Volcanoes explode, torch SingaporeansBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PLAYING their first game at home soil in more than two years, the Philippine Volcanoes did not disappoint.
The Volcanoes launched their campaign in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Championships in style Sunday night, overwhelming Singapore, 37-20, before a lively crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Powered mostly by professional players based in Australia, the Volcanoes used a strong start to build enough cushion when the Singaporeans started to find their rhythm.
“I never felt that the game was out of our control but I think we should have perhaps closed the game out earlier,” said Volcanoes coach Expo Mejia, whose team last played in the country in 2009 when it was still in Division III. “We need to be a bit more clinical. But there is a good base for us now to build on and the crowd support was fantastic.”
Oliver Saunders finished with 12 points on a try and two field goal conversions to lead a balanced assault for the Volcanoes that also saw winger Joseph Matthews score two tries.
Skipper Michael Letts dashed Singapore’s hopes of a comeback with a try late in the second half that pegged the final count, after the visitors came within 13-24 following a conversion from Riady Perdana in the 44th minute.
Earlier, top seed Sri Lanka dumped Chinese Taipei, 36-8.