The Indian Rugby Women’s team has won a silver medal for the third time in the last three editions of the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy.
In a valiant effort, the Indian women lost to UAE in the finals that was held at the Onazia Training Pitch in Doha, Qatar across November 3-4.
"Three consecutive silver medals at the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy is a commendable result for the women’s team. It is a testament to the consistency of their performances over the last few years and the pathway of players that allow us to consistently compete with such calibre. Congratulations to the men’s team as well for coming in 5th in this edition, which is noteworthy considering they stood 9th last year. We shall remain resolute to earn our stripes amongst the top teams in Asia” said Rahul Bose, President, Indian Rugby Football Union.
Led by the experienced, Vahbiz Bharucha, the Indian team played with great skill and kept UAE in check in the first half of the finals as they trailed by just 2 points after a great try by Shikha Yadav. UAE continued to be dominant as they widened the gap in the second half by breaking through the Indian defences and scoring a total of 19 points.
The team’s route to the finals was quite comfortable as they saw Iran off in the semi-finals by a huge margin of 34-0 and qualified at the top of their table, stamping their authority beating Guam 14-7 and Mongolia 36-0.
“Winning the silver again is a special, but the team is eager to continue the work that each player has been putting in to convert the colour of this medal to Gold. Personally, I am extremely proud of the way the team has played against formidable sides and has showcased great character at a stage as big as this. This is the most important event of the year for the team and we will come home knowing that we gave it our absolute best," said skipper Bharucha.
Earlier in the day, the men’s team finished in fifth place beating Qatar in the 5th-6th position match. India made a remarkable comeback as Mohit Khatri completed a try in the last minute of the match and won the 5th spot even though Qatar was within touching distance of a victory.
The Prince Khatri-led team was pooled against stiff competition and started strong as they breezed past Iraq 47-0. Losing by a sliver to Afghanistan 5-7 in the next draw put them in contention for the Bowl Cup where they later also defeated Uzbekistan 24-7 in a crucial victory to set themselves up for the match against Qatar.