The Philippine National Rugby Leagues team – the Carabaos – played at the Cabramatta International 9s on February 4 and won the Bowl Final, an amazing feat for a newly formed team.
The Philippine team was one of 21 teams that joined the one-day event. Amidst cheers from the Pinoy corner, the Fil-Aussies turned out to be the day’s surprise blasting their way in their second and third matches after a rather shaky first outing against Fiji.
It was their first season in the tournament and the Pinoys’ coach was impressed.
“They’re very competitive, very promising. They learn fast from their experience – and it’s good to see that especially from a team that has been formed rather very quickly,” said Coach Clayton Watene after the first game.
The Philippine team indeed turned out to be quick learners.
By their second match they held Niue to a draw and then blasted Portugal in the quarter finals.
The Cabramatta International NInes was first played in 2003 (then as Sevens)
“The staging of the tournament gives international teams the chance to compete at a higher level against Australian opposition,” said Tas Baitieri RL International Federation development officer.
The team played in Group G and completed the tournament with one loss, one draw and two wins. POOL G Results: Philippines V Fiji, 4-10; Philippines V Niue: 16-16. Bowl Quarter Finals: Philippines V Portugal: 20-0; Bowl Final: Philippines V Burwood N Ryde 22-18 (18-18 all full-time whistle, 22-18 golden point extra time)