THE Philippine Volcanoes came up with a fine finish to make up for a sluggish start, beating Thailand, 22-14, to clinch a piece of silverware in the Pattaya stop of the Asian Sevens over the weekend.
It was the first win for the Philippines over Thailand on home soil and it came with the Plate.
Falling short of contending for the Cup won by Japan over Hong Kong, 17-12, the Philippines came up with a fine performance in the battle for the Plate.
In the Cup semis, Japan defeated Sri Lanka, 52-5, while Hong Kong beat Korea, 27-0. Sri Lanka beat Korea in the battle for third place, 29-7.
China scored a 21-14 win over Chinese Taipei to bag the Bowl, while India won the Shield by defeating United Arab Emirates 31-10.
The Volcanoes, second in their pool behind top-ranked Japan on the first day, fell to Korea, 7-19, in the quarterfinals of the Cup Division and the loss placed the Philippine squad in the semifinal for the Plate against Kazakhstan.
Trailing 10-0 at halftime, the Volcanoes rallied to beat the Kazakhs, 14-10, to set up the match with host Thailand.
The Philippines scored on a try by Sean Lynch and conversion by Gareth Holgate, to seal the win over the Thais.
The Volcanoes started the game with a try by the Philippines’ top-scorer Holgate but Thailand responded to with their own try and conversion.
Another try by the Philippines brought the score to 10-7 at halftime.
The start of the second half saw the Volcanoes down to six men as Chris Hitch was sent off with a yellow card. Thailand capitalized on the mismatch with a try and conversion which gave them the lead, however upon his return to the pitch, Hitch made up for his earlier mistake by scoring a breakaway try, giving the lead back to the Philippines 15-14.
“The Thailand 7s has seen an improvement in the Volcanoes rankings for 2013. Although some of our top players were unavailable due to commitments in Japan, the team that attended Thailand showed that we can win at the Asian Championships.” said Volcanoes coach Matt Cullen.
“The three outstanding players from this tour all attended the Rugby World Cup in June and showed their quality. Chris Hitch was absolutely dynamic in every game, Gareth Holgate was the top try scorer and Volcanoes newcomer Sean Lynch has erupted onto the Asian 7s scene, impressing everyone with his blockbusting runs” he added.
The Volcanoes now look forward to the third leg in Mumbai in October and the final stage in Singapore November.