By Erick Elefante, Date: 26/9/13
With the tournaments relocation from Clark city to San Narciso, this small, quite, fishing town has truly become the birth place of Rugby League in the Philippines.
The work of Tom and Marlyn Simpson, David Perry, Harold John Aguilo and Edmond Brocoy over the last seven months bringing Rugby League into this town. By introducing it to the cadets at PMMA and the children of the local Fishermen on the beaches of La Paz has made the residents of this town the most knowledgeable local Filipinos when it comes to “The Greatest Game of All”! Rugby League will not be an alien sport with the residents as the games rolls into town.
With the Rugby League 9s and Asian Cup being the biggest ever sporting event to happen in San Narciso, local leaders Mayor Peter Lim and Barangay Captain Napoleon Angeles met with Tom Simpson over the weekend to lend their support. With this being the biggest “gig” in town in October the leaders offered to provide the traffic controllers to ensure the smooth running of the tournaments because they know that many people in the community will want to attend the games.
PNRL board member Rick Hartley the 2002 founder of the first All Filipino Rugby Union team the Philippine Warriors from the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) who now play both codes of Rugby; stated the additional benefits for the PNRL by moving the tournament to San Narciso at last week’s board meeting:
“Playing in PMMA will also be a big help in securing the future for Rugby League. As MAAP will be playing both full contact and touch. This will for sure add fuel to the fire of the existing rivalry between the two major maritime colleges. As for sure as night follows day the PMMA people will be very jealous of MAAP, Don Bosco and Anscorswire, so after all the dust settles from our tri nations. There should be a lot more local interest.”
San Narciso local Harold John Aguilo was only introduced to Rugby League in March this year and will be presented with his Level 1 Rugby League Coaching certificate at the Rugby League International 9s tournament making him and Edmond Brocoy the first qualified local Rugby League coaches in the Philippines, has perfectly summed up what the tournaments mean to the people of San Narciso on his Facebook page:
“First ever Rugby League Tournament in the Philippines (Philippines vs.Thailand) Please come and watch the greatest game of all! Rugby League Football is here in the Philippines on Oct. 19 ,2013 !!!Let all your friends and relatives know about this exciting event. San Narciso is the Birth place of Rugby League. It’s a huge honor for all of us Narcesineans!!! It’s free!!! We have the opportunity to meet Famous and Professional Rugby League players from Australia and Thailand…All of them from Filipino Heritage. We will also witness the local kids from barangay La Paz to play their exhibition game.The PMMA cadets of San Narciso against MAAP of Mariveles, Teams from Cebu,and Clark. This is a must see sports event!!! — at Philippine Merchant Marine Academy.”
San Narciso is the first town in the Philippines with a junior Rugby League team, as well as the first purely Rugby League playing team in the country with the cadets at PMMA. It is the site of the second International 9s tournament and has the historical privilege of being the host of the inaugural Rugby League International Asian Cup match to be played in the country! And with Admiral Ritual, the PMMA, local government officials and local people playing and supporting “the Greatest game of All”, San Narciso can rightly claim to be the birth place of Rugby League in the Philippines!