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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Rugby’

Reminder: This is why you should listen to us.

May 20, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby 2 Comments →

gaz paper

Stuff happens because we say so. Rugby, front page, above the fold, Holgate. There’s usually a three to four-year gap from the time we say “Listen to this” to the time the general public actually pays attention, but there it is.

Flashback: Our first rugby post, not counting the 2007 All Blacks.

P.S. One of the half-Filipino UAE players is named Jonny Greenwood. When brewhuh mentioned the name we went into a panic because we thought Radiohead was playing here and we didn’t have tickets. (Yes, bright and eager readers, we know he’s also composed soundtracks that we love.)

Summer is here. (With match report by Brewhuh)

May 04, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby, Television 13 Comments →

Tar-gareth sigil

And the Philippine Volcanoes, of course, in their A5N match against Hong Kong today. Allez, Patrice! And Kuya Michael of the amazing jaws, and Jake, and Matty Saunders whose parents we wish would adopt us, and everybody.

But a special shout-out to our friend Gareth Holgate, who was unfairly singled out in the news coverage of the match against Japan. Fine, he missed his penalty kicks. Sometimes you miss. What are you, perfect?

Go Gaz! We believe.

This message is brought to you by the alliance of brewhuh of House Blend and JZ of House, This Is Our. Made with the Game of Thrones Join the Realm Sigil Creator.

Brewhuh will cover the game for us. If you watch the match, send us a report! Jaime is not…on hand for this one.

* * * * *

iScreamed for the Philippine Volcanoes
by Brewhuh of House Blend

A few weeks back I asked my friends Diana and Ara if they wanted to watch the Philippine Volcanoes match at Rizal Stadium with me and they happily obliged. These are people who don’t know squat about rugby. Real troopers and great friends.

We were outside the stadium at 6pm. Ara mentioned that she needed to pee and all of a sudden we all needed to go to the ladies’ room. Is it contagious, like yawning? So we took a detour to SM and by the time we were in the stadium the crowd was growing steadily. As both teams were doing their warm-ups, I also did warm-ups for my lungs and vocal chords. Confession: I needed to let off steam so I went to an event that called for screaming. Well it was a good cause.

Celebrities spotted in the stands: Azkals Phil Younghusband and Simon Greatwich.

The opening ceremony was held, then we were off. The Volcanoes were very aggressive in the beginning, making the Hong Kong team lose their bearings a bit. We got the first points through Alex Aronson’s penalty kick. The crowd went nuts! I think my friends lost 85% of their hearing.

We got most of our tries during the first half. One of them was from Patrice Olivier, who was a monster: he carried half of the HK team over the try line!!! I went all Robin Scherbatsky and shouted, “Nobody touch our Patrice!”.

My friends and I cheered for the team during the lulls and something happened: I heard myself! My goodness, I am loud. I can probably call someone in the northern grandstand from the southern side hahaha. I think I scared some of the guys from the Manila Nomads—they kept telling Ara to make me calm down. Ahahahaha sorry, I had a gallon of coffee.

Diana : Dear, remember that we are ladies!
Ara : Ay oo nga pala, I’m wearing pink jeggings!
Me : GOOOOOOOO VOLCANOEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!
Diana : Bubbly, you might be asked to leave the premises. You scream like a jet landing.
Me : Why? I’m a Filipino. Born and raised here.
Ara : Oo nga naman…
Me : And I order extra riiiiiiiiiiiiiiice …go Volcanoooooooooooooooesssss!!!!

But Hong Kong showed us why they’ve been in the Asian Top 5 for years. After 80 minutes they beat the Philippine Volcanoes 59-20. Props to captain Michael Letts, Patrice Olivier and Alex Aronson for racking up our points. In 2011, when we witnessed the bloodbath of a Volcanoes test match against Hong Kong, I never thought we’d get to this level of play so fast. I think the Volcanoes shook things up a bit, which probably surprised Hong Kong.

To the Volcanoes, congratulations for frustrating the heck out of the opponents —quote straight from the mouth of a Hong Kong player. You did well today. All the best against South Korea and see you all again on the 18th against UAE!

P.S. To the referees who made those bad calls against the Volcanoes: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! I will record my scream and send it to all of you.

Almost human

June 05, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby 5 Comments →


Jessica Zafra with rugby player Matty Saunders of the national team. Photo by Nigel Saunders. Fred Perry shirt that does not match Amy Winehouse’s vision for it from Ricky, earrings from Jeffrey.

In photographs we usually look like some mutant gnat under an electron microscope. So when Mr. Saunders sent us this photo which he took at the A5N championship in April, we were amazed at our resemblance to a human being and immediately posted it as evidence.

How do you take a good picture?

a. Support a winning team so that you are genuinely happy in the photo and not just pretending to be a good sport.

b. Sit next to a good-looking person. That way he is automatically the focal point of the picture and with any luck, no one will notice you are in it. When they do notice you there is the inevitable unflattering comparison, but at least the pressure is off you while the photo is being taken.

c. Use your vast forehead as a reflector to ensure optimal illumination. The bright flash aimed directly at your face will erase any spots or lines.

