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Newbie Australia out of Kabaddi World Cup after loss to South Korea

Ahmedabad, Oct 15: A superpower in several sports, Australia is relative newcomers to Kabaddi, but our southern hemisphere nation is finding the traditional Indian game quite exciting and different from all other disciplines.

Being a nation that loves to compete in any sport, Australian captain Campbell Brown was slowly making a mark at the Kabaddi World Cup, leading a team that has a mixture of players from contact sports such as Australian footy (AFL) and rugby.

“We have a new team. This is the sport we haven’t played much but when International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) had asked us to play in the World Cup, many people contacted us as there was much similarity between Kabaddi and Rugby.

“Our support staff has done a commendable job to bring us together,” Brown said.

When asked about the popularity and fame he and his players got after participating in the Kabaddi World Cup, the skipper said:”From this, we are getting more importance; many people are watching and following the sport.

“Kabaddi has attracted many people around the globe as well. When we return to our country, many people will surely opt for this game.”

Brown also said that there were many Australian players who want to continue playing the sport.

“There might be a triangular series with India in February and we will continue practising for it as many players wanted to continue the sport,” he added.

“This is a fantastic game. We enjoy playing it”.

Talking about technicalities: “In this game, while you are at defence, you have to move along with your partners and this is the one thing that you will learn with time”, Brown had said after beating Argentina in their third match.

“Unlike the first two matches (England& India) we had strategised against Argentina which worked in our favour and we will approach the upcoming matches with the same strategy,” Brown said.

But, in the next round, Australia lost out to South Korea, who assured themselves of a semi-final berth after comfortably achieving 63-25 in the Pool A contest here, Saturday; with Australia ending up fifth in table and now out of the race to semi-finals.

Despite being newbies to the traditional Indian game, Brown insisted that the team was improving with every match, notwithstanding their somewhat indifferent record.

It was South Korea’s fourth successive win in the tournament which they achieved without their star player Jang Kun Lee and put up a commendable show with Cheol Gyu Shin bagging 11 points and Dong Gyu Kim scoring 10 points.

South Korea are now top of Group A with 20 points from four games while.

South Korea began with a bang and scored three points with a super raid by Shin.

Australia suffered an all out in the fourth minute to trail 2-10. The Koreans kept mounting the pressure to lead 16-4 after nine minutes as Shin added another five points.

Trailing 6-18, Australia forced a super tackle in the 12th minute but Korea immediately bounced back to inflict the second all out of the match in the 14th minute to extend their lead to 23-9.

Kim scored with a two-point raid in the 15th minute as Korea led 26-10.

For Australia, Thomas Sharp scored four raid points in the first half but that took them nowhere near their Asian rivals’ scoreline which Kim increased to 30-14.

Korea began the second half in the same fashion to increase the lead to 33-16. Campbell scored with a super raid in the 25th minute as Australia trailed 19-33. In the next minute, Korea forced a super tackle to take the lead to 35-19.

Australia suffered another all out in the 34th minute as they trailed 23-47 before Korea scored eight points in a row to take it further to 53-25.

The Koreans thereafter wrapped up the match with an easy victory margin of 38 points as the final scoreline read 63-25.

Earlier, Australia had lost to England and hosts India in their first two matches before overpowering Argentina in their third match.

Commenting about the upcoming match against Bangladesh, the skipper said that it would be a “tough match”.

feature image: India beat Australia in Kabaddi World Cup 2016

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