The Indian women’s rugby team played a historic match and won it too as they claimed its first ever international women’s 15s victory with a 21-19 win over Singapore in the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship Division 1 on Saturday.

In a tense match, the star of the game was Sumitra Nayak who kicked a penalty at the dying minutes of the match to claim a narrow victory for the girls in blue. The result had a whole lot of emotional celebrations from the Indian team which finished third in the tournament, claiming a bronze medal.

Sweety Kumari scored two first-half tries to comfortably put India on the front foot. This comes after she scored twice in the game against Philippines, which India ultimately won.

The historic championships witnessed a pool of talent from Odisha. As many as nine players from the state were in the team. The championship was scheduled from June 2. “It’s massive,” former India men’s team captain Nasser Hussain, who is now coaching the women’s team, had told redbull.com before the championship started. “In Asia, there are 31 countries playing rugby, and in women’s 15s, there were only three — Hong Kong, Japan and Kazakhstan. They are traditional rugby-playing countries in Asia. The Division I that we are competing in will be against Singapore and Philippines. So there will be six countries in Asia now playing 15s rugby; it’s a huge step for us to be in that category.”

The Championship Division 1 plays a crucial part in the qualification process for the Rugby World Cup 2021.

READ: Meet Soliha Yousuf, Captain Women’s Rugby Team, J&K

The most interesting news is that Odisha players are making a mark in the game. According to official sources, Meera Rani Hembram, Sanjukata Munda, Laxmipriya Sahu, Subhalaxmi Barik, Bhagyalaxmi Barik, Sumitra Nayak, Hupi Majhi, Rajani Sabar and Pravati Kisku from Odisha represented Team India.

Feature Image Credit: Asia Rugby/Twitter

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