‘Undefeated’ RFS gears up to compete with foreign teams
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Going through a rugby tournament unbeaten is one thing, but doing so without conceding a single point speaks of a heightened level of dominance. Last week, the RFS Pune women's team did just that, trouncing six other clubs from the country to bag the All-India Women's Championship in Bhubaneswar.
For RFS, this isn't something new — They accomplished the same feat during the last edition of the tournament as well. But at some level, are RFS players and staff a little concerned with the lack of genuine competition in Indian women's rugby?Coach Surhud Khare ticks off the positives first.
"It showed our dominance. We didn't concede even in the previous All-India, so I am proud that we've not slacked this time. Everyone worked just as hard as ever. We had a few new players as well, so it was good to see them slot in perfectly with the established core of the team," he says. "Right now, the competition is not in our control, but yes - we do need a bigger test."
For this, RFS is looking to arrange matches against foreign teams as well.
"What we are looking for is to play 15s with a team from abroad, maybe Sri Lanka, Singapore or Thailand. That is when our physicality will get tested," says Khare. "Ketaki Khare, who used to play for us, is now with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union, helping with the development of women's and schools rugby there. She is trying to set things up for us too."
Players from the city dominate the Indian women's team. Seven of the 10 players in the Indian squad for the upcoming Asian women's sevens are from the city.
"We were pioneers, and started well before anyone else, from around 2004-05, which gave us a head-start," says Khare.
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