Volcanoes bag silver in tough Asia Rugby
Priming up for next year’s Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Volcanoes began the campaign with a silver-medal finish in the 2016 Asia Rugby tournament last weekend.
The two legs of the competition held in Chennai, India, and Al Ain in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, saw the Volcanoes rack up victories over Thailand, UAE, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Nepal with Sean Celeda Lynch and Jonico Ater Hardwick delivering heavily for the Nationals.
Hardwick had 15 tries and Lynch completed 14 while veteran Gareth Dela Rosa Holgate performed strongly with his conversion tally.
Seeking to defend their championship in the Southeast Asia Sevens in Singapore this April, the Volcanoes are also hoping to use these tournaments as springboard for a successful stint in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia where they are the defending champions.
“It was a positive result for the Volcanoes to achieve silver in the tournament in Asia,” said team captain Justin Coveney.
“The playing conditions and the schedule in both Chennai and Al Ain were gruelling and challenging, yet the players were able to persevere and improve with each game. We look forward to rebuilding and going one better next year.”
The Volcanoes will also see action in a 15-a-side rugby—the more traditional version of the game—in the Asia Rugby Championships on May 8, 11 and 14 in Kuala Lumpur.
The national team has a strong history in this format, having been crowned Division 4, Division 3, Division 2 and finally Division 1 champions in previous tournaments. June Navarro
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