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Kazakhstan remain on road to World Cup

Kazakhstan beat China in the second leg of two-match series 15-0, winning the series overall and with it a place in the 2020 Asia Championship and a chance to qualify for next the World Cup

China had come into the match with a five-point lead having beaten Kazakhstan 13-8 in the first leg – something of a surprise result as China had been well beaten in their two previous encounters (in 2007 and 2012) and had been concentrating on mainly 7s ever since.

The games was played on a significantly cooler afternoon than Wednesday’s first test and with Kazakhstan open side flanker, Liliiya Kibisheva particularly prominent with her ball carrying and offloading Kazakhstan took a slender 7-0 lead into half time through a try by centre Alina Askerova in the 25th minute, converted by veteran full back, Aigerym Daurembayeva.

China’s scrum-half, Xing Han yellow carded 6 mins into 2nd half. Perhaps as a result China fly half Ming Chen reverted to a tactical kicking game in the 2nd half to gain territorial dominance but missed a drop goal in front of the posts on 12 mins which would have regained he aggregate points lead by one point.

Kazakhstan scrum-half, Daiana Kazibekova was then yellow-carded on 13th min for the same offence not being 10m at quick penalty kick. Despite this, China were not able to take any advantage and it was Daurembayeva who extended the lead for Kazakhstan on 62nd minutes with a sweetly struck 25m  penalty kick to extend Kazakhstan’s aggregate lead to 5 points.

China now had to play catch up which saw them repeatedly try to run the ball from deep but they eventually succumbed to Kazakhstan pressure with an unconverted try on 67th minute by wing Yekaterina Kamenkova to make the match score 15-0, and a Kazakhstan aggregate lead of 10 points.

Kazakhstan’s extra three days of acclimatisation and greater experience of senior 15s saw them able to control the remainder of the game.

Kazakhstan will join Japan and Hong Kong in next year’s Asia Rugby Women’s Championship 2020 the winner of that tournament will guarantee a place at the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The runner-up from that tournament will go to the Repechage tournament, which will take place in 2020.

But fledgeling China can take confidence that they are competitive at this level and their performance over the two tests with suggestions from Asia Rugby that they may consider allowing them join Kazakhstan in the 2020 Asia Rugby Women’s Championship in March 2020, so they may yet have another crack at 2021 WRWC qualification.

Kazakhstan XV: 1: Kundyzay BAKTYBAYEVA, 2: Anna RAKOVA, 3: Natalya KAMENDROVSKAYA, 4: Aruzhan KARIYEVA, 5: Lyudmila IVANOVA, 6: Liliya KIBISHEVA, 7: Mariya GRISHINA, 8: Symbat ZHAMANKULOVA, 9: Daiana KAZIBEKOVA, 10: Balzhan KOISHHYBAYEVA ( C ), 11: Yekaterina KAMENKOVA, 12: Alina ASKEROVA, 13: Vlada ODNOLETOK, 14: Akzhan RAKHIMBERGENOVA, 15: Aigerym DAUREMBAYEVA, 16: Kuralay TURALYKOVA, 17: Diana ABISHEVA, 18: Viktoriya REVYAKINA, 19: Nargiza BEKEZHANOVAMariya GRISHINA, 20: Darya TKACHYOVA, 21: Yeva BEKKER, 22: Vera BOICHENKO

China XV: 1: Xin yue ZHOU, 2: Lu xue WANG, 3: Hui hui ZHANG, 4: Ming MA, 5: Xue WANG, 6: Xin WANG, 7: Wan ting ZHANG, 8: Yuan yuan LU ( C ), 9: Xing HAN, 10: Xiao dan MA, 11: Yu qian CHEN, 12: Yan ZHOU, 13: Xiao WANG, 14: Wei yan WANG, 15: Zheng ZHOU, 16: Si PENG, 17: Kang ping SUN, 18: Hong ting RUAN, 19: Shuang Shuang Wang, 20: Fei WANG, 21: Ming CHEN, 22: Jing DAI, 23: Yue yue WANG