The Philippines Volcanoes trounced Thailand 41-7 to emerge as runaway winners in the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy 2017 tonight at the Aspire Warm Up Track and Rugby Stadium in Doha.
In the final, Philippines led by top scorer Daniel Matthews (16 points) were simply unstoppable as they surged to a 29-0 half-time lead before coasting to a one-sided victory. And in doing so, booked themselves promotion to the Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2017.
The Volcanoes, coached by former All Black, Frano Botica, looked strong from their first match and were always going to be a tough unit to crack despite entering the tournament seeded 4th. And in the semi-final, the Philippines stunned the top seeds, Singapore, with a buzzer beating win to qualify for the title clash, while in the other semi-final, Thailand edged UAE 21-19.
UAE proved too strong for Singapore in the 3rd/4th playoff galloping away with a 43-14 victory.
Home-town heroes, Qatar triumphed over Iran 24-10 in front of a small but parochial crowd over-turning last year’s result against a committed Iranian team who could not match the speed of play of the local side.
In the 7th/8th playoff, India scored in the final seconds with a try to Prince Khatri to tie the scores before Gautam Dagar converted for a closely fought win over their rivals, Pakistan.
And in the 9th – 11th playoff positions, Jordan proved too strong for Bangladesh and Nepal securing 9th place after winning both matches of the mini round robin.