Recovering from their less than stellar performance in the Women’s Rugby World Cup earlier this summer, the Kazakhstan women’s rugby team won the first ever Asian Games Women’s Rugby Seven championship after beating the tournament’s heavily-favored team, and host country , China 17-14 at University Town Main Stadium, Guangzhou, China on Tuesday.
Kazakhstan’s team was made up of 11 of 12 players from the nation’s Women’s Rugby World Cup team earlier this year, while China benefitted from home-field advantage, sweeping through to the championship match without being scored on. That streak ended four minutes in the first half as Irina Amossova scored the first try of the match.
China recovered and went into the half 7-5 leaders off of a Wang Qianli try and Fan Wenjuan conversion. Instead of folding, the Kazakh’s traded the lead with the Chinese in the first part of the second half, until Anna Yakoleva scored the game winning try halfway through the second half. The Chinese had a last-second scoring drive denied when they lost the ball after crossing the goal line.
(Note: for non-rugby readers, you have to not only cross the goal line with the ball, but also physically place the ball on the ground under control for a score to count. Hence the name used in American Football “Touchdown.”)