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Pune, June 20 – Haryana beat West Bengal 31-0 in the finals of the the 10th Senior National Rugby 7s Championship at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
Led by Vikas Khatri, this is a huge milestone for the senior men’s team from Haryana as they have successfully won this event for the third time in a row. This national championship in particular has been important for many players in the senior category as it’s a big year for Indian Rugby with the upcoming Asian Games and Olympic qualifiers and this championship being one of the championships that will decide on the selection of the national squad going forward.
“The Junior and Senior National Championships are amongst the most prominent features in the federation’s domestic events calendar. Not only do these events facilitate a platform to scout talent for the Indian National Teams, but also ascertain qualification for the 2023 National Games of India. The top 7 teams from the senior men’s category along with Goa, the host of the National Games, will be competing at this prestigious event in the month of October. With 28 participating states, this tournament has helped us identify the next generation of players with the potential to make it to the Indian National Teams.
“I look forward to seeing many of them at the upcoming national camps. Lastly, I would like to extend our appreciation to the Directorate of Sports and Youth Services, the Rugby Association of Maharashtra, and Emergency services, Maharashtra for their efforts in making this a successful event,” said Rahul Bose, president, Indian Rugby Football Union at the end of the championship.
The semifinals of the event witnessed West Bengal defeat Maharashtra 26-19 in a close encounter and the other half went the way of Haryana as they beat Odisha 24-0 decisively carrying the same momentum in to the finals. The bronze medal match was won by Maharashtra as they beat Odisha with the final score card placed at 14-7. The 5th -8th positions were won by Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, and Delhi respectively.
“We’re always just waiting for the senior nationals. We’ve seen some great progress being made by other states over the years but personally, we are very happy that Haryana has been able to win this event for 3 years in a row. The National Games held last year have also helped increase awareness of the sport in Haryana, and have provided us with another opportunity to play. The nationals here at Balewadi were organized really well. As a member of the Rugby India board and as a player, I would like to commend Rugby India for another successful event. I hope that the growth of this sport in the country continues and we can see more and more states joining this race, vying for the top spot,” said Vikas Khatri, Captain, Haryana after his team won the senior championships.
Earlier in the championships, Bihar closely edged out Rajasthan in the junior boy’s finals with a score of 28-10. The first semi finals were played between Bihar and Odisha with the former winning 24-7 and the second semi finals went the way of Rajasthan as they beat Jharkhand 22-17. This championship was the first rugby event broadcast by Fancode, with the objective to further promote the sport across India.