LIONS DEVOUR FOES FOR TITLES

LIONS DEVOUR FOES FOR TITLES

📅29 June 2013
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By Nate San Nicolas

Starting under the scorching heat and finishing off the afternoon with cloudy skies and a little drizzle, the 2013 Bud Rugby Series came to a close Saturday afternoon and ended on a good note with laughter and smiles coming from all players, fans, and officials.

It was a tough battle in the men's championship game but the Lion's prevailed over the Guam Rugby Club 22-14. (photo by Asha Robles)

It was a tough battle in the men’s championship game but the Lion’s prevailed over the Guam Rugby Club 22-14. (photo by Asha Robles)

At the end of the day, the Para Todu Rugby Club came out on top to hold up the Championship Cup Trophy with pride for both the Bud Light Women’s 7s Series and Budweiser Men’s 15s Series. The Lady Lions pounded the Ziggy’s 53-0 while the PTRC Lions came out with a 22-14 victory in a hard fought match between the Guam Rugby Club.

Bud Light Women’s 7s

The ladies were the first to put on their cleats, and the PTRC Lady Lions took on the Ziggy’s in their 3 p.m. match. The Lady Lions remained the top seed throughout many rounds of play, and from the start, they made a statement why they stood on top blanking the Ziggy’s 53-0. Leading the way for the Lady Lions was Kimberly Taguacta who finished the game with four tries, three of which came in the first half.

“Our girls really wanted this game,” said Taguacta, “That really motivated us to start off fast and not stop. Although our offense was running, we just had to stick with defense. I’m the last line of defense, so that was my main focus.”

The Lions' Kimberly Taguacta takes the ball down the line for one of her four tries. (photo by Asha Robles)

The Lions’ Kimberly Taguacta takes the ball down the line for one of her four tries. (photo by Asha Robles)

Taguacta scored the first try of the game within seconds of the starting whistle taking it to sideline and burning numerous defenders. Joining in on her scoring spree was teammate Olivia Flores who pitched in two tries for the Lady Lions.

Budweiser Men’s 15s

With a couple yellows cards and one red card handed out, one can easily tell that the intensity of the match between the Para Todu Lions and the Guam Rugby Club was one to pick you off your seat.

The Lions were the first to get on the board as team captain Rob Leon Guerrero found a spot in GRC’s line of defense and scored the first half’s only try of the game. After back-and-forth plays went on by both teams, GRC went on a crowd raising run as Epeli “Ratu” Uluiviti dashed by a few defenders and made an impressive behind the back pass to a teammate before being taken out of bounds. However, to stop the run, a yellow card had to be given out as a GRC player got caught up in the intensity and made a few uncalled-for shoves during play. But that wasn’t the last card.

GRC's Epeli “Ratu” Uluiviti kicks the ball to start the game. (photo by Asha Robles)

GRC’s Epeli “Ratu” Uluiviti kicks the ball to start the game. (photo by Asha Robles)

After Ryan Claros opened up the second with a try up the middle, GRC finally got on the board after Austin Pangelinan used his speed to get around the Lion defenders for a try.

Then a red card had to be given, but then to a Para Todu player who also got caught up in the intensity of the game. Although the players were crowded around each other, no serious action occurred, and being gentlemen of the game, hand-shakes were exchanged and both sides were back to playing rugby.

Despite the relentless fight from GRC, the Para Todu Lions kept the lead to the final whistle and finished the game with a score of 22-14.

Leon Guerrero led the Lions with two tries and contributed greatly in the Lions’ defensive game.

“The Bud 15s and Bud Light 7s Series have helped to solidify the sport here on island, allowing for rugby players and enthusiasts to further their focus on the game, to develop skills in a safe & competitive environment, and with the assistance of experienced players and officials,” commented Leon Guerrero when asked about his thoughts of the series, “And personally, the most meaningful part is playing with the next generation of rugby players, the kids that we’ve seen grow up with the game. Many of Guahan’s senior players have coached at the middle school & high school ranks, and to see kids that have taken to the sport is a reflection of our ability to share the game with the island.”

The rugby community is one that is growing stronger and stronger as each day goes by, and events like the Bud Rugby Series are contributing to the development of interest for the physical sport. And the best part is not the hard hits or even the cuts and bruises, it’s the continued display of great sportsmanship and respect. So next chance you hear of a rugby event, come out and you’ll see what the sport is really about.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Lions' Regina Shiroma goes after a Ziggy runner during the women's 7s championship game. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lions’ Regina Shiroma goes after a Ziggy runner during the women’s 7s championship game. (photo by Asha Robles)

Teams battle for possession in a line out. (photo by Asha Robles)

Teams battle for possession in a line out. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lions' Kayla Taguacta gets taken down by a Ziggy defender. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lions’ Kayla Taguacta gets taken down by a Ziggy defender. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ziggy’s Rachel Benavente makes a tackle against Lions' Kimberly Taguacta. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ziggy’s Rachel Benavente makes a tackle against Lions’ Kimberly Taguacta. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lions’ Rob Leon Guerrero tries to get a GRC defender off of his teammate. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lions’ Rob Leon Guerrero tries to get a GRC defender off of his teammate. (photo by Asha Robles)

A Lions' player looks for open space to run. (photo by Asha Robles)

A Lions’ player looks for open space to run. (photo by Asha Robles)

 Teams battle for possession in a line out. (photo by Asha Robles)

Teams battle for possession in a line out. (photo by Asha Robles)

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