Eyes of the Storm

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manstorm presslandTHE Philippines’ new-kid-on-the-block Manila Storm went down, 40-34, in a gutsy rugby league performance that surprised the socks out of well established and more experienced Hong Kong Residents on Sunday, November 10, in one of Manila’s southern suburbs of Alabang.


The Storm gambled on two Filipino-Australians in the forwards and it almost paid off.

Front-rower Elvis William Jensen, of Toowoomba, Qld, scored two magnificent tries and second-rower James Presland, of Newcastle NSW played a key role in defence to form the “eyes of the Storm’s game”.

It was a quickly-formed team of Filipinos that answered the call from coach Timothy Buipe, and the game against Hong Kong was the fledgling team’s first-ever game.

manila storm elvis and jamesMost players in the side had no previous rugby league experience, according to Buipe. “But they performed to a level that I did not expect of them,” he said.

“The game itself was so physical.

“The Hong Kong side had the size and experience advantage, but the our bunch of new boys put in a solid defence that was so strong it made it difficult for the opposition to score more tries.”

At one point the scores were even, but the boys did a few ball-handling errors at crucial moments and it allowed Hong Kong side to take advantage and pull away.

“This was the very first game of rugby league for these local Filipino players, but they played with their heart and pride for their country in their home soil,” Buipe said.

“They just really surprised me.”

Second-rower Al Del Castillo Tesoro led the Manila Storm as team captain.

The next match of Manila Storm is scheduled for Monday, December 7, 2015. The team travels to the foot of Mount Mayon in the Bicol region to play the Albay Vulcans.

The next match for the Manila Storm is on December 7. When they travel all the way to the foot of Mt. Mayon to Legazpi, to play the Albay Vulcans Rugby Club.


Hong Kong Residents 40 – Doug Fluker 1, Tom partridge 2, Kurt O’Brien 2, Tom Beresford 1, Yosuke Yamagishi 1 tries. Doug Fluker 6 goals.

Manila Storm 34 – Greg Ranza 1, Elvis William Jensen 2, Martin Yami 2, Benny Noki 1 tries. Martin Yami 5 goals.

The Man of the Match awards went to: Manila Storm’s Greg Ranza and Hong Kong Resident’s Dough Fluker.

Referee: Dennis Gordon.

Manila Storm lineup:

John Benard Agunod, Ernest Ganat, Benny Noki, Lauren Chris, Romario A Capule, Timothy Buipe, Martin Yami, Dan Acero, JohnFranklin Agunod, Greg Ranza, Al Del Tesoro (C), James Osias, Elvis William Jensen. Interchange: Michael Tome jr, Joe Yanga, Joseph A Laguihon, Stallone Pena, Paraka Ranpi, McNewton Panga, James Presland.



TOP: Prop forward James Presland (20) stops a Hong Kong attack a secures the ball with some assistance.

LOWER: Elvis William Jensen, left, and James Presland the Filipino-Australians in “the eyes” of Manila Storm.

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