Guam win first victory since 2005

(IRB.COM) Sunday 29 June 2008
 Guam win first victory since 2005
The Philippines, seen here in action, will present a tougher test for Guam

Guam won its first test victory in eight attempts, a losing streak stretching back to 2005, by beating Brunei 74–0 in the HSBC Asian Five Nations regional tournament at Wettengel Field in Dededo, Guam.

Guam leapt to an early lead through full back Edward Calvo in just the 10th minute and stretched out to a 31-0 half time lead.

Fly half Kepueli Katoa scored 24 points including two tries and seven conversions as the home side maintained full control, inspirational captain and number 8 Peter Walls touching down for one of their seven second half tries.

Guam - Philippines a likely 'final'

The tournament's next encounter on 2 July is between Brunei and the Philippines, who enter the competition as favourites having beaten Guam in their last two test matches, 18–14 in 2006 and 39–3 in 2007.

Guam then face the Philippines on 5 July in what is expected to amount to a final for a new piece of silverware, the Magellan Cup named after Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who first made landfall in the Pacific on his circumnavigation of the globe in Guam before passing away in the Philippines.

Rugby in Guam, Brunei, Philippines

While rugby has long been a popular pastime on the Micronesian island of Guam, a formalized competitive league was only established in 1997. A year later, the Guam Rugby Football Union was founded and the GRFU celebrates its 10th anniversary by hosting the HSBC Asian Five Nations Regional Tournament.

Rugby has been played in Brunei since the 1950s but the Brunei Rugby Football Union has only been officially registered as a society since November 2004. The influx of British servicemen and other expats helped local rugby flourish in the 1960s and 1970s when Brunei was regularly represented at regional sevens tournaments like the world-famous Hong Kong Sevens. Since joining the Asian Rugby Union in 2004, the Brunei Rugby Team has taken part in a number of international competitions.

The Philippines Rugby Football Union was founded in 1999 but has seen its most encouraging growth in recent years. PRFU now maintains a six-club set-up with Manila Nomads, Alabang Eagles, Makati Chiefs, Philippine Warriors/MAAP, Philippine Air Force and Cebu City RFC. In addition, the Philippine Military Academy has recently added rugby to its curriculum, which should further hasten the development of the game. The PRFU is a full member of the International Rugby Board and the Asian Rugby Football Union and was recently named a recognized Sports Federation of the International Olympic Council of Asia. Over half the players now participating in the domestic league are Philipino.