Philippines Junior Ragbi Liga teams show their mettle at Heritage rounds of Rugby League tournaments

With the Friendship Cup between the Philippines and Malta now a regular fixture in the NSW Rugby League round of Heritage Rugby League tournaments. On the 28th of October at New Era Stadium, Cabramatta, Sydney, Australia. The Philippines U18 Junior Tamaraws team showed tenacity in their hard fought win against the Malta U18 Junior Knights team.

Malta started strongly scoring a converted try in the first 5 minutes of play. With the Philippines Junior Tamaraws hitting back a couple of minutes later when Captain Brandon Narvaro, nullifies another Malta attack on their line by gathering a kick and barging through 2 Malta defenders to run the length of the field to score.

In the next couple of minutes of play the Junior Tamaraws work their way to inside Malta’s half and sleek passing through their back line sees the final pass go to Andre Wisham who scores in the corner for the Philippines second try!

Junior Tamaraws started to control the game with a strong run in the middle by Nasser Rifahi taking the team to an attacking position. With Captain Narvaro then taking control with a cross field kick, finding a leaping Delano Gore who gathers in the air to touch down in the corner for the Philippines 3rd try.

Malta regather and hit back with their second try locking the score at 12-12 with the Philippines missing conversions of their 3 tries! Not to long after scoring their second. With a penalty gained by Malta in the Philippines half, they had the field position to go in the lead at the end of the first half with a converted try, 18-12 to Malta.

The second half started well for the Junior Tamaraws gaining a penalty near the Malta try line. With Captain Narvaro getting the ball from the ensuring scrum, with a chip kick gaining extra yardage. Allowing a rampaging Liam Byrnes to crash through Malta defense to score adjacent to the post that his Captain Navaro duly converted.


With control of the middle of the field. With a strong run by Nasser Rifahi, his pass found a speeding Andre Wisham only to be stopped by Malta defence, but able to get away a final pass to supporting player Daniel Bacabis, who score near the post allowing Captain Narvaro to convert!

With 10minutes left on the clock another good run by Nasser Rifahi in the Malta quarter takes the Junior Tamaraws closer to the Malta try line. With the ball in Captain Narvaro’s hand he throws a cut out pass to find fullback Mitchell Conners who scores the Junnior Tamaraws final try!

Close to the end of play with a chip kick and regather, Malta score a consolation try to end a gutsy performance by the U18 Junior Tamaraws, defeating U18 Malta Junior Knights 28 – 22.

Philippines U18 Junior Tamaraws V Malta U18 Junior Knights 28-22

• Brandon Narvaro, Andre Wisham, Delano Gore, Liam Byrnes, Daniel Bacabis, Mitchell Conners – Tries, Brandon Narvaro – (2/6) Goals

• Mitchell Conners, Ken Pena, Andre Wisham, Delano Gore, Juni Pullan, Brandon Narvaro ©, Aaron Rosario, Justin Kim Loxley, Liam Byrnes, Zac Heir, Beau Phillips, Miguel Narvaez (VC), Carter Segchanh, John Francis Benedicto Hartley, Daniel Bacabis, Jesse Knight, Jon Ison, Nasser Rifahi

• Head Coach: Tim Cheong

• Manager: Maria Cheong

• Trainers: Stephen Caroisi, Heath Montgomery, Noah Tomayo

Earlier in the morning the Philippines U16 Junior Tamaraws were gallant in their defeat to Malta U16 Junior Knights 48-8. The Malta Juniors started the game strongly scoring two converted tries in the first 20 minutes of play. The U16 Junior Tamaraws did not give up. With strong runs from Vice-Captain Xavier Williams and Jock Selwood getting the ball to Half Back Triston Ross to run through Malta defense to score the Philippines first try. Malta score another two tries to end the first half with a 22-4 lead.

The Philippines started well in the second half with Half Back Triston Ross running through many attempted tackles by Malta before being tackled. In the ensuing play Vice-Captain Xavier Williams barges through the Malta defense to score the Philippines second try. Malta gain their composure and control the rest of the second half, winning the U16 fixture.

The Philippines U16 Junior Tamaraws were not fazed by their defeat to Malta, for less than 24 hours later on the 29th October. In the Western Suburbs of Sydney the players turn up to Windsor Sports Complex at 9AM on a Sunday morning to play another Heritage Round game against the NSW Junior Maoris. Having little rest and spending most of their time defending the day before with the game against Malta. The Junior Tamaraws found themselves overpowered by a much larger and fresh Junior Maori team. The U16s did not give up and kept on trying. Scoring in the last couple of minutes of play through Sam Bagatan. With the game ending with a final score of 36-4. A better performance compared to the day before even with limited rest and recuperation.

The tenacity shown by the Philippines U16 Junior Tamaraws, playing back to back games less than 24 hours apart showed that within their heart is the Filipino spirit of “Laban (keep on fighting)”!

Philippines U16 Junior Tamaraws V Malta U16 Junior Knights 8-48

• Triston Ross, Xavier Williams – Tries

• Zeik Selwood, Jefferson Turner, Juancho Cambronero, Joshua Canoy, Traejorn Cora, Jayden Nguyen, Triston Ross, Jeremiah Laupepa ©, Jock Selwood, Leijin Rayne Mikasa, Xavier Williams (VC), Leonidas Stathopoulos, Cooper Page, Samuel Bagatan, Billy Cruden, James Wilkinson, Bailey Cornwell, Chris Sales, Nathaniel Leal, Kingston Tauaifaga

• Head Coach: Ryan Picard

• Assistant Coach: Fifita Hala

• Trainer/Manager: Fred Colina


Philippines U16 Junior Tamaraws V NSW Junior Maoris U16 4-36

• Sam Bagatan – Try

• Trae Cora, Marquez Andiaz, Zeik Selwood (C), Chris Sales, Nathaniel Leal, Josh Canoy, Eli Mascarenas, Malaki Ahloo, Jake Tompkins, Kingston Tauaifagu, Jerome Gargoles, Sam Bagatan, Jake Bergania, Leo Stothpolous, Ethan Mascarenas, Alex Bandola, Zachariah Kaillis, Xavier Williams

• Head Coach: Ryan Picard

• Assistant Coach: Fifita Hala

• Trainer/Manager: Fred Colina