 of its matches in Philippine soil, defeating international rugby teams from Malaysia, Singapore, and Guam.
"Playing at home is always special, the vibe, the atmosphere and the fans play a huge role in a team’s success," shared Philippine Volcano Harry Dionson Morris
Philippines started strong from the first whistle, taking a 7-0 lead 4 minutes into the match. An attacking run from Philippine Volcano Jackson Junior Pato off a line out set out the pace for the Philippine Team. Robert Amalay Jones had no difficulties converting the extra two points.
Not long after Joe Palabay Dawson capitalized on open space and a loose ball after a brilliant piece off a counter attack put together by Greg Golman and Jones which took the lead to 14-0 after 9 minutes.
Photo from Philippine Rugby Football Union
The match looked to be a one sided affair, with the Philippines continuing to put pressure on the visitors and with back-to-back tries from Taniela Turaga and Evans Atandi shot the Philippines to healthy 28-0 after 27 minutes.
With the Residents comfortably in front before half time, Guam’s fight back begun with two quick tries by Matt Sojo & Chris Sgro, settling on a half time score of 28-12 in favor of the home team.
"Our team started off very well, played to their structures for the first 30 minutes. Pleasing to score 4 unanswered tries to begin with. Unfortunately they lost their way a little late in the first half, something we have to improve on moving forward," shared Chris Everingham, the Performance Manager for the Volcanoes.
The second half started off in favor of the Residents with Clark Jet Kingsley Ballesteros crossing over putting in a comfortable lead 35-12. All but seemed out of reach for Guam however with a never-say-die attitude the visitors fought and crawled their way back with two consultation tries decreasing the points differential to 35- 22.
Ballesteros finished with the Best on ground performance for Team Philippines.
The Philippine Volcanoes will be competing in their respective Asia Rugby Championships in June 2018.
The Lady Volcanoes will travel to Singapore to play India and and the host country, while the national men's team will host Singapore in Manila for a two-match international series to decide the Division 1 Title. – Rappler.com