Volcanoes stay first in Southeast Asia after Asian 7's opener

Junior Volcanoes skipper Kai Stroem had an impressive debut with the first team.
By Dugout Philippines

QINGDAO--The Philippine Volcanoes retained their top spot in South East Asia after defeating Malaysia, 19-17, in a tightly-contested playoff, which was their final match of Round 1 in the Asian 7’s Series.

The Volcanoes started early with a 12-nil lead, but Malaysia fought back in the second half taking the lead 17-12 before super sub Ned Stephenson ran away with a last minute try to set up the win.

Gaz Holgate converted the try adding two points to ensure the Volcanoes ended Round 1 on top of the SEA countries, which included Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Seventeen-year-old Kai Stroem made his debut for the Men’s 7’s team performing strongly throughout the whole tournament along with experienced campaigners Holgate and Chris Everingham. Stroem is currently the captain of the U19 Junior Volcanoes and is a gifted graduate of the PRFU National Underage Programs.

The Volcanoes started their campaign with with a strong win over UAE but fell short against number one and two seeds and eventual Plate and Cup champions Hong Kong and Japan.

A close loss to Kazakhstan in the Plate semifinal meant a playoff match against SEA silver medalists Malaysia, in which the Volcanoes regrouped for the hard-fought victory.

Round 2 of the Asian 7’s Series will see the Volcanoes travel to Bangkok, Thailand on Sept. 26 and 27 for the second leg of the 2015 series.

Each tournament has an aggregate point scoring system, after three rounds will determine the Top 3 in Asia to book their place in the inaugural 2016 Hong Kong International 7’s.