7’S TEAMS PREPARE FOR TOURNEY

7’S TEAMS PREPARE FOR TOURNEY

📅09 August 2012
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By Bucky Brennan

In July, 8 men and 4 women’s teams played out the first ever Heineken’s Guam Rugby Sevens League. With that, the fixtures for Heineken’s Guam Rugby Sevens Tournament this weekend are set. In the both the men’s and women’s divisions, some clubs found tremendous success and set themselves apart from the pack while others were sent back to the drawing board and will look to rebound in the tournament. Though the road will be hard for some teams, the organization of the tournament gives every team a shot at making history through the inaugural cup, and Heineken Guam Rugby Sevens Glory.

Below is a list of the teams with records, points scored as well as a brief overview

Mens Team 
Record
Points Scored
Young Guns
6 – 1
191
Para Todu Rugby Club (Black)
5 – 2
128
Southern Colts
5 – 2
125
Da Doks
4 – 3
118
Southside
4 – 3
99
Para Todu Rugby Club (Red)
3 – 4
99
GSPN Magas
1 – 6
53
Halu’u
0 – 7
10

Young Guns

The Young Guns put on quite a show in the league. With several National Team members including Stephen Santos, Will Williams and Jesse “Pumpy” Manglona, the Young Guns finished the league comfortably in first place. Though they did have one loss, the YG’s style of wide play boasts several of the fastest and most elusive players in the tournament. Manglona is excited for the tournament saying “We’re looking forward to playing he best we ever have… We’re excited, pumped, and motivated for the tournament this weekend. We want to prove to everyone that even though we’re young, we’re a team to watch out for.” While the YG’s finished with the most points scored, they also showcased a tough defense that worked well in the open field and left opponents with little to no room for attacks.

Para Todu Rugby Club Black and Red

Para Todu Rugby Club has become the name most associated with Guam Rugby in recent years. The club boasts many tournament team accolades and individual honors in its history. Para Todu is known for its farming of younger players who move on to Guam men’s leagues and national team. In the league, Para Todu’s many veterans including: Paul Claros, Vinson and Edward Calvo and James Guerrero teamed with many new comers to rugby. Players mixed and matched on both teams and though PTRC black finished higher, both the blacks and reds have a considerable chance at the tournament title. PTRC coach Paul Claros is excited for the club’s chances in the tournament. Claros said “We had a few injuries, but we wanted our new guys to get acclimated with the game and familiarize themselves with sevens before the tournament and the league did just that. Hats off to the tournament organizers, alot was done well and we’re excited to play Para Todu Rugby in the tournament, if we do that, we should be fine.” Look for Para Todu’s stable breakdowns and set pieces to set the tone for their offense. Their defense is exceptional at keeping the game at their pace and when Para Todu is playing at their pace, other teams should just move out of the way.

Southern Colts

The Southern Colts surprised everyone finishing third in the men’s league. Comprised mostly of recent Southern High School graduates, the team showed they’re a force to be reckoned with. Don Apiag emerged as a team leader and as a player with near unmatched vision. His ability to find gaps led to him setting up many tries throughout the July league. Nick Roberto also displayed tremendous athletic ability. Both players will be key to the Colt’s success in the tournament. Apiag and Roberto have a knack for picking apart defenses one try at a time. The teams defense is superb and they force turnovers at every opportunity. Mistakes against the Colts usually end up costing big tries. the Colts ability to capture and turn momentum so quickly opens up many options for Apiag to exploit. Look for the Colts explosive attack and open style of play to pick apart opposition defense this weekend.

Da Doks

The Guam Rugby Club’s A-side showcased their immense talent and depth throughout the July league. They were the only team to defeat the first place Young Guns and it was one of the narrowest point margins of league play. Da Doks suffered some key injuries midway through the season and there record suffered for it. Heading into the tournament, they feel and look healthy. Look for the Mateo twins (Joe and Mike) to continue conducting Da Doks through opposition. GRC is known for tough defense and Da Doks showed just that as they constantly were threatening at every break down. Mike Mateo says “We’re just looking forward to playing some fun rugby, we’re gonna do it for Da Doks.” With the return of their key players, Da Doks will come out firing challenging all other teams for the Heineken Cup.

