India's women’s team began life on the international stage on Saturday with a 30-5 defeat to hosts Singapore in their maiden test.
The newcomers did not look out of their depth in this Asia Rugby Women's Championship 2018 Division I encounter at the Queenstown Stadium and fought until the very end.
The first 30 minutes were fiercely contested, and Singapore only broke the deadlock after some impressive defence from the Indian side.
Singapore pulled away in the second half but there was still time for Neha Pardeshi to make another piece of history by scoring India’s first-ever international try.
“I am happy that we scored but sad that we lost,” said Pardeshi. “It is a huge step for us to have played in this historic match and I am proud to have been a part of it. Indian women play with all our hearts.
“We also have our fearless leader, captain Vahbiz Bharucha to thank and Nasser (Hussain) has been the best coach, he has patience, his strategy and understanding of the game and planning is just great and we are lucky to have him.”
Singapore move above Thailand and into 33rd place in the World Rugby Women's Rankings after picking up eight-tenths of a rating point. India entered the rankings with a starting point of 40.00 rating points ahead of their international debut and the loss of eight tenths leaves them in 44th place.
The next round of the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship takes place on Tuesday and sees India up against the Philippines.
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