Brazil may have continued their domination of the Sudamérica Rugby Women's Sevens Championship with another title secured after a 31-12 defeat of their hosts Argentina on Sunday, but Las Pumas Sevens and Colombia also had reason to celebrate.
Argentina have confirmed their place at the HSBC USA Sevens on 3-4 March, the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, as the best placed South American side behind series core team Brazil. They last played on the series in Sao Paulo in 2014.
Las Pumas Sevens and Colombia, who beat Paraguay 5-0 to finish third, will also travel to Hong Kong in April as Sudamérica Rugby's two representatives in the 12-team field bidding for core team status on the 2017-18 series.
Argentina were fully deserving of their runners-up finish, a key result in their passage to the final being the 17-0 win over Rio 2016 participants Colombia in their final match on day one as it meant they avoided the region's dominant side Brazil until the title decider.
“We pride ourselves in our defence, our defence,” said Argentina captain Noelia Billerbeck after the final at the Carlos Paz Rugby Club, overlooking the San Roque Lake. “Our goal was to reach the final with Brazil so beating Colombia in pool play was crucial and we knew it was a big rematch against them.
Invitations key to development
“Having missed the Olympic Games was tough, but getting these two invites is very important as it allows us to continue growing in our game, our speed.”
For coach Daniel Villén, the challenge in Las Vegas – where Sydney champions Canada, France and Russia await them in Pool A – will be a massive one.
“We played great rugby in Carlos Paz but we know the stakes are higher on the circuit. Brazil is still the best team in the region but we are catching-up with them.
“Our focus has to be how to best compete against the best in the world and gaining experience.”
Brazil, though, were once again the dominant force over the weekend, scoring 244 points and conceding only two tries – against Argentina in the final – in their six matches. They have won the tournament every year they have competed since 2004.
Sudamérica Rugby Women's Sevens results
Paraguay 10-5 Venezuela
Brazil 52-0 Uruguay
Venezuela 32-0 Uruguay
Brazil 45-0 Paraguay
Paraguay 46-0 Uruguay
Brazil 31-0 Venezuela
Colombia 38-7 Chile
Argentina 31-10 Peru
Colombia 33-7 Peru
Argentina 29-0 Chile
Chile 14-0 Peru
Argentina 17-0 Colombia
Paraguay 24-0 Chile
Argentina 24-7 Uruguay
Colombia 10-7 Venezuela
Brazil 53-0 Peru
Argentina 36-0 Paraguay
Brazil 32-0 Colombia
Seventh place: Peru 24-0 Uruguay
Fifth place: Venezuela 24-0 Chile
Third place: Colombia 5-0 Paraguay
Final: Brazil 31-12 Argentina
Photos: Marcela Canciani / UAR