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Asian rugby: Volcanoes get back at Malaysians

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Volcanoes exacted revenge over regional tormentor Malaysia, 19-17, to win the Plate division of the third and final leg of the 2017 Asia Rugby Sevens Series in Colombo, Sri Lanka over the weekend.

Jonico Hardwick scored his second try of the game early in the second half to give the Filipinos a 19-5 cushion then they fended off the Malaysians’ fightback to emerge victorious in the battle for fifth place in the leg.

Overall, the Pinoy rugby sevens crew tallied 11 points after the three legs for sixth spot, in the process missing out on the berths to the seventh Rugby World Cup Sevens awarded to the Top 2 teams in the series.

Japan clinched the trophy with 32 points for the first slot while Hong Kong booked the second with a 30-point card. Hong Kong boosted its bid with a thrilling 19-14 win in extra time over the Japanese in the Cup finals in Colombo, enabling them to dislodge Korea (27) from No. 2 in the overall.

After bowing to Hong Kong (17-21), Japan (5-29) and Malaysia (17-19) in Pool B action, the Filipinos faced Korea in the Cup semifinal but dropped a 12-17 defeat and were relegated to the Plate semifinals.

The Volcanoes took care of business and nipped China, 26-10, to arrange a grudge match with reigning SEAG champs Malaysia in the Plate final, cashing in on the opportunity to get payback and finish their campaign on a bright note.         

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