In the Asia Rugby Championship Division 3 Central Final in a warm and sunny Almaty on Saturday it took World Rugby 61st ranked Kazakhstan just 10 minutes to find their feet against Pakistan, ranked 32 places below them.
Tighthead prop, Vladimir Chernyh was the 1st to open the scoring from a driving maul at a 5m attacking lineout by the Kazaks, which was to be a potent force for them throughout the afternoon.
Left wing, Dzhalil Muradov’s conversion was the 1st of 3 such kicks as he also converted the tries of inside centre, Baurzhan Shegebay on the 16th minute and athletic no 8 Anton Makarenko on the 21st.
Quick footwork and evasion by Kazakhstan scrum-half, Alexandr Lymar for a try on the 37 minute mark left a number of Pakistan defenders in his wake, making it 26-0 at halftime.
With the winning team effectively already decided, Pakistan showed admirable resolve in the 2nd half, defending and also now attacking resolutely to threaten Kazakhstan’s line a couple of times.
Centre Muhammad Shoaib Anbar was particularly prominent and the visitors denied the host union another score until almost the 60th minute, when Kazakhstan hooker, Rustam Kurbanov burrowed over for a try to make it 31-0.
A flurry of substitutions and 2 yellow cards followed in the next 10 minutes as both Kazakhstan’s Makarenko and opposing no 8, Muhammad Ali Khan were sent to the sin bin within a few minutes of each other for deliberate infringements at the tackle by Hong Kong referee, Craig Chan.
Pakistan clearly suffered the more from the loss of their back rower as their scrum disintegrated to concede a penalty try on the 71st minute to make it 38-0 to the hosts.
Further woe followed a minute later for Pakistan as tighthead, Shabaz Khan was also sent to the bin for repeated infringements, again at the tackle-ruck, with the Kazak possession and constant forays on the Pakistan 5m line causing many defensive penalties.
With Pakistan having to play for 6 minutes of the final 10 with only 13 players it was no surprise to see further tries for Kazakhstan with replacement, Nikita Ivanov forcing his way over in the 35th minute and fellow replacement, Grigoriy Litvinov going over in the 39th, both for unconverted tries, to make it 48-0 at the close.
Kazakhstan’s tournament win sees them promoted to Asia Rugby Division 2 next year