Philippine Volcanoes: Is rugby the next big thing?

The Philippine Volcanoes demolished Malaysia!




If you’re talking about Mayon, Taal, Bulusan, Pinatubo, Kanlaon, and some other volcano doing something wrong with Malaysia, you’re insane. I am talking about the Philippine Rugby Team. Of all people, I had to know the info from popular writer Jessica Zafra. In her Philippine Star column, she said that the Volcanoes have a chance to do well in next year’s Asian 5 Nations tournament. The country is placed with the top teams after demolishing Malaysia, 82 to 20.

Filipinos love to watch sports. From the thrill of collegiate and professional basketball, Manny Pacquiao boxing tiffs, a Pinoy playing to win a billiard tourney, and most recently, the craze that is the Philippine Azkals – we are avid supporters regardless of whether or not we play the particular sport. Hell, we even support former WWE wrestler Batista and rank him in the same air as real-life fighters Mark Munoz and Brandon Vera. However, we know nothing about rugby.

I saw a rugby game once. Back when I still watch Star Sports, I once or twice check out the Maoris in action. They are the guys from New Zealand that dance to a cool Polynesian tune before each bout. If you saw Invictus, you’ll probably know them. Rugby is even more dangerous than American football. For starters, there are no pads in rugby and unlike American football, games are played daily.

I do not know that there’s a Philippine Rugby Team. From what I saw from the clip, they are pretty much like the Azkals. They play for the country when needed and during their National team breaks they play for other rugby squads all over the world. The Volcanoes’ team captain Michael Letts plays for a squad in Japan. As do Fil-French winger Patrice Olivier. Some of the other members include Gareth Holgate, Justin Coveney, Joven Clarke, Austin Dacanay, James Price, Oliver Saunders, and Josh Sutcliffe. Expo Mejia is the national team’s head coach. Unlike the Azkals though, I don’t know if they have (effective) armymen in their squad like what Chiefly Caligdong is. I may be wrong... but for the sake of me being right, someone needs to inject a popularity boost on this sport! 

Filipinos hate the gruelling back and forth action of football which is why we turn to basketball. If not for the Azkals, we might not even dare watching the sport. Rugby is more exciting if you think about it. We like hard-hitting action and this is what rugby offers.

Zafra said GMA News TV is or about to air their games on their channel. Hopefully people will support rugby as what they do with football.

The Azkals opened up a new dimension in Philippine sports that we never really knew. All of a sudden, the possibilities are endless. We still love basketball but our love for sports has branched out to other action. Maybe rugby can be given a chance. Maybe our baseball and football teams could also have that same support.

Perhaps we could adore cricket and handball?

But let’s put the spotlight on our rugby team. In 2012 they will battle for a crack to become the Top 5 of Asia. These five squads will battle it out for a chance to gain a seat for the Rugby World Cup!

Like I said, the possibilities are endless.

Game over.


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