Junior Nationals Rugby Sevens C’ship: Odisha, West Bengal dominate Day One

The two-day Junior Nationals Rugby Sevens Championship kicked off to an eventful start on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, as defending champions Odisha picked up where they left off and put up a spectacular display in both boys and girls categories.

The girls from Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra during a Junior National Rugby Sevens Championship match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.   -  M. Vedhan

The two-day Junior Nationals Rugby Sevens Championship kicked off to an eventful start on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, as defending champions Odisha picked up where they left off and put up a spectacular display in both boys and girls categories.

After a gruelling day’s play, eight teams qualified for Sunday’s quarterfinal. The Odisha boys blanked Uttarakhand 62-0 and Andhra Pradesh 31-0 to finish on top at the league stage. It was consequently awarded a bye directly to the semi-finals, while the seven other teams will fight to secure a spot in the final four.

In the girl’s category, West Bengal thrashed Delhi 36-0 and Rajasthan 48-0, to emerge as group leaders.

Local represents, Tamil Nadu defeated Punjab 29-0 and Gujarat 12-7 to finish fifth in the boys category and will face Maharashtra. The girls defeated Kerala 5-0 but lost to Bihar 0-15 and are scheduled to play league toppers West Bengal in the quarterfinals.

Sunday’s proceedings will begin with the girls quarterfinal at 9 AM when Odisha takes on Jammu and Kashmir and will be followed by the boys quarterfinal at 11 AM as West Bengal faces Jammu and Kashmir.

Players from across 21 states put up a spirited performance and braved the sweltering Chennai heat, as tournament organisers and coaches ensured they were kept well-hydrated.

The finals for both categories will be held in the evening, followed by a presentation ceremony.

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