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One the anomalies of women’s rugby is the existence of a World Cup competitor in the small nation of Kazakhstan. The team represents Asia after having won the Four Nations Qualifying tournament against Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. This country is recognized for its Olympic boxing skills, and also, for the little known sport of bandy (Ice hockey, more or less, played with a stick and a ball).
The Nomads, as they are called, have an overall, winning international record of 35-23 but within these results is the glaring difference in opponents: Versus ten of the 12, 2014 WRWC competitors, Kazakhstan is 7-19 with past wins against Ireland (3), Wales (3) and South Africa (1). The result against other, mostly Asian, opposition is 28-4, as they have been that continent’s dominant side.
The Eagles met the Nomads in the first round of the 2010 WRWC, beating them easily 51-0. These teams will meet again in the third round on August 5th in this year’s event. Kazakhstan is led by wingers Nigora Nuratova and Liliya Bazyaruk.
The Nomads XV, playing in the most competitive WRWC pool with the Black Ferns, Ireland, and the USA, understand that because of the four try or more bonus point rule, their three opponents will be looking to pile on the tries.