The Hong Kong U18 Girls 7s team has been crowned champions of the inaugural Asia Rugby U18 Girls 7s Championship in Dubai.
The final was played in an electric atmosphere before a large crowd on pitch 2 at the prestigious ‘7even’s Stadium’, which played host over the weekend to both the men and women’s HSBC World Sevens Series event.
Hong Kong prevailed over a valiant Kazakhstan side, 12-5 in an exciting, tightly-contested match. The young Hong Kong girls held their nerve, defended solidly and took their chances, with Jessica Eden and Hebe Talles breaking through for two good tries.
What bodes well for Hong Kong rugby, Head Coach of Hong Kong Samantha Feausi spoke about the Hong Kong squad “The team selected for the tournament is a relatively young team, with most of the players still at 16 years old.”
“This is just the beginning and first competition for the team. The hope for this team is that they continue training and playing together for a couple more years at U18 level where they will eventually transition into the Hong Kong U20’s squad.”
This proved a brilliant, fitting conclusion for the Hong Kong team, who delivered an impressive, undefeated showing over the three days, and which eventually culminated in victory at the first ever Asia Rugby U18 Girls Championship.
In the earlier matches India defeated Sri Lanka 15-7 to take 3rd place , and UAE’s all-Emeriti Girls Team defeated Uzbekistan 29-0 to take 5th Spot.
Congratulations also go to Ms. Hind Mohammed Abdulla, who received the award of First Female Emirati Try Scorer . The Award was presented to her on pitch 1 in front of the Dubai 7s crowd by Asia Rugby and UAE Rugby Federation General Secretary Qais Al Dhalai accompanied by Deputy CEO and COO UAE HSBC David Kotheimer, and Jaguar Land Rover Experiential Marketing Manager Ben Wilkinson. Both of these international companies have continued to support the UAERF in the Player Pathway Programme.
Mr Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai Hon. Secretary General of Asia Rugby proudly spoke about the success of the Tournament “Asia Rugby in partnership with the UAE Rugby Federation has achieved another milestone by endorsing this tournament which featured 6 Asian teams.” Qais went on to express his gratitude to the Presidents/Board Members and staff of: UAE , Kazakhstan ,Uzbekistan ,India ,
Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, all of whom supported the venture. Mr. Al Dhalai further added that this event was an historical one and said, “ Asia Rugby remains committed to creating equal opportunities and executing a proper gender inclusion programme within its jurisdiction.” “We plan that this will now be an annual event in the Asia Rugby competition calendar and I look forward to witnessing not less than 12 women’s teams participating next year.”
This tournament was also a testament to the overwhelming success of the Get Into Rugby Program In Asia
“This event showcased the pathway from Get into Rugby to international rugby,” said Ben van Rooyen, Asia Rugby’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) Coordinator. “Many of the participants playing in this week’s tournament have come through the GIR Programmes in their respective Unions.”