South Africa: 48
Philippines: 4

South Africa:
  • Harry Blake,
  • Reilly Canning,
  • Reilly Canning,
  • Luke de Vlieg,
  • Luke de Vlieg,
  • Ashley Bull,
  • Shane Gilham,
  • Kobe Martin,
  • Ayden Perry,
  • Keegan Turner,
  • Harry Blake,
  • Harry Blake
  • Jeromy Cairns,
  • Ivan Lynch,
  • Tyrone O'Leary

South Africa:
  • Kam Cryer (11/11),
  • Reilly Canning (1/1)
  • Marc Russell (1/3)

South Africa:
  • Luke de Vlieg,
  • Jason Smith,
  • Keegan Turner,
  • Bevan De Vries,
  • Jason Cutler,
  • Reilly Canning,
  • Kam Cryer,
  • Joel Tubbs,
  • Harry Blake,
  • Shane Gilham,
  • Halvor Harris,
  • Kobe Martin,
  • Ayden Perry.
  • Subs: Jovan Pienar,
  • Kalum Gulliver-Brown,
  • Jason King,
  • Ashley Bull
  • Isaac Rosario,
  • Ivan Lynch,
  • Gerald Ubaldo,
  • Thomas Cartwright,
  • Richard Mante,
  • Tyrone O'Leary,
  • Marc Russell,
  • Dylan Jones,
  • Tyrone Tootell,
  • Ryan Jones,
  • Russell Nelson,
  • Ian Nelson,
  • AJ Morrison.
  • Subs: Gerald Reyes,
  • Jeromy Cairns,
  • Raffy Dian Zappia,
  • Jordan Jones

Match report

A hat-trick of tries by hooker Harry Blake and braces for five-eighth Reilly Canning and fullback Luke De Vlieg spearheaded South Africa to a 72-14 defeat of Philippines in the inaugural Felix Flores Cup clash between the two nations.

Played in blustery conditions at Tugun RLFC on Queensland's Gold Coast, the international fixture proved to be a one-sided contest as the bigger, fitter and faster Rhinos outfit dominated from the outset.

Blake scored the opening try in the seventh minute after an attempt by Tamaraws winger Ivan Lynch to nullify a long pass from South Africa halfback Kam Cryer to centre Keegan Turner, a Manly Sea Eagles junior, was knocked on.

Cryer, who plays for Wests Magpies, landed the first of his 11 conversions and then laid on the second try for Wynnum-Manly Seagulls second-rower Kobe Martin just five minutes later.

The Tamaraws found themselves in the Rhinos quarter for the first time in the 17th minute but a grubber kick into the in-goal was collected by De Vlieg and the Burleigh Bears fullback raced the length of the field to score.

The Rhinos fourth try came after a last tackle kick by Cryer was held up in the wind and Turner caught the ball on the full before passing to Canning and the Parramatta Eels SG Ball five-eighth raced away to score.

The Tamaraws needed to score next and they did, with centre Thomas Cartwright putting Lynch over in the corner after a strong run by Ryan Jones had put Philippines in attacking position.

With his side growing in confidence, Tamaraws co-captain Marc Russell attempted a 40/20 kick but De Vlieg was again in position to field the ball and Blake scored his second try in the ensuing set of possession after Adien Perry split the defence.

The Rhinos continued to dominate field position and prop Shane Gillham was the next to score before Blake and Canning crossed again to give South Africa a 48-4 halftime lead.

Shell-shocked by the Rhinos first half dominance and a resounding pep talk from Philippines coach Paul Sheedy, the Tamaraws started well in the second half.

Determined play and running from forwards, Dylan and Ryan Jones, Tyrone Tootell, Jeremy Cairns and Raffy Zappia, found the Philippines pounding on the South African line and Gerald Reyes put Jeremy Cairns over for the Tamaraws second try.

However, the Philippines second half revival did not last long and Keegan Turner again collected an uncontested bomb to score and the second half then developed into a battle of attrition as fatigue led to errors and penalties from both sides.

The game came alive again with South Africa scoring successive tries through Perry and another length of the field effort by De Vlieg.

The Tamaraws never gave up and were rewarded when five-eighth Tyronne O’Leary crossed for their third try in the 57th minute but South Africa had the last say after a solid side line run by Ashley Bull to score the final try.

South Africa Rugby League president Frans Erasmus congratulated the Rhinos on their outstanding performance.

"Their teamwork, dedication, and passion for the sport were truly commendable, leading them to yet another well deserved victory," Erasmus said. "This marks their third consecutive Test match win, and it is a testament to their unyielding spirit and unwavering commitment to the game.

"The Philippines Tamaraws also deserve special recognition for their gutsy and spirited performance during the match. In the second half, they displayed incredible resilience and managed to score two impressive tries, reflecting their tenacity and determination to compete at the highest level. Such sportsmanship is what makes rugby league a game admired and respected worldwide.

"A special mention goes out to our captain, Shane Gillham, whose leadership and prowess on the field have been invaluable to the team's accomplishments. Shane's unwavering dedication to the sport has been an inspiration to his teammates and fans alike.

"Lastly, I would like to take a moment to recognize Daryll Fisher, the coach of the Rhinos. Coaches indeed leave a lasting legacy, and Daryll has undoubtedly made an indelible mark during his tenure as the coach of the Rhinos. His strategic brilliance and mentoring have played a pivotal role in shaping the team's success. We are deeply grateful for his contributions to the growth and development of the players and the sport as a whole.

"Once again, congratulations to the South African Rhinos on their impressive victory, and kudos to the Philippine Tamaraws for their spirited performance. We look forward to witnessing more exhilarating matches in the future as the rugby league community continues to flourish."