The Philippine Volcanoes men’s rugby team pulled off a big upset against Zimbabwe, 24-12, on Saturday in a do-or-die match to reach the quarterfinals of the World Series Qualifiers in Hong Kong Saturday.
It was the first time the team won a game at the Hong Kong 7s tournament and only their second time to make an appearance. Zimbabwe was first to score within the first two minutes, but the Justin Villazor Coveney of the Philippines tied the game at 5-5 off a turnover ball.
Filipino Winger Ryan Reyes Howe followed up with another try to put the team up 10-5. In the second half, Zimbabwe quickly responded to overtake the Philippines 12-10 but the Donald Canon Coleman scored off a penalty tap to make it 17-12.
A final try from Howe cemented the victory for the Philippines, allowing the Volcanoes to advance for the first time in history to the quarterfinals. They face host Hong Kong next at 7:12 p.m.
“It’s a special day for Philippine Rugby. This is the furthest we’ve come on the world stage. The future is bright for rugby in the country,” said general manager Jake Letts.
The winner of the quarterfinal match will advance to the semifinals round of the tournament.