Despite losing to Uzbekistan 38-24 in the second match of the Asia Rugby Championship Division III C, Pakistan claimed the title thanks to a superior aggregate score.
Having won the first match 44-13, an aggregate score of 68-51 saw them lift the title and gain promotion to next year’s Division II.
That tournament will form part of the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification pathway so the win has more significance for Pakistan.
Uzbekistan made them work for the win, however, and stormed to a 31-7 half-time lead with many thinking they may produce a remarkable comeback.
Akrom Chorshanbiev and Okhunjon Tukhtasinov scored two tries each in the first 40 minutes, but an impressive second half from the hosts ensured the title for Pakistan.
Faisal Aslam, Muhammad Ali Khan and captain Khawaja scored the tries for Pakistan and despite still losing, they were celebrating at the full-time whistle.
Captain Khawaja was proud of his players despite the defeat.
“With such a big defeat in the first half our heads could have dropped and then we could have thrown away such a strong lead from the first match,” said Khawaja.
“But we were spirited and we knew what was at stake. Despite losing to a very good Uzbekistan side today, we are pleased to have won promotion and look forward to taking part in the Rugby World Cup qualifiers next year.”
This is the second piece of silverware to have been won in Asia this year with Qatar having won the ARC Division III West already.
The Asia Rugby Championship will Move to Bangkok Thailand and the Asia Rugby Championship Division 2
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Photo Credit : Fawad @f.sportsrelated