First of all, I on the behalf of Hurricanes players, Management would like to thank Sir Mark Parkinson, Sumesh Sawhney ji, Kevin Mario Fernandes & Sidharth Malhotra for their huge contribution (financially) for making our participation in 82nd All India-Men’s’ Senior National Tournament possible. Club was in dire state and hardly any money left in the kitty hence bearing own expenses for travel, accommodation & food was impossible. As in past, these gentlemen brought us out of this odd situation where we were not sure of our participation in this tournament except players who have not been told anything about this as this could have been hampered their preparation for the same. Pressure was too much on everyone as it was disclosed to players only in our 1st team meeting after reaching Mumbai. Thanks for showing faith in our ability. Thanks Alex Sir, Dave Mollard as they kept team morale high.
Team was well prepared though missing experience which cost them their 2nd position in India but what an effort from this young team. We lost only our 2nd position and 12 players who were the part of the team last year All India. Eight of them could not make this time due to serious injuries, operations or were not available due to their prior commitments but gain was huge as nine Under 19 boys got the chance to show their talent on the biggest platform in India courtesy to IRFU and Mr. Nasser Hussain (GM, Rugby India) who showed great trust in these teenagers ability, team got self belief to perform at any stage, spirit, trust in each other capabilities and most importantly they were a happy bunch who enjoyed each other’s company very much, having great fun on & off the field but were very disciplined. Senior players set the examples; they were very supportive to their juniors. Team found a great leader in Vikas Chhotu Khatri, who made a big influence. Senior players bound the team very well. Management team was terrific they looked after the team very well.
Team began with a match against Bangalore RFC and boys had some self doubts about their ability to perform at the highest level. Team hardly played couple of 15s games before this match and players got too excited as stage was just too perfect for them to showcase their talent hence they sacrificed patience and results in too many errors which cost them 7-8 tries and lots of penalties. Bangalore team was blend of players from Kashmir, Tamilnadu, Expats and locals and they were an experience teams but inability to play as a team was their drawback so Hurricanes were never in pressure in the game. They scored two converted tries and won the match by 14-0.
2nd game was a repeat Semi final of last year edition, Bombay Gymkhana, who lost last year to Hurricanes in a hard fought, very close contested match were clear favourite this time with their much experienced team as Indian Captain Hrishikesh Pendse was just arrived from Japan before this match where he was playing for a professional club and their 2 import players from New Zealand. Bombay Gymkhana started off very well and put Hurricanes under tremendous pressure for 10 min but great defensive play of Hurricanes saved them to concede any score and after that relentless attacks from Hurricanes put Bombay Gymkhana under tremendous pressure as ball was in their 22 for almost 20 min. but silly mistakes and inexperience denied them any score. Score was 0-0 at the half time. In the 2nd half, no team wanted to give an inch to other team. Game was playing at the very high intensity, crunching tackles were forcing players to play a wide game but Hurricanes 1st mistake cost them 1st try which was a smart play from Gymkhana and score was 5-0. Hurricanes raised their game tried everything to equal the score but could not get succeeded in that and Gymkhana sealed the match with their 2nd try just before the final whistle.
Hurricanes was praised for their efforts, spirit and courage. Young team played beyond the expect ions of everyone and a praise from Nasser Hussain, Captain of Bombay Gymkhana team where he said that this is the most physical game he played in last few years shows how tough it was to beat this Hurricanes team.
Tournament was a great success and all credit goes to Rugby India & Bombay Gymkhana who gave great pitch to play, atmosphere was great as some matches were played under lights. Refereeing was great. Some of the best matches of last decade were played in this year edition. Hurricanes vs Bombay Gym, Maharashtra State Police vs Jungle Crows, Maharashtra State Police vs CCFC, Jungle Crows vs CCFC were the great games to watch which could go either way. For me Maharashtra Police team was the team of the tournament as they performed extremely well this year after a long time.
Congratulation to Cup winners Army Red , they are in their own league, Bombay Gym, who gave some hiccups to Army this time. Jugle Crows for winning the Plate trophy. Over all great tournament. See you all next year.
Hurricanes thanks their team to put up a brave performance and sky is the limit for these boys. They will come very hard next year. Thanks for our supporters and fans who believe in us. I would not like to mention particular names here but lots of players were just brilliant in this tournament.
Hurricanes Team for All India