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Indian ruggers out of medal contention

other Updated: Oct 11, 2010 19:57 IST

The capacity crowd at the Delhi University ground vociferously cheered for the home team but that did not prove sufficient as Indian ruggers lost all three encounters of the day against their higher ranked opponents to bow out of medal contention in the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens event here today.

The Men in Blue failed to put up a decent fight against reigning World Cup Sevens champion Wales, world ranked sixth South Africa and next season's World Series qualifier Tongo in the Group-B engagements.

India will now play against Canada tomorrow in the 'Bowl' Division for the 9th-16 position finish after being relegated to the bottom of the group.

In the Rugby Sevens competition, besides the three major medals at stake, two other competitions -- Bowl Division and Plate Division (5th-8th place) -- also take place to come out with the team standings.

In the opening game, India were no match to the 2009 World Cup champions Wales and lost 7-56. Amit Lochab scored India's only try four minutes into the first half while Wales crossed four times to lead 28-7 at the break.

Wales' Tom Prydie and Lee Williams each bagged a brace of tries and Gareth Davies scored a try and kicked six conversions in the first round Pool-B clash.

Ranked near the bottom among rugby sevens playing nations, the Indian team are rank outsiders at a top class field in the Games here but the home squad is contesting to prove that they can compete at the highest level. "We still need to work out on some areas of our play. Despite our standing in the world rankings, we played well and confidently against some of the more fancied opponents. One has to understand, we are competing here to gain valauable experience. It would still take some time before winning any medal," said Indian skipper Nasser Hussain.

Indian team member Lochab, when asked about his experience of playing against world champs Wales, said, "It was fantastic and an amazing moment. It was hard to defend because of less players (overlaps). I am proud of the guys in attack."

"It was a good start but we should have scored a few more tries. It was an ideal playing surface," added Lochab.

Williams of Wales team said "They (India) are a developing rugby nation and in a few years they will be up there. We need to start respecting the lesser teams a bit more."

In the other match, the South African team showed its class and level of play to secure a fluent 59-0 victory over hosts India.