Rugby silver lining for India U-18 girls

© Provided by Mid-Day

INDIA captain Anshika Chauhan has praised the way the team played at the Asia Rugby U-18 Girls Rugby Sevens Championship (September 18-19) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where they won a silver medal. In the final, India lost to UAE 17-21. 

Chauhan, 18, hailed the fact that despite not getting to play the Nationals due to COVID-19, the team directly played an international tournament and managed to reach the final. The tournament saw the participation of five countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), India and hosts Uzbekistan. 

In the semi-final, India beat Kazakhstan 24-7, the same opponents to who they lost their opening encounter (10-12).

India then bounced back by registering dominating 20-5 and 63-0 wins over Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan respectively. Later, UAE beat India 29-12.

“In the final, both UAE and India were on equal scores before they won. We are all happy that we were able to reach the final. We would have been happier had we won the gold. The team gave it all. The team`s overall performance was good. The jolt we got in the opener motivated us to do well in the rest of the tournament,” said Chauhan, a second-year BPEd (Bachelor of Physical Education) student.

The Indian team who won silver at the Asia U-18 Girls Rugby Sevens Championship at Uzbekistan recently

Chauhan felt the national training and selection camp at the KIIT University campus in Bhubaneswar August 14 to September 13) played a big role in the success at Tashkent. “We got to gel well as a team during the camp. But the competition was not easy. The semis against Kazakhstan was tough and though the results don`t say so, it was. Now it`s time for us to train hard,  rectify our mistakes and ensure we come back with gold in the next tournament,” explained Chauhan, a resident of New Delhi.

The team were trained by coaches Hendrik ‘Naas’ Botha, a four-time World Rugby Player of the Year from  South Africa and Ludwiche Van Deventer, a rugby Sevens Specialist.

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