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India ready to make an impact

From: The Pune Mirror.

After making their international debut this year at the Asian Womens Sevens, the Indian womens rugby team is ready for another battle this weekend at the Borneo Sevens.

City-girl Avani Sabade, who was re-appointed as the skipper of the team, feels that the performance of the team will be different this time, as there is very little pressure as compared to the last tournament.

Before leaving for Malaysia, the team attended a two-week preparatory camp Sabade says was a good base.

"The camp was very good as we specifically worked on certain areas where we lacked in our first international tournament in May," said the skipper. Apart from Avani, six other girls from the city were also selected to the Indian team."

On the weak points of the side, Avani said, "It was more about physical strength. Technically, we matched with the international players. But on physical strength, we were far behind (them). The camp was a very good one to get back in the groove. Now, we have trained in weights and have improved our stamina."

On the international debut at the Asian event earlier this year Avani says, "Other teams are playing for some years at the International, so they are bound to be good, fast and strong. It was great to win our debut game in a second-division match."

In the first tournament the Indian team played six matches out of which they lost five and won one. The teams only win came against Cambodia. Avani, who regards the teams lone victory a big thing made it clear that this time around the result would be different. "We will perform much better than what we did in Pattaya.

The preparation and planning this time is much better. Last time as debutants there was a lot of pressure on us. This time there is hardly any pressure. The result will be far better," said Avani.

TEAM: Avani Sabade, Ketaki Khare, Niharika Bal, Vaishanavi Sose, Neha Pardeshi, Vahbiz Bharucha, Gayatri Salunke (all Pune), Kalpana Das, Priy-anka Das, Sujata Das, Tapashri Das (all Kolkata), Sindhu Srinath