Odisha women do a double in National Rugby 7s

Pune:  Odisha reigned supreme in the women’s National Rugby 7s, winning the junior and senior titles at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi here.

They thrashed hosts Maharashtra 31-7 in the final to clinch the Senior National Rugby 7s title, on Saturday.

Despite a spirited performance by Maharashtra, Odisha were hard to catch up with as they put up a dominant show to complete a double.

In the semi-finals, Odisha trounced West Bengal 26-5, while Maharashtra outplayed Kerala 14-5. Odisha also took home the junior title, defeating the same opponents 52-0 in a lopsided final earlier.

They beat Bihar 22-17 in a close semi-final, while Maharashtra beat West Bengal 29-5. The Junior and Men’s Nationals is scheduled next from June 14-18.

With important international tournaments lined up including the Asian Games, the Nationals serve as the selection trials for the Indian team.

“This is a big year for Indian Rugby. We have the upcoming Asian Games that we hope to participate in, the Asian Trophy as well as the Olympic Qualifiers in November,” Indian Rugby Football Union President Rahul Bose said in a press release.

“And these Nationals are one of the events from which we will be selecting our national camp invitees for those three international tournaments,” he added.