THE Philippine Volcanoes had a tough debut in the Asia Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 as they suffered a 45-5 loss to Kenya in their opening pool game Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Kenya led 14-5 at the break after being down to six men as Willy Ambaka was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.
Unfortunately, the Volcanoes failed to capitalize and the only bright moment for the team in the first half came when Gareth Holgate stretched to plant a try from close range.
Brothers Humphrey Kayange and Collins Injera led the procession to the try-line in the second half as Kenya added another five tries to the two in the first half to run out comfortable winners.
“It was a tough lesson first-up for us,” said Philippines captain Michael Letts. “We knew it would be hard for they are one of the top teams in the world but it can only get better from here.
“It was always going to be difficult for us as we have had limited preparation, coming together just three weeks ago and from all parts of the world. But all credit to the boys for they dug deep and didn’t give up,” Letts added.
Kenyan coach Mike Friday was reasonably happy with the outing but wasn’t reading too much into it.
“They made it hard for us in the first three or four minutes but once we settled into our rhythm it got better,” Friday said. “We know points difference will be as important as winning games and the boys were mindful of that. Also considering that we were down to six men for two minutes it was a good result.”
Friday added: “We have come here to win. The reality is we have moved on from being just participants to being real competitors, but so many teams can win this World Cup and we are one of them. That is the grail and it will be immensely tough.”