Big Rhinos tame tough Tams

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tedsmith v SATHE size and weight of South Africa’s Rhinos may well have played the advantage over the Philippine Tamaraws in a rugby league Test match at Hammondville Oval, Moorebank, earlier this year.


The Tams went down, 32-28, after a gutsy performance over a country much more internationally known and experienced in the codes of rugby union and rugby league.

The game had its ups and downs.

When the Rhinos scored three tries in the first 10 minutes, some senior players were thinking: “What is going on?”

Fears were that the Tams may have been out of their depth in terms of where they truly stood as an international team.

But the Filipinos knew they were playing for their country, and the team managed to gather momentum and turn the tide at the 20th minute.

The Filipinos went into halftime trailing by four points, down from 16 in the early stages of the game.

In the second stanza, both teams had stages where they felt like they were in control.

In the end, the Rhinos won what was a classic international match.

Both sides acknowledged the quality of the contest and got together for post-match celebrations.

Tams’ Filipino head coach Arwin Marcus appeared to suggest that the size and weight advantage of the South Africans were a bit too much for the smaller Filipinos to overcome.

The Tams also had a number of players making their international debut. But seeing how they played out of their skins, this was hardly a weakness.

All in all, the Philippines’ rugby league team must be proud of the effort it delivered against an established sporting country like South Africa.

If the Tamaraws play the Rhinos again in the near future, it may well end with a result in reverse.



 Tamaraws’ front rower Ted Smith, right, stops a Rhino charging through the defence. Glen Power on the left.

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