The Philippines beat India 19-5 in the second match of the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship Division I at Queenstown Stadium on Tuesday.
The win means the Philippines will now face hosts Singapore on 8 June in the title decider with both sides having beaten India.
For the Philippines it was their first 15s international since 2012 but that did not stop them playing some exciting rugby.
In just their second-ever international India also once more demonstrated their passion and skills, keeping the Philippines scoreless for almost the entire first half.
Philippines captain Aiumi Ono was pleased with her side’s performance and also spoke highly of her opponents.
“We are really happy with our performance against India,” said Ono.
“I was very impressed with our defence. We shut down their (India’s) runners and they couldn’t get the ball out to the wingers.
“Off our set plays we did really well in our zones but we have to be stronger on our rucks and have to improve for our match with Singapore.
“India were really aggressive and I could see the passion in each and every one of them, I could see the fire in them.
“They really want the ball and are really good in tackling – they made it tough for us.”
Sylvia Tudoc scored the first try on the stroke of half-time for the Philippines before Tanya Bird and Asia Rugby Council Member Ada Milby came off the bench to add a third try in the 60th minute.
There was still time for Priya Bansal to score India’s second try in the tournament but the Philippines held on for the win.
Afterwards Milby, who is also one of Asia Rugby’s representatives on the World Rugby Council, added: “I got injured in training last week so I wasn’t sure I would be playing today.
“But it’s always such a proud feeling to represent the Philippines – to come on and make an impact like this is every impact player’s ideal situation. To get a try is the cherry on top.
“It was great to see India playing first hand too. To have that experience and really be on the pulse of the players as an EXCO and World Rugby Council Member is amazing. Women’s rugby is thriving in Asia.”