Rugby women's team cherishes 'amazing experience'

Indian Rugby team puts up a good fight despite losing 50-5 in its first international Test

Vahbiz Bharucha (left) and Neha Pardeshi said they were part of a history-making moment motivated the team do well.   -  Special Arrangement

For Neha Pardeshi and Vahbiz Bharucha, it was a dream come true moment when India played Singapore in its first ever international Test at the Asia rugby women’s championship (Division 1). India lost 30-5 but the result does not convey the fight put by the team.

Speaking from Singapore, Vahbiz, the skipper, said: “I am proud of the girls. They put up a gallant fight. We did not allow Singapore to score for the first 36 minutes and this in our first ever Test. We suffered a few injuries and Singapore dominated once it scored.”

It was the first foreign exposure for the team. “We were regularly playing Rugby7s but this was a different experience,” said Neha. “We will have to be aware and anticipate better in the next match (against the Philippines on June 5). Overall, it was an amazing experience and we learnt a lot.”

As Neha analysed, “the difference lay in the fitness level of the sides. They were superior in strength and endurance. Size too mattered. We may not have matched them in strength but we had the heart to fight. It was a history-making moment and that is what motivated us.”

On the difference between Rugby7s and Rugby15s, Neha said: “The 7s is very fast compared to the 15s, which is more contact game, a brain game. It was like playing chess physically. We were playing against a team which is ranked 34th in the world. Some of our girls were taken aback at the sight of the opponents but we fought. We won’t take long to adapt to this format.”

After the Singapore experience, the team will prepare for the Asian Games where rugby will be played in the 7s format.

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