THE Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) has hailed their Sevens team for coming second at the recently ended Rugby Africa Regional Sevens in Burundi.
According to the team manager, Morapeli Motaung, the team encountered a lot of challenges when they travelled to the East African country and only arrived 20 minutes before their first game against the home country which they won 45-0.
The Lesotho Sevens team also beat Congo Brazzaville 17-0 but were dismissed 15-5 by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the final.
Motaung said they are delighted with the performance of the team in the two-day tournament.
“We are very happy as the rugby association though we feel it’s still part of a learning curve as this is only the second year that we have been competing in the category of the sevens,” Motaung said.
“So, it’s still early days but we feel that our team benefitted a lot from a tournament we held in Maseru earlier in September.
“We have taken a giant step as a country as far as this format of the spot is concerned and we are now at a stage where we can compete with good teams on the continent.
“Of course, there is still a long way to go but we are happy with the progress that we continue to make.”
He said Lesotho has now overtaken countries like Swaziland and Malawi in rugby sevens rankings and expects to go up again after getting second place in Burundi.
The Lesotho Sevens team was also weakened by the fact that LDF withdrew its players just before the trip to Burundi while they also faced VISA challenges, which led cancelations of flights at the eleventh hour.
“We had two major issues just before our trip as LDF withdrew its players from the team and there was also a mess in our travel arrangements with some of them being caused by the host country.
“The team only landed in Burundi on the day of their first game and arrived at the stadium just 20 minutes prior to kick off. The team also did not have substitutes due to all the challenges that we faced.
“However, despite all that they performed well and beat the host country in the first game. This is proof that rugby is improving and we will do even better with time,” Motaung said.