Philippines Sampaguitas V Malta Dames 2021

Asian Footy Festival 9th October 2022

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Rugby League International held in Asia between the Philippines and Thailand played in Bangkok on the 21st October 2012. Pambansang Ragbi Liga Ng Pilipinas (PNRL), Thailand Erawan XIII, India Jungle Cats and the ASEAN Rugby League Association, held a festival of “The Greatest Game of All” at Davies Park Brisbane on the 9th October 2022.

Following are the match reports for the PNRL:

Philippines Sampaguitas V Jewel Finance International XIII :

The first 13-a-side Philippines Women’s Rugby League side was fielded in Brisbane for the Asian Footy Festival match against Jewel Finance XIII on Sunday 9th October 2022.

‘This weekend’s football match saw the Philippine Sampaguitas Women’s side not only take the field for the first time since January 2020 nearly 3yrs ago, but also created a memorable moment in playing in their first 13-a-side match, having only ever played 9’s previously due to the limited player pool availability.’

Returning Captain and newly appointed Head Coach of the Sampaguitas, Tammy Fletcher joined the female players in camp in Brisbane just 24hrs before their game.

With no expectations placed on the Sampaguita’s team to deliver the win, the women’s main priority was to do each other and their Philippine heritage proud and play the best they could whilst still getting to know each other and the team structure.’

During game day the Sampaguitas spirits were high and the points kept coming on the board for them. Scoring 5 tries to 1 for a 26-6 win.

Captain/Coach Tammy Fletcher said:

“I couldn’t have been prouder of all the ladies efforts both in training camp

and during their performance in the game. The heart and camaraderie

within the team was unbreakable and every player played for each other out there.”

Having started their return to the field and the game on a high in Brisbane, there is no doubt that a successful future lies ahead for the Philippine Sampaguitas, the country’s International Women’s Rugby League team. Watch this space’.

Philippines Sampaguitas (12 of the 16 players with Filipina-heritage)

1 Takiah Buchanan

2 Natalia Webb

3 Pia Gallon

4 Stephanie Thomas

6 Lila Reynolds

7 Cassandra Koch

8 Michelle Koch

9 Tammy Fletcher ©

10. Dane Cruz

11. Charlene Vaughan

12. Leah Elam Janine Jamison

13. Janine Jamieson

Coaches  – Tammy Fletcher & Jake Kamire

Trainers – Shaz McCrae, Rez Phillips, Michael Godfrey

Tries: Pia Gallon 2, Tammy Fletcher, Zarah Guard, Takiah Buchanan

Goals: Janine Jamieson 3

Final Score: Philippines 26-6 Jewel Finance XIII Malta

Philippine Tamaraws V Thailand Erawan XIII:

The 10th anniversary of the Inaugural Asia Cup brought fierce rivals The Philippines Tamaraws and Thailand together in Brisbane as the main game of the first-ever Asian Footy Festival. 

The game kicked off and was played at a frantic pace with some big hits and early scuffles as these two countries continued their rivalry.

A few bombed chances from the Philippines were converted into first points when evergreen hooker and Captain Paul Sheedy scored a great individual try to start the scoring. 

The Tamaraws picked up two more tries to their slick backs and were enjoying all the momentum until the 30th minute when a scuffle broke out and Philippines centre Dennis Gordon was controversially sent off leaving the Philippines with 12 men for the rest of the game. 

The Philippines were up 16-0 at halftime.

Thailand came out with all guns blazing in the second half with their big forward pack gaining the ascendancy and their scheming Halfback John Moo Doh, scoring two scintillating tries to get Thailand back within a try. 

The Philippines had to weather the storm, but with 3 long-range tries to debutants Ivan Lynch and Ned Stephenson got the Philippines out of trouble and sealed the victory in a hard fought contest 34-16 between the respected rivals.

Thailand were well led by their front row Captain Carlin Miller while the Philippines enjoyed the presence of Gold Coast Titans forward Kleese Haas who was terrific and debutant AJ Morrison claiming the player of the match award for an outstanding effort in the forwards. 

The game will be fondly remembered with former Melbourne Storm fullback and Philippines Captain Paul Sheedy calling time on his International playing career at 41 years old to take up the position as Head Coach of the Philippines.