Of course there’s nothing like a good skin care regimen. Ours is 1) Sleep 9 hours a day; 2) Eat meat; 3) Don’t have children, adulthood is very bad for the complexion; and 4) Don’t have long-term relationships, only short, aggravating ones you are relieved to escape.

d. Make sure the sporting event is held outdoors on a frizzling hot and humid day. Everyone will sweat buckets. They never mention this in commercials, but sweat is an excellent conditioner. You can’t smell photos.

e. Get Jay Lozada to cut your hair. Look for him on Facebook. He’ll probably decline so make him an offer he can’t refuse (i.e. “I know Chris Hemsworth.”) Also, stay away from hair dryers and accept that not everyone has long straight perfect hair like in shampoo ads, not even the girls in shampoo ads.

f. If you’re fat, don’t lose too much weight because your skin will sag. You’ll never be a model, but you can eat whatever you like. Hold your big arms close to your sides and compress. Also, if you have a wide face, you need proportionately large eyeglasses.

g. Hang out with fabulous gay people in the hope of picking up style by osmosis.

h. We should’ve remembered to keep our mouth very slightly open to produce the illusion of fuller lips. The stretched closed mouth makes us look smug. Or smugger than usual.

i. “How come you get to hang out with guys we want to see naked?” Because we’re a bro. Read You Are Not His Girlfriend: How To Know When You’ve Been Bro’d. It’s educational and hysterical!

Mga Bulkang Pilipino, nagwagi laban sa Sri Lanka! Pilipinas, kampeon sa Unang Dibisyon ng A5N rugby

April 22, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby 57 Comments →

Kanina’y naisip namin na sa tagal ng aming pagsusulat ay hindi pa kami nakakalikha ng ulat pampalakasan sa wikang Tagalog. Dumating ang tamang pagkakataon kanina, nang lumaban ang pambansang koponan ng rugby sa kampeonato ng A5N Unang Dibisyon. Mae-ehersisyo na ang aming utak, matutulungan pa natin ang mga manlalarong mestiso na matuto ng Tagalog upang matigil na ang mga nagsasabing hindi sila tunay na Pilipino.

Kung kayo’y walang ginagawa at nais ninyong aliwin ang sarili, pakisalin ang ulat na ito sa Ingles gamit ang Google Translate. (Nakakatuwa ang isinalin ng makina!)

Ang Kagila-Gilalas, Kahindik-Hindik at Kahanga-Hangang Pakikipagsapalaran ng Mga Bulkang Pilipino

Ulat nina JessicaRulestheUniverse at Brewhuh23

Sabado, alas-singko ng hapon sa Rizal Memorial Stadium sa Maynila nang magharap ang dalawang pinakamagaling na koponan sa Unang Dibisyon ng Limang Bansang Asyano sa larong Rugby.*

* Ang Asian 5 Nations o A5N ay tumutukoy sa limang bansa sa pinakamataas na antas ng rugby sa Asya. Ang Unang Dibisyon ang pangalawang antas sa A5N, at ang kampeon dito ay aakyat sa Top 5 na kasalukuyang kinabibilangan ng Japan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Korea at UAE. (Isa naman sa limang ito ay malalaglag at bababa sa Unang Dibisyon.) Ang kampeon sa Top 5 ay papasok sa 2015 Rugby World Cup. Ang pangalawang koponan sa Top 5 ay papasok sa isang repechage para sa pagkakataong makasali sa 2015 Rugby World Cup.


Ilan sa mga Bulkan: Kapitan Kuya Michael Letts, Lolo Austin Dacanay, James Price, Patrice Ortiz Olivier, ang magkapatid na Joe at Luke Matthews, Justin Coveney at Phil Abraham. Ritrato kuha ni JZ.

Naglaban ang Sri Lanka at Pilipinas, na pawang 2-0 sa paligsahang ito matapos talunin ang Singapore at Chinese Taipei. Dating Top 5 Nation ang Sri Lanka. Ang pambansang koponan ng Pilipinas na tinaguriang Mga Bulkang Pilipino ay nakapasok sa Unang Dibisyon noong 2010.

Unang nakatala ng puntos ang Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng penalties na sinipa ng lipad-kalahati (fly-half) na si Oliver Saunders (10). Nakagawa naman ng try sina Joe Matthews na pakpak (wing, 14) at si Michael Letts na buong likod (fullback, 15) at kapitan ng mga Bulkan. Napaka-pisikal ng depensa; ilang manlalaro ng Sri Lanka ang nagtamo ng pinsala at binuhat papaalis.

Katakut-takot na balibagan, tulakan at hablutan ang aming nasaksihan: walang takot na nakipagbakbakan ang mga Bulkan at ilan sa kanila ay duguan pagkatapos ng laro. Halatang namamaga ang kaliwang mata ni Matt Saunders (gitna, 13), na kung makipag-agawan sa bola ay tila naghahanap ng sakit (Noong Miyerkules naman ay naglaro siya na may benda sa ulo).


