Pakistan Rugby team win in “Carlton Srilankan 7s Tournament” LAHORE, Dec 2 (APP): Pakistan 7s Rugby Team won the Bowl Championship beating Iran 19-17 in the semi-final and then defeating Brunei in the Final 24-12 at Colombo, Sri Lanka this week. Pakistan Rugby Union’s spokesman Bakht Baidar said here Wednesday, Pakistan captain Kashif Khawaja, Sair Riaz, Khalid Bhatti and Shakeel all ran in tries in the Final, to take Pakistan through a memorable win.
The “Carlton Srilankan 7s Tournament” is a prestigious championship on the Asian 7s circuit, with the top national teams from Asia and club sides from the Southern Hemisphere show casing their talent. The three tier event also features a local Schools and Colleges Championship, the Asian Championship and a Club Championship for teams from New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Australia.
Captain Kashif Khawaja, by phone from Colombo, said, “The real hard game was against Iran but the boys played like lions and wanted to make a mark for Pakistan. With all the things happening back home they wanted to prove that Pakistan is not a weak nation and will not give up.” He said the entire team contributed to the win, but singled out Sair Riaz as Pakistan’s man-of-the-tournament.
The team manager Haji Anwar also phoned from Colombo and commented, “It was very well organized tournament, a pleasure to participate in. Sair played exceptionally, and Kashif was a good captain, leading from the front by scoring in the final.” Rugby 7s has recently received a significant boost by the IOC’s decision to include this form of the game as a full-medal sport in the Olympic Games 2016 onwards. The Pakistan 7s squad is comprised of Naeem Tahir, Baber Shahzad, Shaharyar Ahmed and Khalid Bhati from Police. From Universities/HEC, M. Junaid Liaqat (LUMS), Manan Naseem (UMT), and Kashif Khawaja (Captain) from Islamabad Rugby Association. While, from Punjab Rugby Association, Shakeel Ahmed, Umer Islam and Umer Usman (Vice Captain), M. Tahir, Sair Riaz (from Lahore) and Waseem Abbas (Bahawalnagar), the Manger and coach on tour are Jamal Qureshi and Anwar Zafar respectively. President Fauzi Khawaja, who is in Dublin Ireland taking part in the IRB general council meeting, commented, “This is a great victory for Pakistan and reflects the hard work of the team.”