This Article about the Rugby India U17 Girls has been kindly Submitted By Rugby India.
Asia Rugby Under 17 Championship (Youth Olympic Games – Asia Qualifiers) Dubai, UAE 29th&30th November, 2017
The Indian U-17 Girls Rugby team competed at the Asian Qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens Championship which was held at Dubai Sports City, Dubai, UAE on 29th & 30th of November, 2017.
The team was supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India and is participating under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India.
This Asia Rugby tournament also served as the Qualifiers for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Argentina.
A total of 12 countries from across Asia including Japan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Iran, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Philippines, China, Thailand, Malaysia, India and hosts U.A.E fought for top honors at the championships in Dubai.
The Indian Junior Girls Rugby team has been in preparation for over a year in the lead up to this prestigious tournament. Most of these girls participated the Inaugural Asian U18 Girls Rugby 7s, held on 30th November to 2nd December 2016 at the Dubai Sports City, UAE wherein India secured bronze beating Sri Lanka last year.
In addition to this, the Indian Junior Girls’ Rugby team also participated and finished fifth in the Paris World Games 2017 held in France on 8th – 9th July 2017 in the U18 Girls category.
For the Asian Qualifier, the players shortlisted to join the Indian National Training Pre-Camp were selected during the Societe Generale Junior National Rugby Sevens Championship, which was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on 10th & 11th of June 2017.
Post the Junior Nationals, Rugby India hosted a Pre Selection Camp was held in Kolkata from 1st October – 14th October 2017 where a total of over 40 girls were put through the paces.Post the pre-camp; the best 20 girls were invited to join the National Training camp, which was held at the Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai from 5th November to 28th November 2017.
MIKE FRIDAY – USA RUGBY 7s HEAD COACH
Through the Olympic Channel program, Rugby India had the privilege of having the iconic Mr Mike Friday, Head coach of the USA Rugby 7s Team come across and work with the girls in Mumbai. Mike spent 4 days with the team, sharing his expertise and introducing some attacking and defensive patterns.
“The Indian girls are not biggest, they are small built, but they have a big heart and are courageous. They also have the self confidence and self belief and they will perform to their potential,” said Mike when asked about the Girls chances prior to the tournament.
IMG Productions covered the entire week with Mike and will be making a documentary as part of the Olympic Channel program. The documentary will showcase the status of Indian Rugby and some of the interesting stories of the Girls Team.
The following 12 players were selected from across India to represent the nation at the Asia Rugby U17 Girls Sevens Championship in Dubai.
1. Sandhya Rai (West Bengal) – Captain 2. Asha Araon (West Bengal) 3. Rushmita Oraon (West Bengal) 4. Urshila Khariya (West Bengal) 5. Sumitra Nayak (Odisha) 6. Jemamani Naik (Odisha) 7. Soni Mandangi (Odisha) 8. Lija Sardar (Odisha) 9. Prabati Kisku (Odisha) 10. Sweety Kumari (Bihar) 11. Priya(Delhi) 12. Sultana (Delhi)
As seen in the picture- Standing Left to Right- Rushmita Oraon (West Bengal) Jemamani Naik (Odisha)Prabati Kisku (Odisha)Urshila Khariya (West Bengal) Lija Sardar (Odisha) Sandhya Rai (West Bengal) Sweety Kumari (Bihar) Sumitra Nayak (Odisha) Soni Mandangi (Odisha) Sultana (Delhi) Priya (Delhi)Asha Araon (West Bengal)
Day1 – November 29th ,2017 Match 1 – India 27 – Laos 10 Team India defeated a spirited Laos Rugby side in their opening match of the tournament. With the win, The girls booked their Quaterfinal spot.
Match 2 – India 0 – Japan 50 A tough second game against tournament heavyweights Japan ended in defeat for girls in blue. Finishing 2nd in our group meant that girls would face Hong Kong in the quarterfinals on Day 2.
Day 2 – November 30th ,2017 Match 3 – India 27 – Hong Kong 5 (Quarter Finals) The girls caused the biggest upset of the tournament beating a physical Hong Kong side to reach the semifinals of the tournament.
Match 4 – India 0 – China 43 (Semi Finals) The Mighty Chinese team powered through to the finals after defeating our Rugby India girls in the Semis.
Match 5 – India 5 – Kazakhstan 22 (3rd/4th Place) The girls played hard but came up short against their far bigger and stronger opponents. The crowd were really praising the team and said that the girls showed some real heart and were putting their bodies on the line.
Winners- Japan Runners Up – China 3rd Place – Kazakhstan
Rugby India rank 4th in Asia!!! Our Under-17 Girls played like warriors and made the country proud by ending the tournament with our best ever finish and performance – securing a 4th place amongst the 12 nations participating.
Rugby India With utmost pride, we salute these girls for their exceptional commitment, determination, resilience and passion. Well done ladies, you are the future of Rugby India!!!
Special thanks to Mike Friday for sharing his time and knowledge, the Olympic Channel crew (Alex Gale and Ian ‘Bruice’ Smith) for all their efforts, Societe Generale for their continuous support and to Jungle Crows, KISS, Delhi Hurricanes, Rugby Football Associations of Bihar and all the other clubs for their hard work and commitment