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84th All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament, CCFC Kolkata

84th All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament

 

2nd All India Women’s Rugby XVs Tournament

Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CCFC), Kolkata

It was the dyeing moments of the final of the 84th All India and South Asian Rugby and the score board read Army Red: 24 and Delhi Hurricanes: 20. Army Red was heading for their 9 th title but an unexpected try from the Delhi Hurricanes turned the table and at the final whistle the score board read Delhi Hurricanes: 25 and Army Red: 24. Thus crowning Delhi Hurricanes as the maiden champions of All India and South Asian Rugby.

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Women’s Semi final. Delhi Hurricanes vs Jungle Crows. 2nd All India Women’s Rugby, CCFC Kolkata

Rugby in Calcutta has a long history and it all started on the Christmas Day of 1872. On this day Calcutta witnessed the first official rugby match of the country was played on that day between England and a combined team of Scotland, Welsh and Ireland.

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Army Red vs Kolkata Police, 84th All India and South Asia Rugby, CCFC Kolkata

Soon Calcutta caught on with the rugby enthusiasm, which led to the formation of the first Rugby club in India in 1874 and was named Calcutta Football Club. In order to attract more players the club offered free drinks to the rugby players.

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Men’s Final: Delhi Hurricanes vs Army Red

But with the mounting cost the idea was soon dropped, which resulted in the drop in the numbers of players.

Sadly within four years the Calcutta Football Club decided to wind up and a strange decision was made with the remaining club funds.

The entire remaining funds of the club were withdrawn in the form of silver coins which were melted and re-casted into a beautiful trophy, the Calcutta Cup.

The trophy was presented to the Rugby Union in England, who decided to use it for the annual rugby match between England and Scotland. Ever since 1879 the Calcutta Cup is still being used.

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Men’s Final: Delhi Hurricanes vs Army Red

The closure of the Calcutta Football Club was not enough to dampen the spirit of rugby in Calcutta. Calcutta Cricket and Football club (CCFC) came to the rescue.

Founded in 1792 CCFC, which happens to be the oldest existing sporting club in the country, introduced the Calcutta version of the Calcutta Cup in 1881. Ever since 1881 the rugby clubs of Calcutta battle it out for the Calcutta version of the Calcutta Cup.

Soon other rugby followed and in 1924 marked the beginning of the All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament, attracting clubs form Bombay, Madras and even Colombo. The week long 84th version of the All India and South Asia Rugby kicked off at the Calcutta Cricket and Football club (CCFC) on 7 October 2017.

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Format and scores of the 84rd All India and South Asia Rugby Men’s Tournament 2017 (click to enlarge)

A total of 10 teams were part of the men’s competition. In the women’s edition, which was on its 2nd edition, there were 8 teams. Both the men’s and women’s edition was held on a knockout format.

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Format and scores of 2nd All India and South Asia Women’s Rugby Tournament 2017

Among the men’s 10 teams four were from West Bengal. Sergeants’ Institute (Kolkata police A team), Kolkata Police (Kolkata Police B team), Jungle Crows and the host Calcutta Cricket & Football Club. (CCFC).

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Rugby Tackle (step by step). Delhi Rebels vs Delhi Hurricanes. 84rd All India and South Asia Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

The four qualifying team from Mahrashtra were Bombay Gymkhana, Magicians, Army Red (Indian Army A team) and Maharashtra State Police. Delhi had two qualifiers Delhi Rebels and Delhi Hurricanes.

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Action between CCFC vs Sergeants’ Institute, 84rd All India and South Asia Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

The tournament was played on a knock out format (see chart above) and the two top seeds Army Red and Delhi Hurricanes made it to the final. It was a repeat of the 2016 All India and South Asia Rugby final were the Army Red emerged victorious with a score line of 18 -5. (Also see: 83rd All India and South Asia Rugby)

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A try!! Delhi Hurricanes vs Delhi Rebels. 84rd All India and South Asia Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

But in 2017 it was time for Delhi Hurricanes to turn the table. They beat the Army Red in a neck to neck competition with a score line of 25 – 24, with the final try being scored seconds before the final whistle.

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CCFC vs YRC, 2nd All India and South Asia Women’s Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

This was not only Delhi Hurricanes maiden title and they defeated Army Red who have been champions for nine out of the last ten times. It was also for the first time a club from Delhi won the All India Rugby title.

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Delhi Hurricanes vs Jungle Crows, 2nd All India and South Asia Women’s Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

In the women’s section there were a total of 8 teams. 2 more than last years inaugural edition. Jungle Crows, Adivasi, Calcutta Cricket & Football Club. (CCFC) and Young Rugby Club (YRC) were the qualifiers from West Bengal.

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Delhi Hurricanes, women’s champion 2nd All India and South Asia Women’s Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

The other qualifiers were Bihar, Odisha, Rugby Association of Maharashtra (RAM) and Delhi Hurricanes.  The tournament was played on a knockout format with Odisha and Delhi Hurricanes making it to the final.

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Delhi Hurricanes Champions 84th All India and South Asia Rugby, CCFC, Kolkata

It was a repeat of the 2016 final, where Odisha emerged victorious with a score line of 20 – 0. But in 2017 in the second edition of the Women’s All India it was time for Delhi Hurricanes to turn the table. They emerged victorious with a score line of 19 – 0. Thus completing a double in 84th All India and South Asian Rugby.

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