Brazil has taken major steps in preparing for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 by winning their 20th Sudamérica Rugby Sevens title, playing at home in Saquarema.
Colombia, who will also travel to the sevens showpiece in Cape Town on 9-11 September, came second, although still far behind the champions.
As Yaras, playing at home in the seaside town of Saquarema, an hour north of Rio de Janeiro, confirmed they are the leaders in their region, defeating all opposition on their way to renewing their top spot in South America.
The Brazilians haven't lost since the inaugural tournament in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, in 2004 relinquishing the title in 2015 when they did not compete as that year’s tournament doubled as Olympic Games qualifier, for which they were already qualified as hosts. Colombia won that year, beating Argentina in an unforgettable final.
A taste of their potential
As Yaras picked up where they left off in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. In their final tournament in Toulouse, they beat England and played some good rugby. Even if they finished last in the table, there were many glimpses of their potential throughout a season playing amongst the best.
When they came back to South America, they were in a league of their own as they scored 172 points during the tournament and only conceded one unconverted try, in the opening game of the tournament.
First to sample the team lead by tournament MVP Luiza Campos was Guatemala. The 49-5 win saw their try-line broken for the first and only time.
As corrections were made, Uruguay were beaten 37-0, finishing the opening day with a 32-0 win against Paraguay at the Estádio Elcyr Resende de Mendonça.
Colombia, the only team to ever beat Brazil in the region (to finish third in the 2019 Pan American Games), finished top of Pool B, with a 29-0 win against Perú, a 17-all draw with Chile and a very important win against Argentina, 17-12.
Colombia beat Paraguay by a narrow 7-0 to book a place in the final with Brazil, victors 27-0, Gabriela Lima and Thalia Costa (scorers of a hat-trick and a brace), too much to handle.
Whilst the Argentine Yaguaretés recovered in time to beat Paraguay 17-0 to take the bronze medal, the speed was too much for the Colombian Tucanes as the home side secured their place in next year’s Pan American Games in Chile in style.
The 27-0 win saw tries from five different players: Lima and Costa were again unstoppable, with Larissa Alves, Aline Furtado and Marcelle Souza also crossing for five pointers. Captain Luiza Campos added one conversion.
What it means
She said after the final: “The sense of pride of being part of this team and its history is very nice.
“Thanks to everyone that believes in us. Not every battle has been won, but here, in South America, As Yaras can proudly say that we are unbeatable.”
“We will continue to work hard to stay at the top and help elevate the standard of women’s rugby in our continent,” concluded Campos.
As Yaras have secured their place in next year's Pan American Championship, to be played in Santiago, Chile. Two more qualifiers will come from the Odesur Games to be played in Asunción, Paraguay, October 12-14.
Argentina finished third after beating Paraguay 17-0, Chile beat Peru 12-10 for fifth place and Uruguay finished seventh beating Guatemala 24-17.