Bocaue, Bulacan – Coming off an impressive come-from-behind win over Singapore, the Philippine Volcanoes failed to carry their momentum as they bowed to the Tuskers of Sri Lanka, 27-14, to settle for second place at the Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 Tournament at the Philippine Sports Stadium.
Sri Lanka used their loss to the Philippines at their home soil last year at the A5N tournament as motivation in beating the Volcanoes.
Alex Aronson, who scored the winning points via penalty kick for the Volcanoes against Singapore, opened up the scoring with another penalty kick just minutes after kickoff. But the lead was short-lived as Sri Lanka’s Fazil Marija scored a try on the next possession to take a 5-3 lead. From there, the Tuskers scored another try and a penalty to increase their lead, 13-3, before heading in to the half-time with a 21-11 lead.
The Philippines tried to mount a comeback in the second half as they narrowed the gap 21-14 with still over 10 minutes left. But Riza Mubarak scored on two more penalties to put the game away for good.
With the loss, the Volcanoes will remain in Division 1 while Sri Lanka gains the right to challenge the bottom-placed team in the Premier Division. Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong are the teams composing the top division.
Earlier, Kazakhstan completely dominated Singapore, 32-12 to take third place honors. Both teams join the Philippines that will remain in Division 1.