India to play Philippines in Asian 5 Nation Rugby final
New Delhi: Hosts India stormed into the final
of the HSBC Asian Five Nation Rugby Division II event on Wednesday,
crushing China 94-0 in the tournament opener at the flood-lit
Delhi University Rugby Stadium here.
The Naseer Hussain-led Indian side put up a fantastic
display and outplayed the formidable Chinese in all
departments of the game.
With this win, India are one just step away from
progressing to the Division-I.
India will play Philippines in the summit clash on
Saturday and a win there would ensure their place in the
Division-I for the first time in the history of the game.
Oliver Saunders top-scored as Philippines got the better
of top seeds Thailand 53-33 in the other match of the day.
China and Thailand will face off each other in the
third-fourth place play-off match on Saturday and the loser
will be relegated to Division III.
In the India-China encounter, the hosts opened the
scoring with back-to-back penalties before Kayrus Unwala
scored the home team`s first try.
The 51st-ranked Chinese were no match for a fitter Indian
team, who are way below in world rankings in the 84th
The hosts capitalised on the hot and humid weather
conditions and made the Chinese pay by racing to 44-0 at the
end of the first half.
Egged on by an enthusiastic crowd, India dominated the
entire 80 minutes and never allowed the Chinese to gain
momentum and come back in the match.
Kayrus Unwala, Rohaan Sethna and Parvinder Singh scored
two tries each, while Gautam Dagar, Pritom Roy, Sandeep Singh
and Puneet Krishnamoorty scored one each.
India captain Nasser Hussain credited the victory to team
"We played a fantastic game and stuck to our strategy.
All the players played a team game and we were well prepared.
For our next game we need to cut on our errors and if we can
do that, we will have a good chance of winning the
tournament," Hussain said after the match.