Ganito maglaro si Matt Saunders. Ritrato kinunan ni Jun Mendoza ng Philstar.

Ang pinakamaliit na manlalaro sa koponan na si James Price (kalahating-scrum/scrum-half, 9) ay nakakapagpabagsak ng manlalarong dalawa o tatlong beses ang laki sa kanya. Nagtapos ang unang kalahati sa score na 23-3, lamang ang Pilipinas.

Muntik nang makahabol ang Sri Lanka sa pangalawang kalahati. Kadalasan ang bola’y nasa kamay ng Sri Lanka at bagama’t masigasig ang depensa ng mga Bulkan ay nakapagtala ang kalaban ng dalawang try at penalty. Mabuti na lamang at naagaw ng mga Bulkan ang bola at naipasa kay Justin Coveney (12) na rumaragasang tumakbo patungong goal at isinaksak ang bola sa lupa kasama ng kanyang mukha. Hindi na nakasagot ang Sri Lanka. Nagwagi ang Pilipinas sa score na 28-18; pasok ang Mga Bulkang Pilipino sa Asian Top Five.


Mga Bulkang Pilipino, inaasam ang pagkapanalo. Maraming salamat sa napakagaling na pambansang coach Expo Mejia. Ritrato kuha ni JZ.


Ang aming ampon (tawagin na lamang natin siyang Maddox) na si Patrice Olivier, kasama sina Brewhuh at Chronicler of Boredom. Matagal bago namin nakausap si ampon dahil nakaparaming humahalik at nagpapakuha ng ritrato na kasama siya. At pinapahawakan pa kay Patrice ang kanilang mga sanggol! Samakatwid ay maari na siyang tumakbo sa eleksyon. Kinunan ng ritrato ni JZ.


Si Matt Saunders, ang namamaga niyang mata, at ang kasintahan niyang si Dee Tovell. Kinunan ng ritrato ni JZ.

Bukas ay tutungo sina Matt at Oli Saunders at ang kanilang mga magulang sa Bugallon, Pangasinan upang tumanggap ng parangal mula sa lalawigan. Laking Bugallon si Mrs Marilou Abalos Saunders, at doon naninirahan ang lola at mga kamag-anak nina Oli, Matt at Ben.

Si Oli at Matt ay propesyonal na manlalaro ng rugby sa Tokyo.


Hindi lamang mga sanggol kundi ang aming kaibigang publisista na si Edd Fuentes ang nagpakuha ng ritrato kasama si Patrice. Madalas kaming tanungin ni Edd kung ano bang ka-etchingan yang ragbi-ragbi na yan, kaya’t isinama namin siya. Natuwa naman ito at manonood ulit. Salamat din sa mga mambabasa ng blog na ito na lumapit sa amin at nagpakilala. Hindi naniniwala si Edd na may nagbabasa dito hahahahaha.

Basahin ang aming kolum sa Philstar tungkol sa kasosyalang rugby. (Ang artikulo ay nasa baba ng pahina, sa ilalim ng mga Louboutin.)

Maraming salamat nga pala sa Globe at sa HSBC para sa mga tiket namin.

Nagpapatuloy ang ka-etchingan sa Comments. Narito kami ni Brewhuh upang sagutin ang inyong mga katanungan.

What do Filipinos look like?

April 02, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, History, Language, Rugby 2 Comments →


Before Nora Aunor, all the big stars of the Filipino screen were mestizo. Photo from alphamusic.ph.

At the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament the other week the Fiji Rugby Union made this observation on their official Twitter account.

“The only thing Philippines about the Philippine team playing in the Hong Kong 7s is the name of the team.”

This remark is interesting in light of the flap over Arnold Clavio’s “hindi kayumanggi” statement about the Philippine national football team. We don’t think the Philippine Rugby Union should make like the Azkals management and write a strongly-worded letter denouncing this “racist” statement.

In the first place it will seem like a sore loser move because Fiji won the HK7s, thrashing the world’s rugby powers before beating the mighty New Zealand in the final. (The Philippines, making its first-ever appearance in the tournament, was like the plucky indie movie at the Oscars who’s just happy to be nominated.)

Read our column at InterAksyon.com.

All Blacks win ugly over Les Bleus. Cosmic Justice or Randomness?

October 26, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Places, Rugby 1 Comment →

When your favorite team wins the biggest prize in the game after 24 years of hard luck and near-tragedy you’re supposed to rejoice, get smashed, and bask in the knowledge that at least once in your lifetime the universe gets it right.

You’re not supposed to be sitting there wondering why you’re less happy than you thought you would be. What is wrong with you?

The All Blacks of New Zealand have just won the Rugby World Cup they have long deserved, defeating Les Bleus of France. The final was so tense that in the last 40 minutes the sinking feeling in your stomach made its way to your soles, anchoring you to the floor like a pillar of dread. You thought the All Blacks were going to lose the World Cup again, and even after the horn had sounded to confirm that they’d hung on by the skin of their bleeding teeth, you’re not entirely convinced that they won.

There’s been a mistake, but what?

Read my column in Interaksyon.com.