Philippines Tamaraws

  1. Isaac Rosario
  2. Ivan Lynch
  3. Ned Stephenson
  4. Dennis Gordon
  5. Brayden Manson
  6. Tyrone O Leary
  7. Gerald Ubaldo
  8. Dylan Jones
  9. Paul Sheedy ©
  10. Ryan Jones
  11. Steven Bernstrom
  12. AJ Morrison
  13. Klese Haas
  14. Richard Mante
  15. Henry Wicks
  16. Jordan Jones
  17. Jeff Vaughan
  18. Mark Campbell
  19. Liam Johnson

Try: Ivan Lynch 3, Paul Sheedy, Tyrone O Leary, Brayden Manson;

Goals: Ned Stephenson 5,

Final Score: Philippines 34-16 Thailand

Friendship Cup International Rugby League 23rd October 2022

To end a month-long festival of Asian Rugby League matches. On the 23rd of October, the Philippines and Malta played International games between their U16’s, U18’s, Women and Men’s teams at the New Era Stadium in Cabramatta, Sydney.

Philippines U16s Junior Tamaraws V Malta U16s:

The First match of the Friendship Cup tournament on the 23rd of October between the Philippines under 16s Junior Tamaraws v Malta, saw the Filipinos with 2 Filipinos aged 14 and one aged 15 were overwhelmed by a much bigger Malta team.

With Malta’s surge of 6 tries remaining unanswered until the 8th minute into the second half when Zac Heir scored the Philippines’ only try which was converted by Brandon Navarro.

Malta scored another 2 tries in the second half winning the Under 16s International game.

Philippines U16s Junior Tamaraws

  1. Bailey Cornwall
  2. James Wilkinson
  3. Lachlan Piggot
  4. Jerome Gargoles
  5. Aiden Sadsad
  6. Delano Gore
  7. Riley Tomkins ©
  8. Tyler Dela Cruz
  9. Noah Tamayo (VC)
  10. Lincoln Tootell
  11. Keenan Aranas
  12. Cooper Page
  13. Bryson Cortez Torres
  14. John Hartley
  15. Darrell Studders
  16. Jake Tomkins
  17. Brady Tomkins
  18. Zac Heir
  19. Brandon Navarro

Try: Zac Heir

Goals: Brandon Navarro

Final Score: Philippines 6-34 Malta

Philippines U18s Junior Tamaraws V Malta U18s:

The second match on the day between the Philippines Under 18s Junior Tamaraws v Malta, saw an even contest between these two Junior International sides.

Malta dominated in the first half with 3 unanswered tries running away with a 16-0 lead in the first half.

The Philippines hit back early in the second half when in the 32nd minute, Vice Captain Melvin Camara scores under the post, which was converted by Mitchell Connors. Mitchell Connors was not through with just getting the extra points for the Philippines. For 5 minutes later he scored the Philippines’ second try which he converted taking the score to 12-16.

Malta rallied after the great start by the Philippines in the second half scoring another 2 tries for a 26-12 lead.

The Philippine players did not throw in the towel. Showing courage and determination with Vice Captain Melvin Camara scoring his second try under the post which was duly converted by Mitchell Connors for a 26-18 score.

The Vice-Captain was pumped following up a kick into Malta’s in goal with his hattrick of tries. Taking the Philippines to within a converted try in the 54th minute at 26-22.

Malta rallied in the final couple of minutes. Breaking Filipino hearts after a great showing and dominating the second half. Scoring the final try, ending the game at 30-22.

Philippines International U18s

  1. Mitchell Connors
  2. Ken Pena
  3. Lyji Vaggs
  4. Nathan Jackson
  5. Andre Wisham
  6. Bailey Page
  7. Nikolas Forrest ©
  8. Liam Byrnes
  9. Mack Daniel Selwood
  10. Beau Phillips
  11. Junior Gary William Lake
  12. Aaron Rosario
  13. Miguel Gray Narvaez
  14. Melvin Camara (VC)
  15. Jon Ison
  16. Troy Such
  17. Jaxon Rodgers
  18. Jonathan Page

Tries: Melvin Camara 3, Mitchell Connors

Goals: Mitchell Connors 3

Final Score: Philippines 30-22 Malta

Philippines Sampaguitas V Malta Dames:

The 17 Filipina-heritage Rugby League International players only assembled for the first time together on the eve of their first sanctioned Test match.

Emotion was high in preparation for this history-making event for the Philippines first National Women’s Rugby League side the Sampaguitas, playing for an official International Rugby League (IRL) world ranking.

Bearing a lot of pressure to make our Nation proud and starting the history books with a win, the Sampaguitas took to the field against an equally matched Malta Dames team.

The Philippines started off well when in the 10th minute 5/8 Natalia Webb broke through the Malta defence from the Sampaguitas half and almost ran the length of the field, only to be stopped with a try-saving tackle from Malta.

The rest of the first half was a physical grind in poor conditions but the Sampaguita’s defence was too good for Malta to create any points in the first half.

The second half was again very similar with Malta scoring first points on the back of a Sampaguitas error just 10m out from the Philippines try line.

