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‘Still early days for Sevens Rugby’

Moorosi Tsiane

THE Rugby Sevens national team head coach, Litšitso Motšeremeli, says it was too early to start comparing his side with heavyweights such as Zambia and Zimbabwe when it comes to Sevens competitions.

This comes in the wake of Lesotho’s disappointing performance at the just ended Lusaka Sevens tournament played in Zambia on the 1st and 2nd of this September where they came out eighth out of 10 teams.

In the first match on the 1st of September, Motšeremeli’s men were hammered 37-10 by Zambia’s Nkwazi before they beat Malawi 24-7 on the same day.

The third match saw Lesotho going down 50-7 to Zimbabwe’s Goshawks and they eventually lost the last match 24-7 to Sharks Academy from South Africa.

Motšeremeli said the team still has a lot to learn on the technical side of the game since its formation last year.

“It was only last year when we launched this Sevens team so I think it is too early for us to the press panic button just because we got whipped by the giants such as Zambia and Zimbabwe in Lusaka,” Motšeremeli said.

“There is just so much for us to learn and we are doing so in every competition that we are participating in. When we started last year, we believed that the Sevens tournaments are played only by speedy and thin players but at some point, we noticed that we got it all wrong so we changed our approach and brought in speedy and muscular players into the team and we are now seeing the light.”

He said the fact that they beat Malawi shows that there is still hope for them and they need to build on that performance when they host their inaugural Sevens tournament later this month.

“We still managed to beat Malawi and that shows that we are not that bad especially because we have just started. We just need to build on that performance and I want to assure you that some of the countries with whom we are on the same level now may not be able to beat us later this month in our annual Maseru Sevens tournament.”

The five-day tourney is expected to roar into life on the 27th of September and end on the 2nd of October at Setsoto Stadium.

Motšeremeli said the only set back on their Zambia trip was that they arrived late at the Botswana-Zambia border after it had already closed and had to spend the night there. He said even the industrial action which the players embarked on before their departure did not affect the team’s performance.

“I do not think the strike which the players embarked on before they left for Zambia negatively affected the team’s performance. Instead, our biggest challenge was the fact that we spent the whole night at Botswana-Zambia border since it was closed by the time we arrived.

“It was bad because when we arrived in Zambia, our feet were swollen so the players did not have enough time to rest and recover. However, I am glad that they still played their hearts out and I am proud of them,” Motšeremeli said.

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