Southside

Southside Rugby has grown into a competitive force in recent years. Their farming system has brought several young players out of high school and built them into a solid and speedy rugby team. With the performance of their Colt’s side, their A-side pla the same fast-paced, relentless style. Jared Quichocho was a force in the midfield as he orchestrated the Southside attack and constantly found space on the outside. Mario Martinez also emerged in the league as one of the better finishers when he finds a good line. At the set pieces, Southside’s defense constantly puts pressure on other teams so that launching an attack from a stable platform against Southside is near impossible. Look for Quichocho and Martinez as well as a late season surprise addition to find the gaps and exploit holes in Southside opponent’s defenses.

GSPN Magas

While GSPN did not put on a strong showing throughout the tournament, they believe brighter days are ahead. With some late season additions, GSPN looks to finally be coming together. While their record wasn’t great, they still hold the self-proclaimed award of the heaviest team in the tournament by far. Their motto “win or lose bbq” is apparent in that their canopy is always abuzz with excitement and passerbys are usually drawn in by the smell emanating from the grill or Carlos Estaquios’ new “Secret” deodorant. Longtime rugby veteran and star Johnny Arceo promises that he’ll get at least one try in the tournament. Look for the Leon Guerrero brothers (Jake and Jarred) to continue their impressive emergence into the Guam rugby scene. The Magas don’t want to delve to far into their game plans, but want other teams to know they’re gonna try very hard. Rico Taitague even bought new cleats (again)…

Halu’u

Guam Rugby Club’s Colt side showed that transitioning from 15s-rugby to sevens is no easy feat. Their chemistry is their strength as many of the players come straight to men’s rugby from Simon Sanchez High School. Since many of the GRC A-Siders mentor these young men, they have the knowledge to do better in the tournament. Look for Halu’u to surprise spectators as their youth and exuberance propel their attack against tournament opponents.

Team 
Record
Points Scored
Para Todu Red (Women)
7 – 0
125
Blue Comrades
4 – 3
117
Ziggys
1 – 7
34
Southern
1 – 5
20

Para Todu

The Para Todu women actually fielded two teams in the July League, but due to injuries, they’ve had to downsize. Coach Paul Claros says “the girls put in good work, we stress understanding the rules and the evolution of the breakdown and challenge the girls to reach their full potential every game. If we work those things, we’ll find success.” Para Todu controlled much of the league behind strong play from Kim, Kayla and Cera Taguaacta. Look for the sisters to continue their dominance on the field as their ability to move the ball and anticipate each other’s movements makes for some great rugby to watch. Isabel Flores is also a key player as her last line of defense mentality assures that no try against Para Todu is an easy try.

Blue Comrades

A new team to the rugby scene, the Blue Comrades feature several veterans who’s play will be pivotal to their success in the tournament. Erica Quichocho is the anchor of the team on both offense and defense as her speed, athleticism and rugby knowledge place her in the right place all the time. Count on her to be in the thick of the action no matter what or who the Comrades face. The Comrades are a force that only lost to Para Todu in the league. They’ll surely have some plans of their own to reach the Heineken Cup.

Ziggys

The GRC women’s side features a cast of players who have been playing together for sometime. Their play on the field makes that evident. All the Ziggys seem to have innate knowledge of where their teammates are at at all times. This makes their style of rugby fun to watch as they are constantly attacking other teams weaknesses in force.

Southern

The southern women, like their male counterparts play a very unique style of rugby. They thrive in the open field and are always probing for opportunities and gaps to exploit. Look for the Southern ladies to do well this weekend as they are hungry for some recognition for their efforts this summer.

Whatever the case may be, make your way to UOG to see some great rugby this weekend. Heineken’s Guam Rugby Sevens Tournament is set to begin. So strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride!

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