The rise of the United Arab Emirates in Asian rugby continued as the lifted their first Asian Trophy title.
The UAE only returned to international sevens as recently 2021, after an eight-year absence, but have now risen from being third level West Asia champions at the end of that year to a place in next year’s Asian Sevens Series.
India, on the other hand, missed out on promotion again having lost to Singapore in the final last year.
The size and cost of travel in the region often dictates which countries enter this tournament, which this year took place in Qatar the first time it has taken place in west Asia. This encouraged the participation of not only the hosts but also Iran, neither of whom had played at this level before. Mongolia also returned after their debut in Jakarta last year. Indonesia, on the other hand, did not make the trip.
That left seven teams with India in the three-team Pool G, which they won but only after a struggle against Guam.
The UAE, on the other hand, beat their west Asia rivals – plus Uzbekistan – comfortably to win their pool.
Both UAE and India won their semi-finals comfortably, before UAE – who featured the tournament’s three leading try scorers – proved too strong for the Indians in the final.
Pool G: Guam 37-5 Mongolia; India 36-0 Mongolia; India 14-7 Guam
Pool H: Iran 31-12 Uzbekistan; United Arab Emirates 34-0 Qatar; Iran 22-0 Qatar; United Arab Emirates 27-5 Uzbekistan; Uzbekistan 36-0 Qatar; United Arab Emirates 17-0 Iran
5th-7th Place Semi Final: Mongolia 10-7 Qatar
Semi-Finals: India 34-0 Iran; Semi-Final Guam 7-36 United Arab Emirates
5th Place: Mongolia 0-27 Uzbekistan
3rd Place: Iran 10-0 Guam
Final: India 5-26 United Arab Emirates