Volcanoes fight UAE for ARC Division 1 survival

Asia Rugby (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--The Philippine Volcanoes look to keep their status as an Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 team as they go up against UAE in the Battle for Third in Ipoh, Malaysia on Saturday.

The Volcanoes found themselves at the crossroads after bowing to Sri Lanka on Sunday and Malaysia on Wednesday, which means they have to beat UAE in the match scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff to stay in Division 1 or else they will be demoted to Division 2.

"It’s been a tough campaign for us, losing key personnel early in the tournament. Credit to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, they were the better team on the day. We do however have one game left, and want to ensure that we perform to the best of our ability, which I know we can and finish third in the championships," captain Jake Letts shared.

While history may favor the Volcanoes as far as their last meeting with UAE is concerned, the latter is now a far cry from what they were in 2013 as the team put up a gallant stand as well in its two meetings, setting up a showdown that could go down the wire.

"They are a new side now and so are we. They have had two close matches in this series also so we know Saturday is going to another tough one," said vice captain Austin Dacanay.

The injury-plagued Volcanoes, however, could get a timely help as Michael Duhig is likely to suit up after having to sit out the preliminary stage.

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