The Philippine Junior Volcanoes dug a hole for themselves early in the match before allowing South Korea to take a 26-10 win in the opening day of the U-19 Asia Rugby Championships Wednesday at the International School Manila open field.
The hosts found themselves in a 0-12 hole against the Koreans, made a mini-run in the second half, but just couldn’t sustain it late in the game to bow to the visitors.
Ryan Santos provided the spark after halftime, playing an instrumental role in their 10-0 run to keep the game close, 10-12, heading into the 17-minute mark.
But the Koreans were hardly rattled, scoring 14 unanswered points from there to pull away and seal the victory, while booting the hosts out of championship contention.
South Korea will face United Arab Emirates in the Finals on Saturday as the latter stunned Singapore, 14-10 in the nightcap.
The Philippines will try to salvage some measure of pride also on Saturday when it faces Singapore at 2 p.m. A victory will assure the PH Junior Volcanoes of a third place finish.
UAE turned the tables and blanked the Singaporeans in the second half after trailing 10-0, entering the break. – Peter Paul Duran