The fight wasn’t over and the Sampaguitas continued to battle in attack which saw them march up the field and fell short after several attempts of scoring a try failed due to being held up or falling just narrowly short of the line. With the Philippines best chances coming from Janine Jamieson being held up over the try line in the 53rd minute. The same with Jacky Mae-Lyden was also held up over the line on the 59th minute.

In a continuous physical grind, the buzzer sounded and ended the match with the  Sampaguitas going down with a very low score of 6-0.

Sampaguita’s Captain Tammy Fletcher commented:

“What a proud moment and feeling of victory in our hearts – having played our

hearts out and making our families and nation proud with that performance.

This is only just the beginning and we will only build stronger and better off the

back of this. These 17 players have just made history and I couldn’t have

asked for a more gutsier bunch of girls to do us all proud!!

Philippines Sampaguitas
1. Leticia Haas-Quinlan
2. Stefanie Thomas
3. Pia Galon
4. Lila Reynolds
5. Tynia Wells
6. Natalia Webb
7. Renee Targett (C)
8. Michelle Koch
9. Tammy Fletcher (C)
10. Erica Rowell
11. Jacky Mae-Lyden
12. Cassandra Koch
13. Janine Jamieson

14. Linae Williams
15. Meagan Rickertt
16. Faith Mella-Reynolds
17. Leah Ellem

Final Score: Philippines 0-6 Malta

Philippines Tamaraws V Malta Knights:

In the final game of the Friendship Cup the Philippines men’s Tamaraws team and the Malta Knights met for the second time in an International game.

The match between the Tamaraws and the Knights was free flowing with Philippines wing Johansel Avery in the 2nd minute of play, backed his speed run down the touchline in the Maltese quarter to score in the corner for the Philippines first try.

Malta then scored 3 first-half tries going into the break with a 16-4 lead.

Just like at the start of the 1st half the Philippines kept up their competitive fighting spirit scoring first in the 2nd half with Gerald Reyes scoring in the 46th minute which was set up from good field position with Ricky Kucia almost scoring in the previous play. 

The Philippines scoring revival was short-lived with Malta again scoring under the post and converting the try for a 22-10 lead.

Philippines Co-Captain Marc Russell knew he had to inspire the Tamaraws scores adjacent to the post in the 61st minute for a 22-14 score, with the kick unconverted. In the 66th minute, Philippines revival was on show again with Marc Russell throwing a cut-out pass finding Ned Stephenson who sores from the wing. With the try unconverted taking the score to 22-18.

The Philippines finally take the lead with another score in the wing in the 69th minute by Scott Donelly, which was converted by Marc Russell taking the Tamaraws to a 24-22 lead.

Captain Marc Russell showed his experience in the final quarter of the game by kicking two penalties giving his team breathing space with a 28-22 lead.

The Philippines did not let up even from this winning position. With close to full-time Blake Mackey scored in the corner in the 80th minute taking the Philippines to a come-from-behind win showing true grit and character. With a final score of 32-22!

The weekend’s game was a great result for the PNRL. With Philippines Co-Captain Marc Russell commenting:

“Malta are always very strong and we really wanted to prove ourselves

against them over the weekend. We know they didn’t field their

strongest team, but this is definitely up there with our best victories.

I felt the score during the game didn’t resemble how close we

actually were and when they jumped out to a 22-10 lead, I knew we could

 chase it down. Head Coach Paul Sheedy’s game plan was perfect and at half

time we spoke about getting back to it and removing our mistakes.

In the back end of the second half, the momentum started to turn our way

and we really started to execute what Paul wanted us too. Our changing of

angles and keeping their middle honest in D really opened them up on the edges

and we were able to capitalise. I felt our team played some real unselfish

footy and we came away with the result.

I want to give special mention to 3 players who I thought were outstanding –

Jeromy Cairns on his debut was great for us in the middle with strong carries and some crunching tackles in D.

Tyrone O’Leary was excellent for us playing his role perfectly in attack and pulling off some great tackles.

Co-Captain Dylan Jones with a great captain’s knock punching out some big minutes and leading from the front in the middle of the field.”

Philippines Tamaraws:
1. Isaac Rosario
2. Johansel Avery
3. Ned Stephenson
4. Blake Mackey
5. Isaac Acheampong
6. Tyrone O Leary
7. Marc Russell (C)
8. Dylan Jones (C)
9. Tyrone Tootell
10. Ryan Jones
11. Ricky Kucia
12. AJ Morrison
13. Tom Gunn

14. Gerald Reyes
15. Scott Donelly
16. Jeromy Cairns
17. lan Nelson
18. Jordan Jones

Tries: Johansel Avery, Gerald Reyes, Marc Russel, Ned Stephenson, Scott Donelly, Blake Mackey

Goals: Ned Stephenson 1, Marc Russel 1

Penalties: Marc Russel 2

Final Score: Philippines 32-22 Malta