Planet Rugby, UK
July 4 2007
India beat valiant Volcanoes
Wednesday 04th July 2007
The Philippines fought valiantly in their second international of the
week against the visiting Indian team but ultimately they were
out-thought in the second half of the game played at the Nomad Sports
Club in Manila. India won 11-3.
The home side came out all guns blazing and dominated all facets of
play in the opening fifteen minutes, a period which saw Ron Pena land
a successful penalty kick.
Seemingly unfazed by playing the vastly more internationally
experienced Indian team the Philippines fronted up to their opposite
numbers in the forwards and secured quality ball for scrum-half Jake
The three-quarter line were also looking confident and the majority
of play was in the Indian half of the field. Early in the game a
break down the right wing by Philippine hooker Michael Duhig , who
possesses a deceptive turn of pace, had the home fans applauding and
his clever chip ahead was scrambled into touch metres from the line
by the fullback.
The Philippines had been forced to make a last minute change to the
starting line-up with incumbent tighthead prop Josh Sutcliffe failing
to recover fully from a fever. His place was taken by Oliver
Otterbeck who stood up to the challenge having a storming first half
including a 50-metre carry in open play.
The whole front row of Otterbeck, Duhig and Dacanay in fact had a
great game and can hold their heads high having matched their
opposite numbers including the massive Indian tighthead prop
Manmandir Samra who has represented professional team Moseley in the
As the half wore on the sides became more evenly matched and ended
with the score at 3-0 in favour of the Philippines. Thus far little
had been seen of the talents of Indian outside half Emil Vartazarian,
an Indian of Armenian descent who plays his rugby in Chennai. The
Philippine management were well pleased with the half.
The second half saw a complete change in tactics by the visitors.
Vartazarian kicked for field position and the Indian pack seemed to
find another ten percent. In the fourth minute of the half India drew
level after Vartazarian kicked a successful penalty.
Mid-way through the half with the Indian team gaining in confidence
the Philippines lost breakaway Eric Savina for ten minutes after the
referee issued a yellow card for an infringement after a penalty had
The Philippines dug in and the commitment in defence could not be
questioned. Unfortunately, it was one of those days where the last
pass did not stick, and time and again the home side were unable to
finish off promising moves.
On 23 minutes a driving maul by the Indian team resulted in
scrum-half Mukarram Faizullabhoy forcing his way over for a try near
to the touch-line. The kick having been unsuccessful, the score now
stood at 8-3 to India. Six minutes later a Vartazarian drop goal put
the Indians two scores ahead at 11-3.
The Philippines refused to lie down and fought right to the last
minute with the home support willing them on. Blind side flank Fred
Morris of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards had an outstanding game both in
the loose and in particular jumping at four in the line.
Captain Romain Barberis had his usual all-action game and led his
team from the front. The entire squad were given a standing ovation
for their efforts by the substantial crowd in attendance.
At the end of the game coach Matt Cullen said: "Despite failing to
secure promotion this year the Philippine team have moved on a long
way in the last twelve months and with the average age being 24 we
will see this side mature into a regional force within a couple of
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress