Sunday, October 13, 2013
The India National Sevens team beat UAE to win the Shield at its home tournament, the HSBC Asian Sevens Series’ India Sevens, at the Bombay Gymkhana.
It was the second Shield win for India after their HSBC A7S series debut last month in Thailand. India also beat the UAE on that occasion, winning 31-10 and this time bettered its margin of victory by a single point, winning 22-0.
India captain Hrishikesh Pendse, who has played rugby professionally in New Zealand and Japan, commented on the win saying:
“It was a great win considering we had to play an unprecedented four matches on day one in the round robin with Pakistan not being able to attend.
“We were a bit tired after yesterday and I think that was the difference in our opening loss in the Bowl quarter final to Kazakhstan. But we regrouped after that match and I’m proud that we finished with a win,” added Pendse.
India then had a bye in the first shield semi final while UAE beat Afghanistan 19-0 to advance to the final.
“I’m really proud because for a second time we have beaten one of the core international teams on the Series in the United Arab Emirates. They play at every event on the Series and for us to beat them after making only sporadic appearances on the Series shows our potential.
“To win in front of our friends and families who were here today is always sweet and I want to thank everyone who showed up to support us over the last two days.
“I hope that all of the participating teams enjoyed our Indian hospitality, but it’s a pity that the conditions were not more conducive to running rugby. Still I think the teams enjoyed themselves and we look forward to welcoming back Asia’s top sevens teams next year.
“I hope by then that India will be a full-time participant on the Sevens Series as with more experience our results can only improve,” concluded Pendse.
Rugby India will now focus on its hosting of the second and final leg of the 2013 Asian Women’s Sevens Series which will be held in Pune on November 9-10, 2013.
India Scorers in the Shield Final:
Hrishikesh Pendse Try
Bikash Kumar Jena – Try
Sukhdeep Singh – Try
Vikas Khatri – Try
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