The Brazil women’s team underlined their regional dominance in winning their 13th Sudamérica Rugby Sevens Femenino title in Montevideo, Uruguay, this weekend.
Las Yarras will now play in their third Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in San Francisco next year as well as securing an invitational place at the Canada Sevens on the 2018 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series and at the 2019 series qualifier in Hong Kong, where they will be accompanied by Sudamérica runners-up Argentina.
Expertly led by veterans Paula Ishibashi and Baby Futuro, Brazil went through the tournament unbeaten and scored 245 points in their six games, only conceding one try against Paraguay and two more in the final game, against the until-then unbeaten Argentina.
In fine spring weather at the Valentín Martínez festival, organised by the Carrasco Polo Club, the champions showed the class and composure that has seen them dominate since the competition began in 2003, and their only real test came in the decisive game against Argentina, who got off to a flying start when Sofía González, chosen as player of the tournament, scored the game’s first try inside the opening minute from a quick tap penalty.
Baby Futuro replied by running in a long-range effort to start her side’s recovery and, sixty second later, captain Isadora Cerullo scored another to put Brazil 12-5 up.
Determined not to let the game slide away from them, Las Pumas fought back to level the scores thanks to Valeria Montero’s converted try. However, Brazil had the final word of the first half when, on the stroke of half-time, quick thinking from Haline Scatrut caught the opposition napping.
The game remained on a knife-edge, at 17-12 to Brazil, for almost all of the second half and it was only when replacement Bianca Silva scored in the dying seconds that Brazil secured the win and a ticket to San Francisco, Langford and Hong Kong.
Peru exceeded expectations to finish in third place ahead of hosts Uruguay and Chile, while Costa Rica won the Fair Play Award in a well-disciplined tournament that saw only three yellow cards dished out in 21 matches.