On September 1 four Filipinos answered Timothy Buipe, a Papua New Guinea (PNG) national living in the Philippines call, for Filipinos in Manila to try a new sport; “The Greatest Game of All” – Rugby League, in the Philippines field of heroes, Rizal Park and the Manila Storm was born.
With only a total of six weeks’ worth of preparation due to Typhoon Lando, on November 7, Al Del Castillo Tesoro, Captained the Manila Storm at Southern Plains, Alabang for a heroic and reputable 34-40 result in their first hit out against a Hong Kong Residents team.
Coach Timothy stated that:
“75% of the Manila Storm team had no Rugby League experience. But they performed to a level that I did not expect of them.
The game itself was so physical, the Hong Kong side had the size and experience advantage, but the Manila Storm team who were a bunch of new boys put in solid defences that was so strong, that it made it difficult for the Hong Kong team to score more tries.
At one point all our scores were even, but the boys did a few ball handling errors at crucial moments, allowing the Hong Kong side to take advantage and get ahead.
This was the first experience of Rugby League for these local Filipino players, but they played with their heart and pride for their country in their home soil.
They just really surprised me on the Field during the actual game”.
The next match for the Manila Storm is on December 7. When they travel all the way to the foot of Mt. Mayon to Legazpi, to play the Albay Vulcans Rugby Club. Founded by Ric Raymond Bellen, a 2013 Philippines National Rugby League non-voting board member.
The Manila Storm and Hong Kong Resident line up for this historical first International Club Rugby League game in Manila were:
Manila Storm Hong Kong Residents XIII
1. John Benard Agunod 1. D. Fluker
2. Ernest Ganat 2. T. Partridge
3. Benny Noki 3. Y. Yamagishi
4. Lauren Chris 4. I. Molyneux
5. Romario A Capule 5. T. Powell
6. Timothy Buipe 6. J. Fairleigh
7. Martin Yami 7. T. Beresford
8. Dan Acero RU 8. A. Muller
9. JohnFranklin Agunod 9. K. O’Brien
10. Greg Ranza 10. M. Beckett
11. Al Del Tesoro (C) 11. J. Muir
12. James Osias 12. D. Hunter
13. Elvis William Jensen 13. J. Hall
14. Michael Tome Jr. 14. B. Newman
15. Joe Yanga 15. C. Mcelhinney
16. Joseph A Laguihon 16. J. Stevenson
17. Stallone Pena 17. W. Chan
18. Paraka Ranpi
19. McNewton Panga
20. James Presland
Hong Kong Residents 40 (Doug Fluker x1, Tom partridge x2, Kurt O’Brien x2, Tom Beresford x1, Yosuke Yamagishi x1tries, Doug Fluker 6-6 goals).
Manila Storm 34 (Greg Ranza x1, Elvis William Jensen x2, Martin Yami x 2, Benny Noki x1tries, Martin Yami 5/6 goals). Official crowd – 100.
The man of the match were;
Manila Storm: Greg Ranza -prop #10 and
Hong Kong Residents XIII: Doug Fluker – Fullback #1
The game referee was Dennis Gordon.