Philippines Rugby League back bone
Philippines Rugby League back bone

By Erick Elefante, Date: 12/8/13

The weekend warriors – the Park Rugby League or Park Footie players are the unsung heroes of the Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) national side the PAL Tamaraws. For without them the Philippines would not have a competitive International Rugby League team, such early on in its formation.

On Saturday the 10th of August the Tweed Coast Raiders club played the Parkwood Sharks in the B division, Grand Final of the Queensland Rugby League Powrguard Cup and narrowly lost 32-28!

The Raiders were Captain/ Coached by Arwin Marcus who has been selected with his brother James to represent the PAL Tamaraws in the Asian Cup in the Philippines on the 19th to the 23rd October. The brothers were joined throughout the season in the Raiders squad by PAL Tamaraws, Justin Wrigley and Dennis Gordon.

PNRL board member Rene Payne who has formed the Cebu City Chiefs Rugby League team with Raiders Assistant Coach and PAL Tamaraws Head Coach Clayton Watene are also part of the Raiders club.

The Chiefs will compete in the second Clark International Rugby League 9s in the Philippines, which is the curtain raiser tournament in the morning of the Asian Cup International match between the Philippines and Japan on October 19.

Today in Sydney saw Jason Bedford support his younger brother Matthew, turn out in the A grade South Sydney Juniors semi final with the Navy Tridents Rugby League team versus the Kensington United Dragons and they also went down 21-12. Jason got injured a fortnight ago in the second last game of the season before the finals series and remarked on the loss:

“Gutted I didn’t get to run out and help the team out. I played every game all season, but the finals!”

Both brothers raised funds for the victims of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, last December 2012.

“Park Footie players like the Bedford and Marcus brothers, Justin Wrigley, Dennis Gordon and Rene Payne are the back bone of the PAL Tamaraw National side. Without whom the team’s NRL stars; Andrew Everingham of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Kevin Gordon, Shane Gray and Matt Srama of the Gold Coast Titans will have no foundation to show off their Rugby League magic.”

This Filipino-heritage park Rugby League players are also doing a lot more than playing for the national team. Many have contributed to the development of Rugby League in the Philippines, like Rene Payne with his formation of the Cebu City Chiefs Rugby League team. And more importantly aid the plight of impoverished Filipinos like the Bedford brothers who raised much needed funds for the victims of Typhoon Bopha.

Rugby League in the Philippines is in good hands with the support of the many Filipino-heritage players who are doing their bit to bring the “Greatest Game of All” to the Philippines!