A 15-0 win over China in the second leg of the two-match series between the teams saw Kazakhstan take the Division 1 title 23-13 on aggregate. And, in doing so, they will now join Japan and Hong Kong and play at the highest level of the women's game in the region in 2020.
Promotion to the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship also keeps their dream of appearing at Women's Rugby World Cup 2021 alive as the winner of that tournament will qualify for the game's flagship event in New Zealand. The second-placed team will qualify for the repechage where four teams will compete for the final spot at WRWC 2021.
China came into the match in Qian'an with a five-point lead having beaten Kazakhstan 13-8 in the first leg but that was wiped out in the 25th minute by Alina Askerova's converted try.
Both sides lost a player apiece to the sin-bin at the start of the second half but there was no further addition to the score until Aigerym Daurembayeva kicked a 62nd-minute penalty to make it 10-0 to Kazakhstan.
Playing catch-up rugby, China repeatedly tried to run the ball from deep but they eventually succumbed to Kazakhstan pressure when winger Yekaterina Kamenkova ran in an unconverted try to take the match score to 15-0 and Kazakhstan's aggregate lead to 10 points.
Despite their success, Kazakhstan made a net loss in terms of rating points over the week and they are now two-and-a-half points adrift of Japan, the highest-ranked of the Asian teams. Nevertheless, they hang onto 17th place with China still seven places further back in 24th.
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