Vahbiz leads India to silver medal

Sanjay Jadhav
Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Indian women’s rugby team continued its upward climb as they won silver medal at the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy which concluded in Jakarta last weekend.

Pune: Indian women’s rugby team continued its upward climb as they won silver medal at the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy which concluded in Jakarta last weekend.

This is their second silver in the tournament in three editions. Meanwhile the Indian men’s team was crowned the plate winners.

The current edition witnessed participation from Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Guam, Laos, Qatar, Chinese Taipei and Bangladesh.

The Indian girls defeated Chinese Taipei (34-0), Guam (24-12) and Indonesia (21-17) on their way to the final.

“We are very happy as we have taken the rank up from fifth to the second. Obviously, we are slightly disappointed because we were going for the gold and came back with the silver,” captain Vahbiz Bharucha told Sakal Times on her return from Indonesia.

“The experience for all the girls during this tournament has been uplifting. The whole atmosphere was positive and the vibe was high. The coaches kept reinforcing the winning attitude,” Bharucha added.

“The finals was between three teams which included Philippines, India and Indonesia. Because there were nine women’s teams which participated, there were three pools of three teams each that were distributed and in each of the pools India, Philippines and Indonesia topped their pool. We were from three different pools and then the finals play-off was played between us three. The final was a round robin,” Bharucha informed.

Speaking about other teams, Bhaurcha said “All the four teams had their own strengths and weaknesses. The game against Chinese Taipei was a game of speed, while the other three--Guam, the Phiippines and Indonedia were more physical.”

“It is definitely an awesome boost because we have had some new players in the team who had been given equally important responsibilities. The future looks bright,” Bharucha opined.

When asked whether the girls faced any tense situations in the tournament, Bharucha was quick to say “Yes, we had two tense situations, the first one was when we were losing against the Phillipines by 1 (i.e 7 points) and we had a chance to turn the game around in the last 10 seconds but the Philippines team was lucky. The second was in our game against Indonesia when we were leading 21- 17 and in the last two minutes, we had to just hold our defence line real tight.”

Sharing the most memorable moment of the tournament Bharucha said “In our game against Indonesia, we were down by a 17-7 score in the first half and ended the match winning it 21-17.”
With the same spirit, the girls are now looking forward and are preparing themselves for the All-India Women’s Rugby 15s Championship.

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