Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s rugby teams, both the Men’s and Women’s, triumphed in their respective matches, securing places in the semi-finals. The Men’s team displayed exceptional determination, clinching a convincing 19-4 win against Bihar, while the Women’s team dominated the field with an authoritative 64-0 victory over Karnataka. With their eyes set on the semi-finals, the Men’s team is gearing up to face Maharashtra, while the Women’s team will contend against West Bengal.
Reflecting on the team’s performance and strategy, Head Coach Manas Kumar Jena emphasized the significance of rigorous defensive training during their preparations at the Kalinga Sports Complex in Bhubaneswar. “We have focused extensively on our defensive strategies for this tournament. Today’s matches clearly showcased our defensive prowess, particularly in the Men’s win against Bihar,” Jena remarked.
Commending the teams for their collaborative efforts, Jena highlighted the cohesive play that contributed to their victories. “The teamwork was exceptional, particularly in the Men’s game. Despite their earlier loss to Bihar in the league phase, the team received significant acclaim for their efforts,” he stated.
Addressing the Women’s team’s dominant performance, he acknowledged the squad’s experience as a vital asset. “Our team is incredibly strong, and their performance today reflected that strength. Having seasoned players on our side gives us an edge in critical moments,” Jena added. Notably, several players from the Odisha squad have represented India in international competitions, including the Asian Games and the Rugby Asian Championship.
Expressing optimism for their medal prospects, Coach Manas Kumar Jena conveyed confidence in the teams’ capabilities. “We have a solid chance, and I firmly believe that the women’s team has what it takes to secure a spot in the finals. While the men’s team faces a tough challenge against Maharashtra, we remain optimistic about their performance,” he concluded.