As the Rugby League season around the world was coming to an end on the 20th November with the Rugby League World Cup finals.
With England defeating France in the Wheel Chair final. The Australian men’s International Kangaroos team defeating Samoa and the Australian Women Jillaroos defeating New Zealand. Rugby League or in the local Philippine language Ragbi Liga was recommencing in the country with its preseason matches.
The first of the preseason games was played in the Soccer fields of the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite. Featuring foundation club the Manila Storm against the “new kids on the block”; making their inaugural 13a side game appearance the Manila-Clark Gladiators.
The game was held under a hot 20th November Sunday morning Sun. With the newly formed team led by their Captain Peter Cochrane showing their Veteran opponent that there was a “new kid in town”.
The Gladiators started the game with 2 consecutive tries within the first 10 minutes through Koli Seiuli and Tui Taniielu.
The Storms woke up from the initial shock and answered back with a creative try through Jason Paul Evans. The first half came to a close with 2 tries for the Gladiators and 1 for the Storm.
The Gladiators started the second half like the first. With their bigger forwards in Koli Seiuli forcing his way through Storm defence to score his second try. Followed by forward Rex Francisco scoring another.
The Storm were still not done and their backline stepped up with a try through centre Jay Ramirez.
The last quarter of play saw exchanges in tries with Gladiator forward Rex Francisco scoring his second. Followed by a Storm try through Bienno Papa. With the game ending in the final minutes with Joe Mari scoring the game’s final try for the Gladiators.
New team Captain Peter Cochrane was proud of the Gladiators first hit out and looking forward to the new Ragbi Liga season commencing.
Score: Gladiator 24 – 12 Storm
Gladiator Tries – Koli Seiuli 2, Rex Francisco 2, Tui Taniielu, Joe Mari
Storm Tries – Jason Paul Evans, Jay Ramirez, Bienno PapaNOTE – The Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite is a Soccer field there were no Goal post to kick conversions.