The Philippine national men’s rugby sevens team ended in its campaign without a win in the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, one of the most prestigious seven-a-side rugby union tournaments in the world, but the team remained in high spirits as it proved it can go toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best.
The Volcanoes lost their preliminary round matches against Canada (35-5), Spain (21-5), and Zimbabwe (21-17) in Group E. The team was relegated to the ranking bracket, the lowest-tier playoff tier in the competition, where it lost its match against Uruguay, 22-5. The loss gave the team a tie for 23rd and 24th places among 24 teams, along with China, the loser of the other ranking bracket match.
But the team’s mood remained positive despite the results. “Thanks to everyone for living this dream with us. One thing we know for sure is we have the best supporters. We’ll be back next year,” team captain Jake Letts wrote in a message to fans on Facebook.
The Hong Kong Sevens is one of the tournaments that comprise the International Rugby Board Sevens World Series, which represent the sport’s elite-level competition. The World Series feature 16 “core” members in the competition, and the Hong Kong Sevens is the only tournament in the series that invite eight more teams to participate.
With the Hong Kong Sevens experience under its belt, the Volcanoes are set to compete in the Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Championships in Manila on April 15-21.